These games are for fun. They are active, playful, not too energetic (though they can be), not too competitive (though they can be that too). Easy to learn, easy to play, and best of all – fun! They will make you laugh, they will make you smile, they will make you feel good.
If games do all that, why don’t we play them more often? Good question. As adults, the opportunities to play games are few and far between. Plus it’s seen as childish. Well, to that I say bollocks!
So I’m delighted that my friend Genevieve Roberts has taken the initiative to start an Improv Play Gaming Group on the SurfCoast. Yay!
Genevieve says, “As a theatre practitioner and wellness facilitator I have seen Improvisation Games achieve great things, while people have fun. I’m currently doing a Master of Wellness and I’ve been researching Improvisation as a process which intrinsically supports wellness. Benefits of playing improv games include FUN!, creativity, resilience, flexible responsiveness, laughter, collaboration, and more. But most of all, fun.”
Every Thursday evening 7.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Anglesea Performing Arts 1 Macmillan Street Anglesea Victoria Australia
Can’t wait to play.General, Improv, Just for Fun, Play | Comment (0)
The cause of all this joy and delight is bubbles.
The sort of bubbles that you blew as a child, and that you thought you’d outgrown. Seems none of us outgrow the pleasure we get from watching someone blow bubbles.
This is the secret that Dr Froth aka Andrew Suttar knows only too well. For about the same time that I’ve been in business, Dr Froth has been blowing bubbles and developing his amazabubble performabubbles and his unique view on life known as Bubbleosophy.
Let’s face it – I’m jealous. Who wouldn’t want to see people reacting this way to your work?
And who wouldn’t want more joy and delight in their lives? This is something for me to work on methinks.
Creativity, General, Just for Fun, Play | Comment (0)
It was at the 2008 Applied Improv Network conference held in Banff, Canada where I first learnt about this game Werewolf. It is an improv game known by a few other names such as Mafia and Assassins. It started around 10 pm at night, in the picturesque Banff leadership centre, situated in the snow-capped Rockies. A group of 30 people began the game which would be destined to finish in the early hours of the morning and, even then, lead to a zingy sleepless night for some. I often describe the game as being about power, deception, paranoia and misinformation.
And here’s the set up:
“Once upon a time…A time in the 16th century. A time when there lived citizens in a village and life is simple…Or is it? Retiring from their daytime activities, the Citizen folk now face a cold, dark night-time force, the force of the Werewolf, who feed on the Citizens…Will the Citizens discover who the Werewolves are in time to save themselves and their village?”
I was at the same conference in Banff, and it was my introduction to the game of Werewolf too, albeit somewhat different. Blissfully unaware of the unleashing of the game on my unsuspecting friend, I awoke the next morning and made my way to breakfast – to be greeted with howls and yips and talk of deaths and lies and treachery. It was pretty clear to me that I’d missed something significant. It only took a couple more years for me to experience the game first-hand and to realise I had made a serious misjudgement in preferring sleep that fateful night in Banff to playing Werewolf. It’s not a mistake I’ve made again, nor would I miss another opportunity to play Werewolf.
So I was thrilled today when Andrew presented me with his pack of illustrated Werewolf cards. Oh, wow! I’ll take them with me everywhere. And watch out, I might try and rope you into a game of misinformation, paranoia and lies. Come to think of it, I know a few people who would be perfect for this game!Facilitation, Improv, Just for Fun | Comments (3)
Tonight I played gamey-type-games-things with Dan from The Fun Fed, and five other blokes. Just proves you don’t need many mates to have a great night of game playing. We were in an amazing space at the Old Finsbury Town Hall in London. I’m really sorry I didn’t take my camera. Didn’t even have my iPhone with me. But here’s a photo of the room we played in that I purloined from the web site.
Thanks to Johnnie Moore for introducing me to The Fun Fed and escorting me through the streets of Islington to find the venue. We had a great time. Did I already say that?
What made it so good I hear you ask. The space was fabulous. Oh, I said that already too. There was a good mix of physical and mental games and LOTS of laughs – and like the best laughs they emerged from the games themselves. The pace was good too – there was no pressure to get through a certain number of games, or to perform, or to act in any particular way, or to be clever, or anything. This is the joy of play – you can just be yourself, and have fun. How often can you say you’ve gone somewhere with the sole intention of just having fun? This week? This month? This year? Heaven forbid, since you were a kid? No agenda, no expectations, no pressure.
Here’s three games I hadn’t played before that I really liked.
Someone leaves the room and the others decide an adverb that they have to guess by issuing instructions for us, either individually or collectively, to act in the manner of the word they are trying to guess. The three words we played with were apathetically, orgasmically and mischievously.
Turn out all the lights. Someone is the ghost and can move. Everyone else has to stand in still with eyes closed. The idea is for the ghost to sneak up behind the humans, stand there for 10 seconds and then scare the living daylights out of them. The humans have a chance to avoid being ‘ghosted’ by touching the ‘ghost’ if they feel him nearby. One you have been ghosted you also become a ghost and can go after the other humans.
One person leaves the room and comes back to a job interview with the remaining players. The interviewee has to try and guess what job/role/person they are being interviewed for from the questions asked by the panel.
I’m definitely inspired to offer game playing when I get home – for no other reason than for the joy of play.General, Just for Fun | Comment (1)
My friend Chris Corrigan introduced me to rock balancing, so it was only appropriate on a recent visit to Bells Beach (when the surf was pumping BTW) that Chris took the opportunity to do some rock balancing on my home turf. I hope to do the same on his home turf, Bowen Island, some time.
Walking towards Southside (away from the rocks), I looked back. A surfer was making his way towards the surf when suddenly the balanced rock caught his eye. He stopped dead in his tracks and stared. Then he walked around, maybe trying to figure out how it was done. There is no trick however. As Chris once described to me, you simply have to believe it’s possible. I’m sure the surfers on those huge waves understand. Believe it’s possible. Yes!Friends, Just for Fun, Rock balancing | Comments (2)
At the end of each and every Applied Improv Conference is an Open Space Day (we’re still working on the whole conference being in Open Space, but that’s another story). I’ve had great fun the last two years opening space, and this year enjoyed Chris Corrigan taking on the opening – providing a new voice for AINers to hear, and selfishly, providing an opportunity for me to see how someone else opens space.
I just loved the way Chris quickly applied the language of improvisation to Open Space and named it a long-form frame game known as The Harrison.
And I can’t describe how much I love this – from the incomparable Rich Cox (so much talent in one person, it shouldn’t be allowed!) Post Open Space were two more sessions (after the conference had finished) – Open Pub and Open Tub. Here are the Laws and Principles…
law of two drinks – If you find yourself in a situation where you are drinking alone, meet at least one more person before beginning your discussion.
the four principles – Whatever someone orders is the right drink. Whoever comes is the right pubgoer. Whenever it starts is the right time. When it’s last call, it’s over.
law of two towels – If you find yourself in a situation where you are soaking alone, meet at least one more person before beginning your discussion.
the four principles – Whoever comes is the right hottubber. Whatever someone wears is the right swimwear. Whenever it starts is the right time. When someone pees in the pool, it’s over.
Hat tip to Dave Pollard
This is one of my favourite sayings in workshops (for some reason I seem to find people riding dead horses quite often!) so I was pleased to read this:
The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed down from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. In the public service, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies is often employed, such as:
1. Change riders.
2. Buy a stronger whip.
3. Do nothing: “This is the way we have always ridden dead horses”.
4. Visit other countries to see how they ride dead horses.
5. Perform a productivity study to see if lighter riders improve the dead horse’s performance.
6. Hire a contractor to ride the dead horse.
7. Harness several dead horses together in an attempt to increase the speed.
8. Provide additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.
9. Appoint a committee to study the horse and assess how dead it actually is.
10. Re-classify the dead horse as “living-impaired”.
11. Develop a Strategic Plan for the management of dead horses.
12. Rewrite the expected performance requirements for all horses.
13. Modify existing standards to include dead horses.
14. Declare that, as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overheads, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line than many other horses.
15. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.
Facilitation, Just for Fun | Comments (2)
16. (added by another commenter) Issue Collateralized Horse Obligations
- This simple idea is so effective, and creative – love it! Thanks to Patti for the link.
- I’m tempted to make the trip to Wellington just for this Presentation Zen masterclass!
- Les Posen is a fan of Keynote and audience-centred slideshows (as am I, and that’s where the similarities end!). I aspire to his level of understanding and competence with Keynote. This is is an interesting post about his recent meeting with the Keynote developers. Here’s a few bits to whet you appetite:
…my take on presentations was both complementary to Garr [Reynolds] and Nancy [Duart], but also came from a different place, away from designper se, and more from human learning and the brain sciences.
I showed how contemporary media are employing some of the graphical designs I too employ in my slide construction, and why.
What’s at the heart of Presentation 2.0? Think for a moment where we are now with Web 2.0. There is a direct line between service and product provider, and consumer, such that consumers or end users can blog, or tweet, or facebook about providers and influence the decisions of other potential consumers. We get valid information about product reliability for instance from bloggers and commenters on blogs, as much as we do from mainstream media reviewers. Think about the reviews you read on Amazon which includes “official” editorial contributions and reviews by purchasers, perhaps much more like us, and thus to be considered more reliable than biased writers.
Put these the concepts together, as I did to the KN team, and you come up with two properties in short supply currently (or more than ever before): Authenticity (who do you trust) andAttention (who should I attend to, given competing sources of information and competition for my time?).
I wanted the Keynote team to understand that when I construct my slides these two ideas stay in my mind, and they are more to do with my audience than they are with me. I need to establish my Authority and Authenticity for my audience to keep engaged, and I need to know how the brain works, so that despite my endeavours to increase the former two A’s, I embrace the challenges to the other A, Attention, which can wander due to how our brains function.
I spoke of these concepts early in my presentation, because it helps explain why I choose to perform certain slide constructions, and how I contemplate the intended impact on particular audiences. Now I don’t know how any individuals in the KN team responded to my audience-centric approach, but I do know on occasions in responding to their questions, I had to work a little to get my point across, given the team is very much about the end user experience. But in my case the end user is myaudience, and Keynote merely a tool to achieve a particular series of effects upon my audience.
- And if I had the means, maybe I should introduce Graeme Pearman to Les Posen. Graeme Pearman is one of Australia’s most eminent scientists with an international reputation in climate science. I heard him speak once. There was no doubt about the veracity of his science, the urgency of his message and power of his evidence. Pity about the powerpoint preso though! There’s an article in todays’ Melbourne Age newspaper by Jo Chandler (yep, I still read newspapers) that explore’s Dr Pearman’s excursion into behavioural science to try and understand our inaction on the climate change message. Here’s a taster:
[Pearman] had a revelation. He had been suffering under the delusion that as knowledge of the physical world improves, ratoionalt-based information would lead to rational responses to such threats as climate change.
What behavioural scientists tell us is that rationality is circumstantially based. So what is rational to me is not rational to the next person because they come from a different circumstance. They also tell us that when we are confronted by a threat such as climate change, people experience many alternative emotions, and employ different coping mechanisms. The anxious might deny; the sad might avoid; the hopeless become resigned; the frustrated, cynical; the depressed, skeptical; the angry, just fed up.
- The Unconventional Writing Contest is on right now over at The Art of Nonconformity. Be quick – the deadline is July 11.