SQUASHED INVENTOR

History

Nick Metzler Demonstrating Squashed

Squashed™ was invented by Nick Metzler, an extraordinary young man from Orland Park, IL. Two-time winner of the Chicago Toy and Game Fair’s, Young Inventor Challenge, Nick has always had a passion for games and began designing his own at age 5.

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Since then he has created about twenty games, each refining his ability to recognize and design features that accentuate the fun factor. In 2010, Nick entered and won the Young Inventor Challenge (YIC), with his game, That’s Cheating, inspiring him to participate again the following year.

Recognizing that most of the games were played on a flat surface, Nick created The Cube (later renamed Squashed™). Not only did his cube-shaped design catch the eye of the public, who awarded Nick his second straight YIC win, it was noticed by Tim Kimber, CEO of PlaSmart Inc. Becoming the first two-time winner of the senior division of the YIC (2010, 2011) was rewarding for Nick, but having Squashed™ licensed by PlaSmart was beyond exciting.  Nick established his own company, Messy Desk Ideas, Inc., where he humorously refers to himself as the COE, Chief of Everything.

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Life after licensing Squashed™

After licensing Squashed™, Nick turned his attention to inventing what he likes to call “live games” such as Amazing Race and Survivor style challenges. In fact, Nick loved creating Survivor-style challenges so much that he just had to work on the show – and that’s how he spent the summer of 2013. 

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Nick’s work on Survivor involved building, painting, and testing challenges. During that time, he had the opportunity to pitch some of his own challenge and puzzle ideas to the Survivor show.  And, yes, one of his challenges was selected.  You can see the video of Nick’s challenge on the set of Survivor below. That’s Nick in the red shirt!

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An entrepreneurship fraternity

In the fall of 2014 Squashed™ inventor, Nick Metzler, along with seventeen others, founded an entrepreneurship fraternity, Sigma Eta Pi (SEP) at the University of Southern California where he is studying Business with an emphasis on Entrepreneurial Strategies at the Marshall School of Business.  

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Nick set about designing the new member education process for SEP, a 10 week crash course in what it means to be an entrepreneur.  Rather than tackling everything students would learn in class, Nick focused mainly on the individual characteristics, mentality, and entrepreneurial approach to life.  In Nick’s words, “It needed to be an experience that enriched the lives of everyone involved in order to develop their human potential to be the best versions of themselves.”

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Yet another type of game

Taking the following semester off to explore emotional intelligence (EQ), take a minor in psychology, and continue his role as vice president of SEP, Nick discovered there was no good way to measure EQ (how people process information, handle group dynamics, and calmly create win-win situations under stress). 

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That sparked an idea in Nick – develop an experiential interview game to test just that.  Teams of six are tasked to explore a planet to hunt for treasure, but there is a ton of information, and choices to be made. The goal – to find as much treasure as possible – was simple, but there are thousands of ways to proceed, and that is the part that causes team members to work together. And they only had an hour. Says, Nick, “…I can say with full confidence that this game revealed people with high EQs very quickly.”  Thanks to his new interview game, SEP has a membership of almost seventy incredible individuals.

Nick resumed his full time USC studies in the fall of 2015, was elected president of SEP, has a part-time position as a Games Design Intern for a prominent toy and game design-distribution company, and says, “…life has been great and I am looking forward to an awesome Senior Year”.

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Nick Plays Squashed With Friends

Nick Demonstrates His Challenge on Survivor