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We’re going crazy over here at CC. Not only did we just go live with our website redesign, launch our 3rd Annual Fundraising Campaign, and get a new general counsel/vice president, we are also happy to announce the return of the “Featured Commoner” series to our blog!

“Featured Commoners” are people, groups, or tools that use CC licensing in unique and original ways. Short interviews will be posted to our blog, offering insight into the ways CC licences have helped these people and projects realize their respective goals.

Our first “Featured Commoner” in this new wave of interviews is Nick Kellet of GiftTRAP, a wonderful board game that we have talked about before here.


What’s GiftTRAP all about?

Isn’t gift-giving a gong show in your family? We all have funny stories about the gifts we’ve received and wondered, “What were they thinking?”. That’s what GiftTRAP is all about.

It’s an emotional intelligence game themed around giving gifts. Playing means you can drop hints about what you’d like, try and guess what your friends want or even give really bad gifts just for fun! It’s all about getting the “social” back into board games.

Some games are about winning and others are about taking part. GiftTRAP is an experience that’s all about great conversation and getting friends and family talking about things that matter. In GiftTrap, getting better is as important as winning.

What’s is GiftTRAP’s history? How did it come about?

GiftTRAP was my eldest daughter’s idea. A few years ago she asked, “How does Santa picks gifts for different children?” – a great question! Two years later and after lots of play testing, we published GiftTRAP in English.

We recently won a “Game of the Year” award in France at and “Best Game” from a new publisher the Board Game Podcasters Awards.

We’ve had a lot of recognition for GiftTRAP’s quality, design and unique theme.

Who’s involved?

It’s very much a family production. We have a great design company too, Madhouse Creative. I focus on sales and marketing and our website. My wife Julie runs gift selection.

How are you using Creative Commons licenses on this project?

We feature 640 gift ideas in each version of the game, (we refresh a selection of gifts/images every time we print). Each gift has a photo associated with it – this is where CC licenses play a huge role.

We run an “always-open” contest on our website to capture new gift ideas/ suggestions/ photos etc and we also make use of the likes of for their huge library of appropriately licensed images.

Which CC licenses does your game take advantage of?

We use photos licensed under the Attribution license, and we credit the photographer on the gift cards in the game and on our website.

We try to use a CC licensed image wherever possible – our motivation is simple: we hope to get people to care about their photos being included in the game and to help create conversation.

What benefits have you seen from using CC licenses?

Most photographers love being featured in the game, making special posts on Flickr or on their blog/website (Cassandra Tiensivu for instance at

Overall CC has generated lots of free exposure for GiftTRAP. We now get over 120,000 unique visitors per month. We would not have made the game a success without CC.

What’s next for GiftTRAP?

1. Our new Web 2.0 version of GiftTRAP

It’s a free, fun online-game that turns knowing people into a competitive sport by tracking just how well you know your friends and how well they know you.

The coolest bit is you can even create your own gifts by uploading photos to personalize gifts for your friends and family. More info is available at

2. GiftTRAP California

We’ve just produced a new family friendly game, which has a unique tourism angle. It’s regular GiftTRAP with 150+ Californian diverse gifts/experiences blended into the game. It arrives in a month and is distributed by It’s going to be in Macys and Barnes & Noble and lots of stores across California.

The game features lots of Californian photographers too! More info is available at

3. GiftTRAP English/French

It’s a refresh of regular game targeted at the family. More info is available .


Posted 05 October 2007