Games with pen and paper

Flick game
No. of players: 2-3
Competitive, + initial imaginative course design stage
I played this a lot in school. First draw a detailed ‘course’ – a path with obstacles, like a golf hole but much harder. Can be on multiple sheets of paper, for an epic game. The game play is a lot like golf. Take turns flicking a pen line from the starting line. Hold the pen up the top end, and flick firmly. Guiding the pen during its course is not allowed. Take the shot again if the flicking action is disputed/controversial. Mark where the pen line goes out of bounds, and take the next shot from there. Winner is first to cross the finish line.

Mr Squiggle
Non-competitive, artistic, imaginative
Adapted from the TV show. One player draws a squiggle – a fairly simple arrangement of lines, shapes or squiggles. It’s only necessary that it doesn’t look particularly like anything. e.g. not a face. The other player must try to turn the marks into a drawing of something, adding the fewest lines. It may be turned around in any direction. Then the players swap roles for the next round.

? strange creature drawing game
No. of players: 2-4
Non-competitive, artistic, imaginative
Fold a piece of paper horizontally 3 or 4 times, for approximately the number of players. Each player draws a segment of the body, e.g. first player draws the head, folds over so no-one else can see it, and puts 2 neck lines across the fold onto the area for the next player. The next player draw e.g. from neck to waist etc. Make sure no-one sees anyone else’s drawing until the end. The fun comes at the end when the whole crazy body is revealed. The crazier and more imaginative your body segment the better.

Remarkably
No. of players: 2-any
Non-competitive, literary-descriptive
(I invented this game based on something in the book ‘The Art of Self-promotion for Musicians’, which said that u should create a personal image to be used in promotion; decide on a few things about you which can be marketed as ‘X is remarkably Y’)
Write the names of people playing, people in the room, other people known to all players, then write a list of adjectives fitting ‘Person X is remarkably Y’ e.g. shiny, furry, rambunctious etc, the sillier the better, but they must seem true. There’s no winner or fixed end. This game is remarkably entertaining. And extra fun if afterwards you show the people written about what you have written. I guess there’s an element of competitiveness in coming up with the most amusing, unexpected yet somehow appropriate adjectives. Although they can be harsh/critical, I’ve found that mostly the game is a celebration of the characters described, of observation, of skilled perception and description.

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