A Death Positive Discussion Game for Mortals

Woohoo! Our Kickstarter for EXPIRED ended successfully on June 22nd, and the game will be available by early August! Join our launch list at the bottom of this page, and we’ll let you know when it is ready to order… AND we’ll send you some cool freebies, available only to list members!


We live in a culture where being “honest” about death and dying and is taboo. Most of us go to great lengths to avoid having to talk  (or even think) about it – especially in a group. And if we ever do talk about it, usually it’s an awkward, painful conversation that stresses everyone out.

We created the game EXPIRED to give people the opportunity to talk – and we mean really talk – about death and dying in a relaxed game environment. It’s a Question and Answer game that we’ve crafted with creativity, compassion and a dash of humor to keep the discussion non-threatening, encourage participation, and make it fun to play.

EXPIRED can be played whichever way works best for your group: As a straight question and answer game, or as a card game where players collect the cards they need to win, while trying to avoid the Grim Reaper themselves. Either way, it offers players a unique experience where people can talk freely about death and dying, and learn a lot about themselves along the way.

Ultimately, EXPIRED is really a game about getting in touch with our own mortality… because doing that helps us appreciate life all the more, and frees us to live with less fear and more joy. That’s an awesome gift to give, both to yourself and to the people you care about. And that’s why we hope you’ll help us make this project a reality.




EXPIRED: A Death-Positive Game for Mortals is made up of a deck of 64 Question Cards, with a custom made die and velvet carrying pouch. It is family friendly, for with 4 – 8 players, and suitable for ages teen through adult. A typical game will last from 30 minutes to a hour. It can be played in two modes: Either as a straight discussion game or as a discussion & card game.

The object of the game (in either mode) is to create a relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere where players can freely talk about death and dying. In card game mode, you also try to collect matched sets of cards to win, while avoiding the Grim Reaper if you can.

Keep in mind that the discussion questions in EXPIRED bring up topics that most people are not used to talking about. They may be thinking about them, but they don’t normally talk openly about them. So it’s only natural that there may be some initial hesitation or resistance to discussing these topics. Thus, a few informal rules to keep in mind:

A relaxed and accepting atmosphere is important.
Never push players into answering a question they don’t wish to answer.
No criticism of someone else’s answer is allowed.
Be sensitive of others’ feelings.
Listen as much as you talk.





JESSANDMEThe hands behind EXPIRED are father-daughter team Jim and Jess Erskine.

Jim is an author of over two dozen children’s books, humor books and educational resources. He lives on a homestead in the hills of Kentucky with wife Susan and assorted dogs, cats, peacocks, turkeys, deer, buzzards and possums, and owns the homeschooling website HomeschoolFreebieOfTheDay.com.

His daughter Jess is a book illustrator, graphic designer and videographer whose talents were indispensable in making this project come to life.


Okay. I (Jim) am officially an “old guy” having just turned 60 (ouch!), and I suppose this project can be traced to my thinking a whole lot more about my own fear of death & dying the past few years, and how that affects the way I live. I can’t say I have my head wrapped around it all yet, but I can sure say this:

When you look your mortality in the face and start to come to terms with it, it sure is freeing. Everything about life becomes all the more precious and filled with meaning. It helps put life, family, friends and work into clearer focus.

And one of the things I realized I want to do – while I’m still able to “do” – is to help people understand that instead of denying the brevity of life, it is OK, necessary and healthy to acknowledge and talk about death, especially your own. (That is my own personal definition of the term “death-positive”.)

EXPIRED evolved out of a book we published last year titled “I Will Die: A Creative Journal for Mortals”, under the pen-name “Jessica Featherly”. You can take a look at it on Amazon, or snag a copy by supporting this project.

bookreward2The questions and writing prompts in that book on death and dying are spot-on perfect for a private, introspective journal – but most of them are way too personal and emotionally exhausting for group discussion. We wanted to create something that would help friends and family talk more openly about death – without totally freaking everyone out in the process. So the idea for a discussion in a game format – EXPIRED – was born.

As we compiled the questions and rules for EXPIRED, we wanted to create an environment that would draw people out and encourage participation and sharing. The painfully personal questions from the journal were out. A mix of humor and curiosity were blended in. Potentially sensitive questions were crafted so that players could relate to them without feeling threatened. The questions have no right or wrong answer and the replies can take you in all sorts of directions… which keeps the discussion invigorating and helps players learn a lot more about themselves along the way.



Woohoo! Our Kickstarter for EXPIRED ended successfully on June 22nd, and the game will be available by early August! Join our launch list, and we’ll let you know when it is ready to order… AND we’ll send you some cool freebies, available only to list members: