The first game whipped out at most games evenings is 30 Seconds, but few know it is a proudly South African product.
Yes, you heard it right, everyone’s favourite general knowledge board game was created by South African-born Calie Esterhuyse born right here in Cape Town.
The game has international acclaim and has been translated into several other languages; and is now available for sale in the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, England, France, the USA and Ireland. The popularity has grown to create a junior version too.
It is simple to play and always great fun. Players are teamed up and have to guess the most amount of possible answers within 30 seconds. It is similar to charades but you are allowed to give clues, as long as it doesn’t contain the actual word you are trying to explain.
How 30 Seconds came to be…
The idea was born at a home in Gordon’s Bay in 1996 – Marius Barnard (a tennis player) came up with the idea of playing a game with the 20 guests present. Each person had to write a name on a piece of paper and place it in a bowl. The papers were shuffled and guests were paired as partners. They were asked to pull a piece of paper and had 40 seconds to describe it to their teammate.
The game was played again a year later at a beach house at Great Brak River where Esterhuyse was present – and this sparked the idea of creating an exciting board game with a similar process. He took an entire year to research the facts to include in the game and founded Calco Games after completing his studies at Stellenbosch University.
Finding a name
The first name considered was Rudi Nappy, which happened to be the name pulled out of the bowl by rugby player Schalk Burger at the party hosted at Great Brak River. It was also the name of an artist who created the placemats laying on the table at the very same party.
The name didn’t stick and just before it was ready to be released, during a conversation with friend, it was changed to 30 Seconds.
The game was made available for sale in 1998 and the rest is history.