A long time ago in a galaxy far, far … well, before I was an R+Mer, Lien (with Brett‘s help) wrote a blog post about our lunchtime culture, which revolves around the card game UNO.

While occasionally people do their own thing for lunch, all of us make an effort to eat together and play UNO. I believe  it is a staple in our brand culture – when we can really develop emotional connections with each other. It’s a chance for everyone to catch up, connect, take a breath and laugh a little or a lot. I know it helps me tremendously, even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes.

Winners of Retired UNO Decks

When an UNO deck gets old and grimy, we retire it. Winner of the final game gets the honor of signing the last card played.

Over the past two years, our UNO games have started to evolve. In 2012, we started a Medallion system, which escalated around some inside joke about Brett’s frozen turkey medallions he would eat for lunch on occasion. (The legend says frozen turkey medallions give you the fuel necessary to rule all UNO games.) It seemed fitting to name the last UNO game after lunch the Medallion Game. Each winner of the Medallion would win a custom golden turkey medallion for each day of the week. It’s become less about the actual medallion and more about getting the tick mark.

The Turkey Medallions

Winner of the last UNO game each day can take his or her respective Turkey Medallion. Seen in the bottom right corner is the honorable Rebecca Black Friday Medallion.

Each Medallion Game winner gets marked on a tally sheet. Below are the total wins for 2012. Micah, Lien, and Chris Holleman had a good year, as seen below. (As of this writing, I, your humble blogger, am leading the pack by nine Medallions.)

UNO Scores of 2012

In 2013, the competition started to become a little more intense and a little more sophisticated. In the spring, we began editing our original House Rules, which are designed to make UNO a fast-paced game (if you aren’t familiar with normal UNO rules, read them here). Below is an infographic explaining our most recently updated House Rules:

R+M UNO House Rules

So why do we always keep UNO fresh for us? I think it has to do with our collective desire to make brands smarter, and more relevant. When you get comfortable with something, it’s wise to challenge it and see where you can make improvements. And that’s what drives us each and every day.