Slashdotters Contemplayte Non-Zero Sumness

by Bernie DeKoven on July 17, 2002

Searching for “New Games,” I came across some this Slashdot conversation regarding Non-Zero-Sum games.

Here’s my favorite:

I will not play at tug o’ war.

I’d rather play at hug o’ war,

Where everyone hugs

Instead of tugs,

Where everyone giggles

And rolls on the rug,

Where everyone kisses,

And everyone grins,

And everyone cuddles,

And everyone wins.

— Shel Silverstein, “Hug o’ War”

And this game:

Bippity/Boppity:

Everone stands in a circle. One person chosen as “It” approaches one of the circle-members and says either “Bippity” or “Boppity”. If It says Bippity, then the circlemember must respond with Boppity. If It says Boppity, circlemember may not say anything. It may repeatedly say both words to anyone any number of times. i.e. you can go up to someone and say “bippity bippity boppity bippity” and the circlemember must make the proper response, then move on to someone else. When a circlemember either fails to say boppity when required, or says it out of place, they become It.

and this:

The Coin Game:

Get a bunch of change and a pal or two.

Go to a public place and split up the change.

Each player places a coin on the table in some fasion.

At time take coins off the table.

Other times act surprised by a move.

Make up credible names for the moves you are making.

Never make the same move more than twice.

Sometimes get up from the table and say “Do not move until I get back.”

The objective is to see how many people you can get to watch you play. See if they guess the rules.

and maybe this:

This is a game that my friends and I invented at a party. It’s really simple, and we set the core rules up after just one round. First you get everybody in a circle (you don’t have to but it just makes it go easier), then you have everybody write down 3+ questions and 3+ answers, they do not have to match each other, just no one word things like “Why?” and “Yes”, and you need to make as many questions as you do answers and visa versa. Then you put all the questions in one hat, and all the answers in the other. You pass the hats around and 1 person draws 1 question, and the person next to him/her draws an answer. Then the question is read exactly how it is written on the paper, and then the answer is read. Note that it will make little or no sense 50% of the time, but of the other 50% that does work it is soooo very funny(especially at 4AM, or after a few shots). The trick to making it work well is to use as general a question and answer as possible, it seems to work better that way, and no one word questions or answers, even though they may work some times it just isn’t normally funny.

And, possibly:

I’ll elaborate on Monopoly with Crap. To play, you need not only the standard board, but a deck of playing cards, a pool table, crepe paper, a baloon, a stairmaster, and a Dr. Seuss book. And a radio. Substitutions are encouraged.

The rules are altered thus:

* all properties are distributed randomly at the beginning of the game (“Communist Monopoly!” my girlfriend said). No houses are built.

* everybody gets a fixed sum of money ($300 – $500 works best) and doesn’t receive anything when they pass go.

* when landing on a property, you draw (from the deck of playing cards) the number of cards equal to the first digit in the propert rental price. You then must run to the pool table (which is preferably kept in another room, or perhaps another building), and shoot the balls corresponding to those cards into the pockets. You can’t return to the board until you do. If the person who owns the property is present, you must pay them rent before you go shoot pool. If not, you can stiff them.

*If your turn comes and you aren’t present, your fellow players may steal $20 from your stash and put it in a pot in the middle.

*Anyone going to jail must go work on the stairmaster until the song that was going when they started is over. Then they must wait to play Baloon Volleyball (set up the court with the crepe paper) with the next person who finishes playing pool (who is required to play with them). They get out of jail if they win.

*The game ends when someone runs out of money. That person is then forced to read everyone else a Dr. Seuss voice. If the balloon has been helium filled, that person should inhale the helium first.

Variations are, of course, encouraged.


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