Search: duck-duck-goose

"Flash Mob" Plays Duck-Duck-Goose

by Bernard De Koven on August 21, 2003

This from the San Francisco Chronicle – “Anarchy rules! Flash mobs — big, spontaneous crowds that celebrate organized chaos — are fast growing around the world. Their mission: to have fun. Their message: There isn’t one.”

200 people form an instant game of Duck-Duck-Goose in San Francisco Dolores Park. Why? Because they wanted to.

All organized via weblog, email and word of mouth.

Their instructions:

– At precisely 2:07 p.m., form giant standing circles, holding hands, on the main lawn.
– Sit on the ground.
– At precisely 2:09 p.m., something will happen. You will instantly know how to play along. Play until 2:17 p.m.

I’ve known about Flash Mobbing for a while, but this is the first report of people actually playing a game. Duck-Duck-Goose was a very important game for me personally – bringing me my first and biggest lesson about the “theater of games.” So you can understand why this story caught my attention.

All of which is to point out that this Flash Mob fad is a legitimate new play form, worthy of the silliest of us. In case you haven’t followed the evolution of this new Internet-spawned game-like event, click on over to a site called “Cheese Bikini?” (yup, that’s what it’s called, all right) and this more eponymously named site: “Flash Mob Info.”

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A Playful Path photoA playful path is the shortest road to happiness.
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Duck-Duck-Goose – how I got into playing with grownups

by Bernard De Koven on September 9, 2002

I was invited by the UKPlayworkers to write a piece explaining why I have focused on adult play. It was a good question, especially in the light of the growing trend to create yet more limits on children’s playtime and activities (see this story on children campaigning against the “Culture of Caution”). So, I wrote this piece. Actually, I think told it better in this interview (you’ll need Real Player to hear it).

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A Playful Path photoA playful path is the shortest road to happiness.
Visit aplayfulpath.com. Free ebook!

Duck-Duck-Goose and Beyond – How I “got into play”

July 14, 1999

I started out playing with children. More than 30 years ago, actually. I had a Master’s in Theater and was hired by the School District of Philadelphia to write a curriculum in children’s theater. I was working with inner-city children between the ages of 5-11, most of whom were sent to us because they were […]

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playing with losing

January 13, 2014

Almost every game involves losing. Even cooperative games. What makes them “cooperative” is that when you lose, so does everybody. What makes them fun is that a) you don’t lose alone, and, even more importantly, b) losing is part of the fun: it makes you laugh. Think, for example, The Lap Game or People Pass, or even […]

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the deepest fun

November 22, 2013

I wrote the following introduction to what I currently think of as my homepage: The experience of the well-played game is what we love most about sports, but it is accessible only to truly accomplished athletes. There are thousands of other games besides sports. Most of them are easier to play, more inviting, far less serious, […]

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Games for Playful Players

May 16, 2013

The experience of the well-played game is what we love most about sports, but it is accessible only to truly accomplished athletes. There are thousands of other games besides sports. Most of them are easier to play, more inviting, far less serious, and even more likely to lead to the very same thing we find […]

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The Mush Pot

July 27, 2012

One of the variations of Duck-Duck-Goose includes something called a mush pot. The mush post introduces a consequence to “losing,” even though you don’t actually lose forever.  “The goal,” explains the Wikipedist, “is to tag that person before he is able to sit down in the ‘goose’s’ spot. If the ‘goose’ is not able to […]

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Seriously fun

May 1, 2012

I am a great admirer of games that help us learn things – especially those games that are fun, especially those games that somehow, almost magically, transport us to the heart of something personally meaningful, something deep, rich with opportunities for understanding. Or those games that bring us closer to something we might have distanced […]

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Shakers and Shovers

January 25, 2012

Following the success of Toilet Paper Tug-of-War, I invented a more abstract version of the same basic theater game/exercise. This one more theatrical, but also focused on developing and sustaining a fragile relationship. There are two roles: Shaker and Shover. The Shaker is trying to get the Shover to shake hands. The Shover, to keep […]

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fun therapy for grown-ups

December 8, 2011

So, back to “fun therapy,” which we know isn’t like “real” therapy because, for the time being, at least, it’s more of an idea than a practice. There’s talk about it, sure. But there’s no research. No certification. No rigorous studies of its efficacy. I’m just saying. This time, we’re talking about what fun therapy, […]

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