Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a game based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, which posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart. The game challenges teams of movie buffs to connect an arbitrary actor to Kevin Bacon as quickly as possible and in as few links as possible.
The game was created in early 1994 by Brian Turtle, Craig Fass and Mike Ginelli when they were watching Footloose in college during a heavy snowstorm. When that film was followed by The Air Up There, they began to speculate on how many movies Bacon had been in and the number of people he had worked with.
It became one of our stupid party tricks I guess. People would throw names at us and we’d connect them to Kevin Bacon.”
– Brian Turtle
The trio wrote a letter to talk show host Jon Stewart using the headline, “Kevin Bacon is the Center of the Entertainment Universe” and then explaining the rules of their game. Stewart invited them onto the show and a cultural phenomenon was born.
That phenomenon is now 20 years old and is about to graduate from Northeastern Oklahoma State University with a degree in Horticulture. Her real name is Tracey and her goal is to propagate bee-friendly garden flowers on every continent so that bees will not become extinct. Let us hope that she succeeds.