Game Poem 14: The Next Round

This is a game for a small group of friends to play together. To prepare for the game, gather your friends and have everybody put in earplugs. Have everybody sit at a table together. The host will turn on some music – preferably some music that you don’t particularly like – and make sure that it’s fairly loud. The music should end abruptly (ideally at the end of a song) after somewhere between twelve and fifteen minutes.

You will all play the parts of friends who have been hanging out together at a bar for a few hours. Each of you has had more than a couple of drinks, and now everybody’s glasses sit empty in front of them. It is time for somebody to buy another round of drinks. That person must be you.

To begin the game, one player must move to stand up and announce that they will buy the next round of drinks. They might ask what everybody is having, or just assume that they’ll have another of the same. However, nobody can actually get up to leave the table until everyone has agreed unanimously on who is actually buying the next round. When someone makes to get up, someone else must stop them, and insist that they buy the next round of drinks instead, and explain why. Anybody may attempt to get up at any time, but nobody may allow anyone else to buy the next round. Each player has very strong reasons why they much be the ones to buy next, and they will make sure that everybody else understands them as well as the circumstances allow.

Try not to come to blows.

Soon, the music will stop, and whoever set it up must announce “Last call!” (If you were unable to manage the music setup properly, just keep an eye on the clock, and turn off the music by hand.) All the players should stop talking for a moment and take out their earplugs. The decision must be made right now, or everybody leaves without getting their last drink in. You have about thirty seconds to decide, and then the game ends.

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