A list and introduction of all your favorite games to play! You can include board games, card games, video games, improv games, speaking games, mind games... anything you can think of!
This was asked before I wrote my blog about the tabletop games we own, which pretty much covers the board games I like, so let me fill it in with some of these other categories!
You've gotta get the right group to play this one, but when you have, oh, gosh, it's fantastic. I can't really give you an introduction though, because the entire premise is that you learn the rules as you go. Nobody's supposed to explain them to you, you just pick them up as you go along. Most of the base rules aren't too difficult and people who play card games can pick them up pretty fast, but after every round, whoever has won gets to come up with a new rule of their own and penalize people for not following it.
This means it can be tricky to play Mao with people who already know it, because there are quite a few variations, and since you're not allowed to discuss the rules, you can end up with two groups playing two separate rule sets. This can get confusing and frustrating. Plus there are a lot of people who just hate playing this game because you have to figure it out as you go. So, like I said, you have to have the right group... but once you do, the fact that it's so different every time makes it awesome to replay over and over again.
Favorite Video Game: The Sims (any version)
I am a huge Sims fan, and have been ever since the first one. My favorite incarnations are probably 2 (yay Ultimate Collection!) and 4, but they all have their perks. Whether I'm making copies of me and my friends or making a superpowered one who is determined to get to level 10 in as many skills as possible before they die, I have so much fun playing around with them and seeing the crazy things they do.
Favorite Video Game For Smashing Things: Left 4 Dead/Left 4 Dead 2
|© 2010 Shane K, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio|
Favorite Dumb Car Game: Music Prediction Game
I grew up without a lot of gadgets to play with or activities to go to, so my siblings and I entertained ourselves a lot. While most of the dumb games we played wouldn't be interesting at all to anyone else, this one I've successfully played with other people. There's no winning or point to it or anything, it's just more fun than doing nothing on a car trip.
The basic idea is that you set some music running (it can be the radio, though it's more fun if you have an MP3 player with an eclectic selection) and, before every song starts, one person makes a prediction about how the next song is going to reflect someone else's life. For example: "This next song is about the dream job you get in your future." Then, when "Dancing Queen" by ABBA plays, there is laughter and discussion and deep secrets revealed. Or, well, maybe not that. But it's a silly, fun way to spark conversation, and it can be done infinitely as long as there's conversation.
Favorite Improv Game: Just a Minute
Let me start off by saying I really hate improv games. I'm bad at them, and most people are bad at them, and watching people do bad improv is uncomfortable, and being a person doing bag improv is excruciating. But my favorite improv game that I first heard professionals doing and then transported to less professional settings is Just a Minute.
|© 2010 Steve Bowbrick, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio|
The game's not only super fun to listen to, it's also a lot of fun to play, and I've used it in teaching settings before, since it challenges people to think on their feet but I've found it can be a little less intimidating for those who hate improvisation.
This is by no means a comprehensive list... but these are a few favorites that haven't gotten to be mentioned elsewhere! What are your favorite games in these categories?