Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a parlor game based on the "six degrees of separation" concept, which posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart. That idea eventually morphed into this parlor game, wherein movie buffs challenge each other to find the shortest path between an arbitrary actor and Hollywood character actor Kevin Bacon. It rests on the assumption that any individual involved in the Hollywood, California, film industry can be linked through his or her film roles to Kevin Bacon within six steps. The game requires a group of players to try to connect any such individual to Kevin Bacon as quickly as possible and in as few links as possible. It can also be described as a trivia game based on the concept of the small world phenomenon. In 2007, Bacon started a charitable organization named SixDegrees.org.
In a January 1994 Premiere magazine interview about the film The River Wild, Kevin Bacon commented that he had worked with everybody in Hollywood or someone who's worked with them. On April 7, 1994, a lengthy newsgroup thread headed "Kevin Bacon is the Center of the Universe" appeared.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon first surfaced at about the same time. The game was created in early 1994 by three Albright College students, Craig Fass, Brian Turtle, and Mike Ginelli. According to an interview with the three in the spring 1999 issue of the college's magazine, The Albright Reporter, they were watching Footloose during a heavy snowstorm. When the 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. In the interview, Brian Turtle said, "It became one of our stupid party tricks I guess. People would throw names at us and we'd connect them to Kevin Bacon."