A little more about me...

I’m Kim Vandenbroucke and I’m always thinking.  Some of my friends may call it a curse – especially when I pull out a notebook while they’re mid-sentence – but I think it’s a blessing.   Whether I’m inventing new products, developing a new brainstorming exercise or dreaming up new game play, my mind is always on the go.  What can I say?  I’m an idea person.  In fact, I’ve been lucky enough to be tapped by some of the biggest names in innovation consultancy to participate in brainstorming sessions for the world’s top brands and companies.   They seem to like my special blend of creativity and realism which develops unique and exciting, but actionable ideas.

When not working as a brain-for-hire, I use my degree in industrial design from the University of Illinois and background in creative thinking to stimulate others to develop new products, brands, marketing concepts, etc. through brainstorming sessions and workshops.  I also spend quite a bit of time inventing and developing product for the toy and game industry, which is where I started my career.  Right out of college I was hired as an inventor/designer at the prestigious Meyer/Glass Design invention studio, a spin off of the original Marvin Glass & Associates.  There I got a solid foundation including game play development, trivia writing, prototyping and concept design.  Since then I’ve invented and developed a variety of toys, games and brands while working with organizations like Hasbro, Winning Moves, Educational Insights, Peaceable Kingdom, Asmodee, and Haywire Group.

In 2009 I started The Game Aisle, a site where I review card, board and dice games that I like and talk about the game invention world.  Not only does it help me keep up with what’s new, it also gives me an outlet to share with my readers great games that may not be found in big box stores, but are worth seeking out.  I also like to focus on the inventor behind each game and share their stories.  And in 2011 I was asked to share my story at the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center, in the National Museum of American History, as part of their ongoing “Innovative Lives” series.  This series aims to educate the public that inventors aren’t just old dead white guys; that we’re regular people with ideas.

While I may not have ever anticipated having a career in the toy and game invention business, I proudly stand with one foot in the toy and game aisle and the other in the innovation world.

If you’d like to join me in some frank and fun conversation on what it’s like to be an inventor and the games I like (and wish I’d thought of), join the discussion on The Game Aisle’s Facebook page and/or on twitter.  We have fun…I promise.