Three Games of Qwoth

Donald Trump now has command of 4,500 nuclear weapons, the Larsen C ice shelf is hanging by a thread and a civilisation-obliterating 2C is inevitable. That’s the news! Yeah; and people are worrying about Brexit.

What to do? Fully face the imminent collapse of civilisation with your entire being (see here), that comes first. Then, well, after that it’s up to you really. One option I would like to suggest today, in all seriousness, is to play some daft games:

Ding Dong Zombie

Objective: To feed on mortal flesh. Players: At least eight. Gameplay: Best played in a biggish room, or a couple of rooms. All the players, that is to say all the undead, are blindfolded. One mortal remains but, unluckily, carries a bell round his neck (or other noise-creating device—a phone or similar electronic gadget that makes a loud beep every thirty seconds would be perfect). First all the zombies spin round three times, then they hunt the man on the run. The zombie who captures him grabs hold and then all rush in slathering and mauling while the captured man, thrashing around in agony, screams and howls.

Death in a Minute

Objective: To die within a minute. Players: Two at a time. Gameplay: Two people improvise a scene which must last for exactly one minute, and in which one person must die. Make sure that players GO IN BIG, are happy to fail, pay rapt attention, and do not merely build up to death for fifty nine seconds (dying after twenty seconds in some manner that requires justification from the player still alive is fine). Obviously this requires some improv training to get right, but lots of turns (and eagerness for them) will achieve good results.

The Hotel Receptionist

Objective: To explain your problem. Players: A game for between five and twenty-five people. Gameplay: A series of potential problems that people could have in a hotel are written down and placed in a hat. Players take turns being mute guests; taking a problem from the hat, and then miming them to the other players, who are now receptionists. A good enough guess wins a point, if you like.

Example Problems That People Could Have…

  • My room is full of water and I need someone to help me fight an octopus.
  • I want you to send this tiny, but very aggressive dog, to Japan.
  • Do you have a bag of greasy oiled up snakes sensuously writhing around each other? only I’ve lost mine.
  • If a hunched-up creepy leering dwarf wants me, you’ve never seen me, okay?
  • Your free shampoo made electricity shoot out of my nostrils.
  • My wife/husband is hovering five feet in the air, and can’t get out of the room.
  • A futuristic rocket-man is watching me through the window.
  • I woke up this morning with an elephant’s trunk and now all the Indians in your hotel think I am a god.
  • Every time I open a cupboard Jesus appears to me in a vision and tells me to close it again.
  • A tiny pop band that look exactly like the Beatles live in my skirting board.
  • My wardrobe leads to another universe in which everyone is funky and everything is groovy.
  • My arms have fallen off; can you send someone up to feed me spaghetti?
  • My room is empty. It has no door, or windows and is shrinking.
  • My wallpaper is just too damn sexy.
  • I am a mighty warlock and if you don’t give me the best room in the hotel I shall turn you all into incontinent bats.
  • Everyone in your hotel is an alien pretending to be human.
  • Your club sandwich turned me into a Zombie and now I can’t play the guitar.
  • There’s an eskimo in my bathroom fighting with a whale he’s just fished out of my bath.
  • My room is teetering over the edge of a cliff.
  • Time is going backwards.
  • I am four years old and this is my robot. I love him — do you?
  • I am your much loved dad.
  • The world is going to end in a few minutes – how about we all go upstairs onto the roof and chill out? *

You can download a pdf of these problems to cut out and use. Add your own of course.



* The last suggestion in The Hotel Receptionist is based on a dream I once had, that was so real I can see — feel — it still. It was the end of the world, the four-minute warning… except, it was longer than that, we knew we had a few hours left… and I was on the top floor of the Canterbury multi-story carpark with my friends. It was dusk, the sun was setting, all embers and oranges, and people were talking, but mostly quiet, sitting around together and… there was such love between us. Such love.