Top 5 | Loving Who We Are and How We're Different
Every February we celebrate the concept of love. Last year, we gave Hot Tips for finding love but this year, we want to talk about a different type of love. All year our differences have been put to the forefront - add to that lengthy quarantines and most of us are feeling more divided and isolated than ever.
So this year, we want to focus on loving what makes us different and learning to understand each other!
The games below will help you gain an appreciation not only for our differences, but for the unchangeable truths that make us all human - we all want to be heard, understood, and loved.
1. THE MIND | MIND MELD TOGETHER
The Mind is an exercise in connection! You and up to three other players are working together to play cards in numerical order, except you cannot use your words!
Start out with one card each, then two, then five, and so on. Without verbal communication, you might begin first by relying on the odds (“I have a 70 out of 100, so my card is probably bigger than theirs, I’ll wait for them to start.”) but you’ll soon find yourself relying on eye contact, body language, and that indescribable feeling of mentally connecting with someone. (“They’re staring at me and they shuffled their cards. There card must be pretty high, I’ll start.”)
Like many games, The Mind is less about winning and more about the experience along the way. It’s about the act of connecting with the other players, about learning to read their tells, about moments of surprise when you seem to read each others' thoughts - though, if you’re feeling competitive and want an even deeper challenge, The Mind Extreme has you covered!
2. HUES AND CUES | SEE THROUGH EACH OTHER’S EYES
We each have our own experiences and see the world with completely different eyes. We may never understand the reality of those around us, but we can try. Hues and Cues gives us a chance to see how we each experience color!
In Hues and Cues you will take turns trying to guess colors. What color says “green apple” to you? Or “sky?” Or “firetruck”? That’s the easy part - but what color says “green apple” to your friends? Each turn, one player will pick a color and give a hint word - the closer you get, the better!
We all know we see the world differently, but laying those differences out on a colorful spectrum of 480 hues gives us a new appreciation for it, and gives us the chance to see through each other’s eyes.
3. SIGN | EMPATHIZE WITH OTHER EXPERIENCES
Sign A Game About Being Understood is aptly named.
Nicaragua had a small deaf community in the 1970’s and 80s and yet no established sign language. As deaf schools began to open to admit deaf children, the students were taught basic finger spelling and lipreading, but this was a limited mode of communication. And then something amazing happened - the students developed their own sign language, almost spontaneously.
Humans are remarkably adaptable. When we are denied something as basic as a language, a means to be understood, we adapt and find our own. Sign allows us to step into the shoes of those incredible children and develop a language of our own, bringing a new appreciation to the importance of expressing ourselves.
4. THE GRIZZLED | NO PERSON LEFT BEHIND
“However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” Stanley Kubrick
The Grizzled takes this ubiquitous concept and takes it inward. None of us can escape tragedy, suffering, darkness - but we can help each other through it.
The Grizzled focuses on just that, as each player takes on the role of members of a platoon in World War I, dedicated not to victory, but to each other. Relief comes with peace, but before peace is found, you face threats and trials together in an attempt to keep morale.
It’ll take support and teamwork for every player to make it to peace time, reminding us of the strength we have when we band together and care for others as we do for ourselves.
5. I CANT BELIEVE I DID THAT | SHARE, LISTEN, LAUGH
The best way to connect with the people around you is to hear their stories. I Can’t Believe I Did That helps with that exactly, encouraging you and your friends to share your experiences, from the silly to the somber, the embarrassing to the emotional.
You start first with a Memory Card, prompting you to think of a “time you were a trainwreck” or “when you couldn’t keep a secret.” Each player draws a spark card to help guide their memories, with trigger words like “school” “beauty” “camp” “death” or “lunchtime”. Each player tells their story and whichever tale seems to best fit the memory wins the round!
One round you’ll laugh so hard you cry. In another, you may wipe tears from your eyes. In others, you will smile with nostalgia, amusement, secondhand embarrassment, and sympathy. But there is a beautiful moment in this game of open minds and open hearts when you can feel everyone leaning in, fully invested in what each person has to say.
Game-ifying understanding and giving permission for empathy is something we can always use, but especially now, during our current mass isolation. I Can’t Believe I Did That will help you connect - and is especially great for virtual play!
Loving Our Differences & Coming Together
Invite a little love into your life with any of these games and open yourself up to see a new perspective and offer a little understanding.