Play for a Purpose

by May 8, 2020South Brunswick

Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce’s Go Local Tic Tac Toe game is a fun way to support local businesses.

Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce is making eating and shopping locally even more fun. Their new Go Local Tic Tac Toe game is based on the favorite childhood pastime, but it has a higher purpose: to encourage everyone to support the local businesses.

Here’s how it works. First you find a friend or your spouse to play with. Decide who will have X and who will have O. Then visit the chamber’s Go Local Facebook page to see the current boards. Every Friday the chamber will publish two new ones, one with nine new restaurants and the other with nine new retail shops or nonprofit organizations. When you spend or donate money at one of these establishments, you put your mark (X or O) in that box. The first one to get three in a row in any direction wins the game.

You’re on your honor here not to cheat. No one is monitoring where you go (well, maybe the COVID-19 contact trackers are, but no one associated with this game is). So be honest. There is no prize — just the good feeling of having helped local businesses and their employees.

You will need to establish a few protocols with your opponent, like how do you communicate that you have put your mark in a box? You can call them, text them or send them an email with a picture of your newly placed mark. They can then return the email having updated the picture to claim their latest box.

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Another question you may run into is this: Which one gets the credit when the purchase is a collaborative effort? Karen Sphar, executive vice president of the Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce and inventor of this idea, said someone called her and asked that very question. It seems this woman had ordered a takeout dinner from one of the restaurants, but her husband picked it up. So, which one gets to put their mark in that box? Being the diplomat that Sphar is, of course. she refused to arbitrate their dilemma.

And now for some Tic Tac Toe trivia. The first evidence of this game being played was either in ancient Egypt, around 1300 BCE or in the Roman Empire, around the first century BCE, depending on which Internet site you choose to believe. The Rome date is backed up by findings of chalk grid markings “all over Rome.” The earliest recorded name was in 1858 when the Brits played it with “noughts and crosses.”

There are either 255,168 possible games or 19,683, again depending on which mathematician’s proof you can follow. I couldn’t figure out either one. But what is much more valuable to know is that the player who goes first wins 51% of the games. Their opponent wins 31% of the time, and 18% of the games will end in a draw. The clear takeaway here is to download the boards and make your move first.

Play for a Purpose
To view and download the current or previous boards go to:
Facebook: Go Local Southport Oak Island