In this post, we talk with Joses Wong, creator of the board game Angry See Lai. You don’t see Asian-oriented board games every day, so we took this opportunity to ask him 8 questions. At the end of the interview, you can see a special treat he has provided for our readers.
Can you give us a quick summary of the Angry See Lai game and what you consider its best aspects?
Angry See Lai (Asian moms) is an Asian-themed, easy to play, fun party game for 4-8 players! Work together with your family to lie, gossip, and tattle in order to shame others and gain honor by impressing the See Lais (Asian moms).
The best aspect of the game is its’ interactivity. In order to win, players need to work together with their secret teammate to gain the upper hand. As a result, players often doubt each other, lie about certain cards, and make poor choices. this can result in mass mayhem and confusion. The players often end up in uncontrollable laughter!
Would you tell us about yourselves?
Of course! My name is Joses, and my wife’s name is Susana. I was born in Halifax, moved to Hong Kong when I was 9, attended an American school there, and then returned to Canada for University. Susana was born in Toronto and pretty much lived there all her life. I was the one in charge of the theme and game design, while my wife took the lead in designing the beautiful art! We met at our local church and got married in July 2017!
What inspired you to create this game?
Great question! Although both Susanna and I had different experiences growing up, we both oftentimes had difficulty relating and understanding our parents’ culture, resulting in difficult relationships at times. “Why don’t they use the dishwasher? Why do I bring smelly food to lunch? Why is my couch wrapped in plastic wrap?” These questions often plagued us and would make us feel inferior to our peers.
After growing up, we began to understand a lot more where our parents were coming from, and we began to take pride in being their children. We wanted to create a card game that would normalize these discussions in a playful and endearing way.
What is your target market – are you looking for Chinese Americans and Chinese Canadians, the Chinese Diaspora at large, or Chinese all over including China and Taiwan?
The main target market is the English speaking Cantonese group. This includes but is not limited to the Chinese Americans, Chinese Canadians, British Chinese, and Australian Chinese. However, anyone who identifies with anyone who identifies with having Asian parents that do weird/funny things will enjoy this game!
There are other card games like Cards against Humanity and even other Asian American oriented games like Asians against Sobriety (my son received that game for Christmas – not from me though!). Were you influenced by any of these games?
Great question – the short answer is no. From my understanding, those games are more talking/discussion/drinking games and can get a little bit “Adult themed” at times, they are also mainly text based. We wanted to create a wholesome, fun game with images that sweet images that evoke a feeling of warmth and nostalgia.
There are other Asian cultures with similar attitudes towards filial piety and shame. Have you thought about creating a more generic Asian version or other ethnic specific games (e.g. Korean version or Vietnamese version or ones in Traditional or Simplified Chinese)?
Yes! We have indeed thought about that, however, for our first card game, we really wanted to focus on something that we knew a little bit better and really focus on the English-speaking Cantonese market.
What is the more interesting feedback that you have gotten about Angry See Lai?
We get all sorts of funny comments from people who enjoyed the game! One comment in particular mentioned how the game “broke” one of his friends – as in they’ve never seen him laugh so hard in his life. Other comments talk about how they relate a lot to the cards such as “dishwasher controversy” or “good girlfriend”. Interestingly, we actually had a random person post a picture of our game in the Subtle Cantonese Traits Facebook group which generated over 1000 comments based on the picture of the game alone!
What does your See Lai think about this game?
My See Lai loves it! She said that ever since the game launched, all her friends would laugh about it and talk to her about it. She said it made her suddenly feel very popular! The main See Lai on the game box is actually modelled after her!
As for Susanna’s See Lai, she thinks it’s funny but that’s about it. She’s too busy talking to us about her latest fruit deal at the supermarket to even open the game itself. Asian parents are the best!
If you are interested in ordering a copy, you can order at www.angryseelai.com. 8Asians readers get a 10% discount if they use the code 8ASIAN when purchasing.
You can follow Joses and Susanna on instagram @angryseelai for Asian related comics every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!