Inventor hopes his new game will replace cornhole in backyards and at tailgates across the country … or at least Pittsburgh | Sports News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Sports » Sports News

Inventor hopes his new game will replace cornhole in backyards and at tailgates across the country … or at least Pittsburgh

“Every game can be its own universe.”

by

comment
James Lomuscio, of Highland Park, was bored with standard tailgate games like cornhole. Even though they were easy and everyone knew how to play them, they didn’t leave a lot of room for creativity, he says. Either they were too simple or too boring. So he came up with a new game that, while easy to learn and entirely portable, has a little more strategy involved.

“I wanted something that would be able to fit in a small backyard, a Pittsburgh backyard,” Lomuscio says.

7 Birds is a bocce-like game consisting of wooden dowels that are painted red and blue at each end (the Birds). The object of the game is to knock over more of your opponent’s Birds with the stone, which is another wooden dowel. When all the Birds have been knocked down for the first time, whoever has the most points is the winner.


But it’s the nuances of the game that the 27-year-old Lomuscio likes; the distance between dowels can determine the game’s length, for instance. Kids have an advantage over parents, since the starting point is determined as only a step away from the nearest Bird. Shorter legs obviously have an edge.
Each one of the Birds is hand-painted and constructed either at Lomuscio’s own workshop, HackPittsburgh, in Uptown, or at Tech Shop, in Larimer. The Birds come in a carrying case designed by mechanical engineer and designer Thorin Tobiassen.

Lomuscio, a Connecticut native, moved to the city in 2007 to attend Pitt. He’s the CEO of Hability, a company that makes software to help patients follow up with their physical therapists. But he says he’s always been into game design. “I like how every game can be its own universe, it’s like exploring a new city,” he says.

7 Birds is also part of an experiment in cooperative entrepreneurship that employs a method Lomuscio calls “laborizing” (as opposed to capitalizing). Everyone who’s worked on the game and contributed to its design with their labor can be a part owner.

Citiparks and City of Play’s first-ever Game Day on Flagstaff Hill will feature a 7 Birds tournament, with the winner receiving a one-of-a-kind game set. The free Game Day is Sat., Oct. 15, from noon to 3 p.m. Lomuscio also plans to show off 7 Birds at the Maker Faire at Nova Place this weekend.

The game can be found at toy stores around the city including Learning Express, in Bakery Square; S.W. Randall Toyes and Giftes; Phantom of the Attic, in Oakland; and Games Unlimited, in Squirrel Hill.

Add a comment