Passionate About Play
Finn Kelly has spent the greater part of the last 20 years dedicated to creating a more playful universe. After graduating from Oberlin College with a BA in Jazz Piano Performance, Finn moved to California in 2000 just before the dot com boom came to a close. Inspired by his travels through South Amercan and his first experience at Burning Man, he teamed up with Ian Fraser to co-found The Go Game, a new form of public entertainment centered around creative expression and discovery. Self-taught coder, Finn figured out how to hack into Nextel phone's archaic browser and deliver challenges to teams. People read the phone, many for the first time. Adored by San Franciscans eager to try new forms of entertainment, The Go Game enjoyed early adaptation by a core group of enthusiasts, as well as favorable press from The SF Weekly and others.
In 2002, The Go Game entered into the relatively barren team building arena, wowing SF tech companies by asking players to video their acts of public street art for points. The company has since grown to be the leading provider of team building games throughout the world, with offices around the US and licensing contracts in 5 countries and counting. With over 20 employees and 1200 events a year, the business of play is thriving. Highlights include creating the launch game for season six of Game of Thrones, and developing a custom Pink Panther themed game for Punch Drunk, the creator Sleep No More in NYC.
Musically, Finn has continued to make contributions to the Bay Area music world, performing in bands such as The Jazz Mafia and Spencer Day Band. In 2011 he teamed up with Adam Theis the director of the Jazz Mafia to produce the Treat Social Club, a bi-month immersive high-tech cabaret, featuring top talent throughout the Bay.
Having come from an extraordinary background in NYC as well as having lost both his parents to cancer, Finn used the opportunity of a TEDx talk - entitled “Where’s the beef? Follow Your Bliss” - to pay tribute to his parent’s legacy, focusing on how mother’s shamanic teachings informed who he is today.
After spending 12 years with The Go Game as CEO, Finn took a sabbatical to travel in South East Asia and came back with the idea to create The Letting Go Game, which is a mindfulness focus version of The Go Game. Since then he has partnered up with Camp Grounded to co-produce their Color War events at summer camps for adults, as well as continued to bring mindfulness to the world through games.
After 11 years of attending Burning Man, Finn created an “art car” dubbed the Karaoke Rickshaw, which carries merry-goer around town while singing their hearts out to karaoke tracks. The pedicab is now being featured in many of their custom events for clients at The Go Game, including a 4000 players at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas.
In 2015, Finn moved to Brooklyn to start The Motherboard BK, an immersive extension of The Go Game used to explore the integration of the game platform into spaces, through locks, lights, sounds, and puzzles.
As the CEO of The Go Game, Finn now travels the world bringing games to conferences and change-maker gatherings as well as leading workshops and talks about the importance of play. Core to his belief is that purposeful play brings about a focused attention known by Flow, which is the state that we can achieve the most good in the world. He is a member of Hatch where he produced a game to launch the event in 2016. He has also produced games for The World Bank initiative in the middle east to support female entrepreneurs. Currently, he is working on bringing play to refugee camps.
More recently, Finn was featured on H&DF podcast discussing the concept of play.
Watch The Motherboard BK Video
Motherboard BK from The Go Game on Vimeo.