Pandemic Party Profile: Casa Leacock
by Matt Leacock, 1 December 2014

About an hour’s drive south of San Francisco, in the heart of Silicon Valley, you’ll find our house in Sunnyvale. This is where Pandemic, Roll Through the Ages, Forbidden Island, and Forbidden Desert were hatched. It also set the stage for the two Pandemic Parties that we held last week.

Donna and I decided to hold two Pandemic Parties so we could accommodate more people. (We can handle about five simultaneous games if we borrow some extra tables and chairs, get a bit cozy on the dinner table, and repurpose some barstools.) We also like to turn the garage into a crafting and pogo-sticking station for the younger kids in case they need a change of pace.

For party prep, we tried to find ways to weave the game into the decorations. Guests could snack on the Cures for Black Death, Goldiepox, Scarlet Fever, and Affluenza (color-coded malted milk balls named after favorite names of the four differently-colored diseases that appear in Pandemic). The kids helped out with cookie decoration and they loved coming up with all sorts of fantastical viruses to depict. They also helped make signs directing people to the Donation Station (a computer set up and pointed to the Pandemic Parties donation form) as well as name tags and door prize tickets. 
At our second party, we played about a half-dozen games of Pandemic: The Cure, the Pandemic base game, and a new expansion that Tom Lehmann and I just finished. We also got in some other gateway games including Settlers, Ticket to Ride, and Machi Koro as well as some party games, old and new, including Pit, The Bucket King, Dancing Eggs, Telestrations, and Body Party.

The idea for the Pandemic Parties came from our good friend Jocelyn Becker. She had raised money for Doctors Without Borders in the past and thought that getting people together to play Pandemic would be a great, thematic way to hold a fundraising party. I loved the idea and we quickly got to work. One of Jocelyn’s colleagues helped us shoot a video for us (thanks Taylor!), Z-man Games helped create our logotype, and we quickly put together a website and Facebook page. I think we had the whole thing up and running in about a week.

We’re happy to share that we’re already 12% of the way toward our goal and the Global Pandemic Party events (on December 6th and 7th) haven’t even happened yet. Jocelyn, Ken, Donna, and I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated so far and encourage others to hold a party of their own. It’s a great excuse to get together with friends and raise some money for an organization that’s in the thick of the fight against Ebola in West Africa and other hotspots around the globe. 

Check out more photos from the event.

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Party Facts:

Games Played:
- Pandemic
- Pandemic: The Cure x6
- Pandemic: State of Emergency
- Machi Koro
- Settlers
- Ticket to Ride
- Cube Quest
- Body Party
- Pit
- The Bucket King
- Dancing Eggs
- Telestrations
- Khmer
- Love Letter

Most Popular Food:
- Viral Cookies

Money Raised: