Looking for a puzzle for the mind; that is also a game with a lesson? Look no further than the Empathy Game. To play there must be three or more players. The blindfolded “guide” is player number one who uses the various pieces of diffident shapes, sizes and textures to create the initial form, then once finished, the second player “the builder”, who has also been blindfolded the inter time takes their pieces and listens to the first player as they explain how to re-create the model. The third player (or however many other people there are playing) will be the “observer” (or observers) will watch the other two players without giving any hints of any kind.

“Look no further than the Empathy Game.”

The real lesson is simply listening, when we truly listen and we are not bogged down by sight there can be better understanding. Listening and understanding are without a doubt both very powerful tools.  Once both players believe they have accomplished matching structures the blindfolds are removed and all the players, the guild, the builder and the observer(s) will discuss what happened and the emotions that they felts during this exercise, that goes beyond a simple mind teasing game.  It is something that most need lessons in, while watching people play you see how little some seem to focus on the other person’s words. Some players seem to care more about obstacle at hand rather than the true spirit of the game. The Empathy toy would be useful in many types of environments of one’s life rather it be in marriage, amongst co-workers, a parent to child exercise or from sibling to sibling understanding. The root of this fun and original game is simply understanding that will help in other aspects of one’s life.


The multi award winning Canadian based designer Ilana Ben-Ari is the bright mind behind The Empathy Toy. Her work was focused on designing an item that would help the visually impaired and the sighted understand each other. She soon realized that there was no limit to who could benefit from this game. Ben-Air is the CEO and lead designer of her own startup company called Twenty One Toys.  The Empathy Toy has even been featured in TIME magazine as “one of six new technologies shaping classrooms of the future”. The toy that is known for teaching empathy to anyone and everyone and can be found in over forty different countries, classrooms, intuitions, and offices.



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