May 7 2010

Game Poem 16: Time Flies Like A Banana

This is a game-within-a-game, or perhaps an instance of a kind of meta-game, or a sense-of-a-game-layered-on-top-of-a-game, or maybe something less interesting than that. Maybe it’s just fun.

You’ll need at least three players, and probably not more than five. The simple game that you will be playing is called “Five” It is simple, and I’ll tell you all about it here. The other things that you will be doing are less simple, and I’ll tell you what they are here, but I won’t tell you how to do them. Each time you play may be different – you may want to try several times to get the hang of it.

The simple game consists of several rounds. In each round, the players will count one-two-three-GO! On the “go”, each player holds out their right hand with one, two, three, four, or five fingers extended. The player who is holding out the lowest unique number of fingers wins a point. So, if you throw a two, and the other players throw a two and a three, your two is not unique, so the three will win a point. Clear? Keep track of your points on your left hand. When someone gets their fifth point, they will yell “FIVE!” and win the game.

That’s it for the game of Five. You may want to play it once or twice to get the hang of it.

Now, to play this game, you will all be playing the same game of Five, but only one player will be playing it in real time. If you have three players, one will play at regular speed, one will be playing at half-speed, and one player will play the game at double speed. If you have four players, have the extra player decide whether they want to play fast or slow, and they will play even faster or slower than the half- or double-speed player. With five players, have them play on the other end of the spectrum, even slower or faster again. With more, it’s totally up to you.

This is going to get a little bit crazy. All of the rules still apply, just at different speeds. If you’re playing fast, make sure that you’re still playing with everyone else, not just throwing numbers by yourself. And don’t keep playing when you finish the game before everyone else! Do whatever you’d normally do when you’ve finished, and everyone else is halfway through or so. Likewise, slow players, don’t stop until your game is done! It will take you twice as long to complete your game, so make sure that you play the whole thing.