I’m in a bit of a lull right now…most of the games I really want to talk about on this blog haven’t had rule sets released yet. So here’s another game to try out when you don’t have access to your collection.
I listen to a lot of podcasts. I started doing this when I had to commute an hour each way to school a couple of years ago. As time went on, I got caught up on all the back episodes of the gaming podcasts and had to start searching for non-gaming podcasts to listen to. I finished grad school last May and don’t have nearly as long a commute to work anymore, but I still listen primarily to podcasts. I find it to be much better than the radio, and since I’m around music all day, I don’t necessarily want to listen to it in my spare time.
One of the podcasts I’ve been listening to recently is Comedy Death Ray Radio. The host is Scott Aukerman, and he frequently pulls out a couple of games to play with his guests. One of them is Would You Rather, where you have to decide which of two typically undesirable options you would choose. The other game is What Am I Thinking, where you have to simultaneously say the same word as the other person.
Here’s how it works. Two people independently think of a word. As soon as they are both ready, they count down then say their word. They then must think of something that is halfway between the two words. When they are ready, they count down again and say their new word. If it doesn’t match, they think of something halfway between the new words. The procedure continues until they eventually say the same word.
Here’s an example. I look outside where it’s snowing and think of “snow”. You, meanwhile, are really hungry and so you think of “lunch”. We say our words simultaneously, and now must think of a compromise between snow and lunch. We count down, and say our words – I say “ice cream” and you say “milk”. We didn’t match, so we both think of new words and say them simultaneously – I say “cheese” and you say “chocolate”. Again, we think of new words – I say “cake” and you say “cake”. We win!
I’ve tried this a couple of times, and it’s fun (if slightly stressful). I want to institute a scoring system for the game so it can be used as a party game. It would be nice to have a bunch of cards with words on them because it’s sometimes hard to think of a starter word. You start with ten points. If your first guess doesn’t match, you lose a point. That’s your first guess, not your starter word. If your starter word matches, you get five bonus points. You lose one point for each word you don’t match. Our example above would score eight points (two missed guesses). If either of you ever fails to say a word with the other person, or if you repeat an already used word, you lose a point and have to start over with new starter words. If you get to zero, your round is over.
In order for this scoring system to work, everyone playing has to have the same number of turns. You can set that at the beginning. You also must use a different partner each time. Whoever has the most points at the end wins.
It’s kind of a silly game, but I enjoy it. You can play without points, that just adds some competition. As with any party game, it’s probably better as an activity than a competitive experience. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes. Thanks!