‘We’re Not Really Strangers’ highlights our desire to form deep connections

Our generation isn’t defined by hookup and party culture 

We’re Not Really Strangers’ has developed an extensive following

Does it still hurt? What are you holding on to that’s no longer holding on to you? How are you, really?

It’s not often that we allow another person to see us in our most vulnerable state. In some ways, I feel like I’m constantly performing—I rarely give honest answers to questions, and when I do, I’m careful to not let my emotional side seep into the contours of casual conversation.

We’re Not Really Strangers (WNRS) is a card game designed to empower meaningful conversations with others. Packaged in a minimal red box, the questions on each card are ruthless in their pursuit of emotional honesty and unfiltered complexity.

I’ve seen WNRS all over social media in the last year. With an Instagram following of 4.3 million and growing, the platform has captured our generation’s attention—tapping into our underlying desire to form deep connections with others.

Though Gen-Z is often defined in terms of social media, hookup culture, and shallow relationships, WNRS proves that one of our inherent desires is to meaningfully connect with one another.

Koreen Odiney, creator and CEO of the card game and platform, understands the human need for intimacy and introspection. She’s succeeded because the game achieves the aesthetic our generation is enamored by. 

WNRS differs from other card games designed to foster connection between partners. Though there are various explanations for the game’s popularity despite its many competitors, we can all agree that Odiney’s branding is exactly what our generation gravitates towards.

Minimal, punchy, and aesthetically pleasing, WNRS is the perfect card game for Instagram stories and TikTok videos.

The Instagram account and mailing list elevates the brand and makes WNRS accessible for individuals who might not usually buy a card game but are often on their phones. The short quotes and stunning visuals create an environment where feelings inevitably bubble up, even if just for a moment.

We forget, especially in our digital landscape, that we have an opportunity to be seen and understood beyond what we craft and present on our social media platforms and dating app profiles.

WNRS gives us the opportunity to sit in our trauma and heartbreak, reflect on our growth, and form a unique bond with the person we’re playing with. Like interactive journaling prompts, the questions serve as a starting point for the honest conversations we’re often too self-conscious to have.

There are three levels to the game: perception, connection, and reflection. Each level digs deeper into rarely-asked questions and emotional responses, and the game ends with both players writing a handwritten note to each other, only to be opened once they’ve parted.

It began as one card game but has expanded to include a self-love edition, healing edition, and even a race and privilege pack.

The first time I played WNRS, I felt almost uncomfortable about how honestly I answered the questions on the cards. But as the game went on, I realized how important it was for me to reconnect with myself and form a new connection with the person across from me—there was an emotional intensity between us that I didn’t think existed, all because we let ourselves sit in the chaos of our feelings.

If you’re looking for a way to fall in love with yourself—and maybe even with someone else—a bottle of wine and WNRS isn’t a bad place to start.

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