A fast-moving concentration game in which mistakes are celebrated. I learned this from Kaisu Tuominiemi, a coach at Mondragon Team Academy.
In a circle, five to maybe ten people.
The joker starts the game by putting her left hand on her right shoulder and saying, "one!"
The person to her right repeats the motion, saying, "two!"
This continues four more times.
When the number seven comes up, instead of placing his hand on his shoulder, the player holds his arms up, elbows bent 90 degrees, horizontally in front of him so that his forearms are parallel, like an equals sign, right arm pointing left, left arm pointing right, palms down, and says, "seven!" Whichever arm is above determines the direction of play. If the right arm is on top (pointing left) the player to his left will continue, placing her right hand on her left shoulder, and restarting the count with "one!"
When seven is reached again, same thing.
When a player makes a mistake, s/he must run around the circle dancing or otherwise celebrating the mistake. The other players also celebrate, then the game continues.
The group will soon figure out how to play without mistakes, so a new element in introduced: the pass.
Any player (except the person whose turn it is to say, "seven!") can pass her turn to any other player by saying, "pass!" and gesturing to that person, who must then pick up the series.
Play continues, celebrating mistakes. You can speed up by continuing the play while the team celebrates a mistake.
I like three elements of this game:
- the way individuals and the group practice attentiveness, seeing and responding to the previous action, and noticing mistakes;
- the fact that, as in all such games, initiative moves from person to person, everyone acts, chooses, changes the direction;
- the way mistakes are celebrated -- an important part of feeling free to create. Traditionally games play on the humilitation of the person who makes a mistake.
- This can lead into, or follow, the John Cage's rules activity.