HomeBad Ass AsiansChinese American Creates Bilingual Card Game to Reconnect with Asian parents

Chinese American Creates Bilingual Card Game to Reconnect with Asian parents

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“Parents Are Human.”

That’s the name of the card game that Joseph Lam, a Chinese American entrepreneur, co-created with Taiwanese American entrepreneur Candace Wu, Entrepreneur reports. It’s also a lesson he needed to internalize in order to reconnect with his own family.

“One of the most painful things I’ve ever admitted is how poorly I treated my parents for over ten years,” Lam wrote in a March blog post. “I knew, deep down, that if I didn’t take responsibility for how I treated them and commit to rebuilding our relationship, I would go to my grave with my inaction as my biggest regret.”

“Parents Are Human” aims to address a complicated issue—reconnecting with your parents—with a simple setup. The game uses bilingual “question” and “action” cards to spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people and their parents. Examples of cards include “What was your favorite food growing up?” and “Share or describe your favorite picture of each other,” according to the game’s website.

After years of taking his anger out on his parents, repairing his relationship with them was daunting, Lam said. But he managed to turn inaction into a serious commitment, both to his parents and to his card game.

First, Lam said, he called his parents and read an apology letter to them. Then, they started spending more time together and communicating. He and Wu eventually met up in 2019 to discuss their shared experience of bonding with their parents, according to the game’s website. That conversation led to the creation of their card game.

Lam and his co-founder worked with their parents on creating the cards and improving the Chinese translations. He also hired his parents to fulfill orders after they retired during the pandemic, Lam told Entrepreneur.

According to Lam, their parents cheered on their efforts to create the game as well as to reconnect with them.

“So much of the empathy, compassion and understanding I’ve gained for my parents came as a result of playing Parents Are Human with them almost every week,” Lam told Entrepreneur.

Lam and Wu have greater plans for the game. They are in the midst of developing a mobile app for it and are also working on versions of the game in languages such as Vietnamese and Tagalog.

Just as importantly, though, Lam has already achieved great personal success with “Parents Are Human.”

“For the first time in my life,” he told Entrepreneur. “I’m able to work with my mom and dad.”

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