I learned this game at Kani Club, the theater improvisation group in Tokyo, Japan. The game asks participants to filter their free association through their sense of what others might say. The object is to avoid "idiocy" -- in the sense of being isolated in one's thinking. At the same time, the "idiotic" answers are often reasonable or creative.
Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band made a music video of her song "Bad Dancer" in which Ono and other celebrities dance badly and joyfully. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3mvEfON2CI) The idea of the song is that we should free ourselves of the burden of "being good" and embrace being bad at things, so as to do them freely.
This idea can be applied to any activity in which fear of poor performance prevents us from acting with freedom. For example, "Bad Presenter," "Bad Singer," "Bad Listener," "Bad Writer," "Bad Artist," "Bad Translator," "Bad Innovator," "Bad Activist," etc.
Adapted from "Busca tu cancion" in 101 juegos musicales. See also I second that (e)motion.
The joker writes down three to 10 emotions on index cards, two cards per emotion. (One set of three if you have an odd number of participants.) There should be as many cards as participants.
Shuffle the cards, keeping them face down, and have people pick a card, keeping it hidden from others.
Slightly adapted from "Busca tu cancion" in 101 juegos musicales.
Choose three or four songs that are probably known to everyone in the group and write each song's title on two index cards. (Or ask each participant to choose a song that they think everyone will know, writing the title on two index cards.) You should have as many cards as participants. (For odd numbered groups, add an extra card for one song.)
Shuffle the cards and have participants each choose one card, being careful not to show it to others.
Rather than teach people how to practice "active listening," this activity requires them to listen poorly, impatiently, passively.
Ask participants to define "active listening." If the term is unfamiliar, ask people to brainstorm features of "good" listening and, in another list, "bad" listening. (Alternatively, use the See, Hear, Feel activity to define active or good listening in concrete terms.)
Then have people form pairs and take turns, with one person telling a story and the other passively listening.
In this self-assessment activity you use a partner to represent yourself. This requires you to articulate your self-assessment clearly and respectfully, and perhaps more objectively?
The first person speaks to the other as if speaking to him/herself. The task is to assess one's one participation in an activity, meeting, class, etc. The second person stands in as the "self" to whom the first person is speaking, listening actively, only asking clarifying questions.
Let's do it...
Variation: "Like This"
Like let's do it, swapping ideas for activities, only in this case the activity is always the first time for the partner so the initiator has to explain/show how to do it -- "like this..."
In this activity a "client" enters an Argument Clinic like the one in the famous Monty Python sketch.
As in the original, one person is the client, the other the Arguer. Also as in the original, there is a time limit.
The objective is simple: to argue just for the sake of arguing. No need to repeat the Monty Python sketch, just feel free to be disagreeable, contentious, contrary.
The Flattery Clinic: Client enters room. Greets flatterer. Flattery ensues. Time limit.
Two variations by Lo Manho, with a few adjustments by MN.
“Beat the fears”
- Joker separates the class into two groups: Demons and People.
- The Demons have to make a list of twenty five things that the people in this particular learning group (e.g. university students, Sanitation workers) strongly fear, writing each fear on a separate index card. Ideally it should be something specific to that group, but people should feel free to name basic human fears, like death, too.
Variation by Hirabayashi Shunichi, with a few adjustments by MN.
Make a list of fears in advance, to save time. From the list, players vote for the top 10 fears that they have. Of course, they can add another words not on the list, but the number of fears should be the same as the number of demons.
Divide the participants into two groups. One group is the people, the other is the Demons. Each Demon will choose one fear to represent, keeping this secret from “the people.” The Demons will draw masks that somehow express – without words or symbols – the fear that they represent.