What’s a game night without a dope card game to laugh, compete and even have a cocktail?
A.V Perkins and her co-creator Mariah Andoh-Clarke have created the perfect game, University Of Dope.
Perkins has described the game as “a disrespectful party game for hip-hop lovers.”
Players can choose between 120 questions in a deck full of hip-hop icons, impersonations, trivia and sing-a-longs.
In addition to hip-hop, the game also includes over 60 questions wholly created in the anatomy of R&B.
In just six years, Perkins and Anode-Clarke have reached not only the hands of Hip-Hop legends such as Method Man and Warren G, the game will now be hitting the shelves of Target in the winter of 2023.
Cliff Hill: “What made you come up with this game? What was the inspiration? Why a game about strictly Hip Hop?”
A.V Perkins: “I’m from the Bronx, so I am a child of Hip-Hop. It all started because my business partner and I went to college together, she came to visit me in Brooklyn one day, and I asked her if she could name all of the members of the Wu-Tang Clan. She said yes, I didn’t believe her. I said well could you name them all if you had been consuming adult beverages. She said yes, and I still didn’t believe her. So we googled the Wu-Tang drinking game because we assumed it already existed. It didn’t exist, so that’s why we made it.”
Cliff Hill: “How did you guys decide on the questions? Was it a collaborative effort, and between who?”
A.V Perkins: “Not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty creative. I also really like trolling the internet. I’ve always had an opinion about something. So coming up with what we wanted to do wasn’t as hard once you developed your brand voice. When we first created our game, it was a little difficult for people to play, so we decided to double and see our voice. Our voice is edgy and punchy. Even though we say disrespectful, it’s not in a gratuitous way. It’s a way you should be able to laugh and snicker to yourself.”
“We call ourselves the City Girls of gaming.”
Cliff Hill: “Let’s discuss the idea of creating the game and the steps it took to execute. Where did you start? What was the process like?”
A.V Perkins: “It was a lot of trial and error. Initially, we wanted this to be a board game. Once we got into studying gaming more, producing it would have been really difficult at that time in terms of start-up cost. So we decided, ok, we’re going to make it a card game. You shape your ideas as you go along with your trial and error. It was a lot of googling. It’s places that will print out cards for you. Also, always keep updating and be willing to tweak. We’ve switched manufacturers before; our O.G. deck was black and white.”
Cliff Hill: “What changes are you guys planning to make over the next few years?”
A.V Perkins: “I think I can tell you guys this. We’re going to share with y’all. We want to do a special edition deck in celebration of hip-hop 50. Kind of like a collector’s item. 2023 will also be our seventh year in business. We’re going to be in Target in 2023.”
Cliff Hill: “What have you guys done in the community to get people to know about the game?”
A.V Perkins: “Before quarantine, we did a lot of game nights all over the city, like the eastern seaboard situation. We would go to bars and lounges, brunches and play with a deck of cards. We had to pivot, and we created a virtual game show, and that really changed the game for us, pun intended. The University of Dope game show is a virtual game. It’s the same spirit as the original game, but instead of voting with traditional cards, you would vote with your smartphone. We would stream that on our YouTube and Facebook page. We started doing private events for corporations like Bleacher Report, Sony Music, Time magazine and some others. That allowed more people to be introduced to the brand. Now we have UDope Live, which is the in the person of the university of Dope game show.”
Cliff Hill: “Have you reached out to any other black card game owners, i.e., Black Card Revoked?”
A.V Perkins: “So during quarantine, we were doing a lot of original content, and we created a series called We Got Game. We interviewed different black and POC game makers and just saw their journey. How did you get to where you are? What did you find challenging? We talked to a bunch of Black and POC game makers.”
Cliff Hill: “What impact do you want your game to have on the culture?”
A.V Perkins: “We want people to feel how they felt their sophomore year of college or wherever they were when T-Pain Buy U A Drank came out. We want that recreation, that feeling. I will say this, this is a drinking game, and Too Short is in it, but it is an adult game. People have used our games as an icebreaker, and some have told me they have taken it on dates, so we’re looking forward to our first University of Dope wedding.”