Friday, January 26, 2007

Game Friday: Real Games For Nik

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share this hilarious spoof of Second Life with you. Folks like Nik, in particular, will appreciate its helpful advice about where to find amenities, meet friends, and have rewarding experiences "in-world."

But enough of that silliness. Today, in keeping with the above, real-life games that motivate social collaboration. I'm sharing one; please, share your favorites.

The name of this game, as I learned it, is "the best game in the world." Others have protested that "telephone pictionary" or similar is more accurate, but I disagree. This game rocks. It's best with groups of six or more, and I've used it successfully with classroomfulls. Each person starts with a full-size piece of paper and a pen/pencil.

First, you fold your paper, accordion-style, into seven equal segments. Then, you write a single sentence, of any content, in the top-most segment and pass your paper to the next person. When you receive a page from someone, you draw a picture in the second segment that conveys the sentence above as well as possible. Then, you fold over the sheet so that only your picture is visible (the initial sentence is hidden). You pass it on, and the next person has to write a sentence that perfectly conveys your picture. And so on until the last sentence is written and all the sheets are filled. At that point, unfold, read, and allow hilarity to ensue. See example.
I've used this game with many poetry classes. People may feel that they are not creative enough to generate a poem, but they always feel able to "describe" things, and many poetry (and science and observation and...) skills derive from imaginative and precise description. And it's great to have not just the fun process (which almost all games have) but also to have an output you can hang up or keep or etc.

What social games do you love?

1 comments, add yours!:

Anonymous said...

Hooray! I've been recognized as a curmudgeonly Luddite! Yay for me! Death to technology! :)

That is a funny site. I sent it to our resident 2nd Lifer here. He was less amused.

Re: games -- I like Cranium, Taboo, Charades, Pictionary. Games with lots of yelling and ridiculous word associations. Games in which a drink can be held precariously in the hand. Games that are creative, non-linear, without end.

Actually, with Cranium, I really just like the clay sculpting element. They should make a purely clay version. I hate the set path and boring trivia challenges it includes.

I did improv for eight years and learned a lot of theater games. By now, my creeping senescence has erased them all.

Is peoplewatching a social game? My girl and I enjoy going to public places and naming characters that pass by, and telling stories about them. We feel like the David Attenboroughs of the Manhattan fauna. Museums in particular hold a fascinating mix of behavioral oddities and plumage!