Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a parlor game inspired by “six degrees of separation,” the theory that nobody is more than six relationships away from any other person in the world. The game was created in 1994 by Brian Turtle and two classmates at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. They were watching “Footloose” on TV when it was followed by another Kevin Bacon movie, and then another.
The game requires players to link celebrities to Bacon in some way. It’s rare to find a Bacon number of 4 or higher. Bacon has appeared in more than 65 movies, making it a little bit easier for him to be the namesake of this game.
Kevin Bacon has amassed the social capital required to be connected to so many celebrities because of his prolificacy. We can apply the Bacon game in our own lives. Sure, we are probably not actors in the lights-camera-action sense, but we are the actors of our own lives. Engaging with friends and family, networking online and in-person, being an active member of your community, and present on social media are all ways to simulate the prolific nature of Bacon.
In 2007, Bacon Launched SixDegrees.org, a charitable organization that connects celebrities with good causes. Bacon turned a “light hearted game into a game changing movement that will directly benefit grassroots organizations while establishing a global intimacy.”
What started as a cute, fun game enabled Bacon to leverage his social capital to help people around the world.