Newly-Dead® The Game Tests Couples and Singles on End-of-Life Issues

Jun 15, 2023 | 0 comments

Newly-Dead The Game coverNewly-Dead® The Game was conceived to help start funeral planning conversations in a fun, non-threatening way. Created in 2011 by Gail Rubin, pioneering death educator and The Doyenne of Death®, the game was initially offered only as a digital download. The game is now available as a physical product through the online stores at,, and for $40.

Every purchase of the Newly-Dead Game includes both Couples and Singles Editions. It’s comprised of a deck of 30 question cards, instruction booklet, score pad for the Singles Edition, and templates for additional score cards and your own unique questions. Upon its publication, The Game Crafter site noted a jump in sales which made this game a “Red Stone Seller,” an honor bestowed on only 3.6% of games on the site.

“Couples who have played the Newly-Dead Game often come away with a fresh appreciation of how much they still need to know about each other when it comes to funeral planning,” said Rubin. “Just as talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about funerals won’t make you dead – and your family really does benefit from the conversation.”

How to Play Newly-Dead The Game

The game is based on elements of The Newlywed Game, but the questions in the couples version of The Newly-Dead Game revolve around how well they know each other regarding their last wishes. Gail Rubin introduced the game at the wild and wacky Frozen Dead Guy Days Festival in Nederland, Colorado in 2011. She returned almost every year until the pandemic shut down the festival in 2020.

The Newly-Dead Game Couples Edition is designed to be played by three or four couples with an emcee reading the questions. Four questions are asked, each progressively more challenging. All questions regard elements of the participants’ last wishes. The emcee then interviews the couples to reveal their answers. The couple that gets the most answers correct get the most points. The highest scoring couple wins the top prize!

In 2019, a Singles Edition of the Newly-Dead Game debuted. It allows those who are not in a couple, as well as everyone in the audience, to play. You are scored on how well prepared you are for end-of-life issues in four areas: estate plans, advance medical directives, disposition plans, and a final resting place for your mortal remains. If your attitude is, “I don’t care, I’ll be dead,” you get zero points.

The game can be used to help start funeral planning conversations at Before I Die Festival events. Funeral homes, cremation providers and cemeteries can use the game to offer an upbeat way to encourage pre-need planning. And it’s a great addition to any community death discussion events!

2019 Newly-Dead Game Saturday Individuals

About Gail Rubin

Gail Rubin, death educator, video host

Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®

Game creator Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist, is also the author of four books on end-of-life issues:

  • A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die
  • Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips
  • Kicking The Bucket List: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die
  • Before I Die Festival in a Box™: How to Hold An End-of-Life Conversation-Starting Event

An award-winning speaker, she is also host of The Doyenne of Death Podcast, coordinator of the Before I Die New Mexico Festival (coming October 16-21, 2023), and one of the first people in the United States to hold a Death Cafe.

Learn more about the history of Newly-Dead® The Game here.


A Good Goodbye