The OUSFG Silly Games list

(Compiled by Matt Bishop with much help from Mark Boyes, John Bray, Mark Charsley, Chris Ewels, Penny Heal, Dan Smithers, Ivan Towlson and Tanaqui Weaver. Rescued/stolen from a December 2005 copy of Matt's web page.)

Word Games

The Land of Og
"In the land of Og there are beetles but not ladybirds. In the land of Og there are wasps and bees, but not hornets." etc. (working out what is going on here is part of the problem).

Which Witch
One player asks the question "Which witch is the real witch?" After a while, somebody announces the answer, and then asks the question again. This carries on until everybody has worked out what's happening.

Black Magic
requires two people who know the rules. One of these leaves the room, and the rest of the players choose an object. The person then returns, and the other person who knows the rules begins to ask them questions (eg. "Is it the carpet"). Presumably the game will end at some point, but I don't actually know the rules yet... ask Tanaqui.

This is a Fork
Players sit in a circle, and begin passing an object, or several objects, around: "This is a fork." "A what?" "A fork." "This is a fork." "A what?" "A what?" "A fork." "A fork." "This is a fork." "A what?" ... repeat in both directions, and using "This is a what" for added traumarama.

William Shatner
Unrelated to Harry Harrison (see below). Players sit in a circle. Proceeding clockwise, each player must name a celebrity, however minor, living or dead, whose first name begins with the first letter of the surname of the previous nominee. If a double lettered celeb is named, the order reverses.

Word Disassociation
Players take it in turn to say words that have no connection with the previous word. Points are scored by challenging players on grounds of hesitation, repetition, or having some connection with the previous word.

Just a Minute
is the standard panel game where you have to talk for a minute without hesitation, deviation or repetition.

Twenty Questions
is also well known.

Who Am I?
One player leaves the room, and the others decide who they believe he is (it should be someone that everybody present knows). When he returns, he must ask yes-or-no questions until he manages to work out who they believe he is.

Mornington Crescent
is known to connoisseurs the world over.

needs no introduction.

Tag Charades
in which the person who guesses the previous charade must then perform a charade containing one of the words from the previous title.

Blindfold Charades
In teams of two, one person knows what the object is and has to describe how to draw it to the second, who doesn't know what it is, without being able to see the image being drawn. Whether the rest of the group know what is being drawn, or are able to guess is optional.

(Paraphrased from an article by Dave Langford in "Platen Stories".) You played this in school when you were about six. Players sit in a circle and, in turns, count upwards from 1, replacing multiples of three by "fizz" and multiples of five by "buzz" (fifteens become "fizz-buzz"). This is much too simple, so now add "clang" for squares, "pow" for primes and "argh" for Fibonacci numbers (by this point, the first actual number to occur will be 14), and play it while drinking heavily.

I don't know what to call it, but try a bag of random phrases you have to slip surreptitiously into a rolling narrative.

Physical Games

Players stand in a circle, with their arms outstretched, and walk towards each other with their eyes closed until everybody has managed to grab somebody else's hands in their own. Then they open their eyes, and attempt to unravel the knot they've made, without unjoining their hands.

Matchbox Sex Test
Kneel down with your knees together (and ankles together, too). Put your elbows together and, with your elbows touching your knees, put your palms together at floor level. Get somebody else to stand a matchbox on its long side, with the short side just touching the tips of your middle fingers. Now sit up (keep your knees where they are), clasp your hands behind your back, and attempt to knock the matchbox over with your nose. The theory is that women can do it, but men fall over trying.

Table Circumnavigation
Given a reasonably high table about six feet long and not too wide, lie on top of it spreadeagled. Clambering however you can, you must climb underneath the table and back around to the top again without touching the floor. There is also chair circumnavigation, which is even more painful.

Skinless Snake
(requires lots of people and lots of space). Everyone stands in a line, one behind the other. Each person holds the hands of the people in front and behind, as follows: put your left hand between your legs, and with your right hand take the left hand of the person in front. Keeping your hands linked like this, do the following:
The person at the front of the line lies down, feet forwards (this will involve stepping over the arm of the guy behind). The whole queue of people shuffles forwards over the top of this person, until the next person in line also has to lie down (or break his arms). He lies down with his head between the first person's knees, and the whole business continues. Eventually, the first person will emerge from the back of the line, and can link his free hand with the remaining free hand of the person at the back, and stand up again. Now you have a loop, and you can keep this moving until you all get tired of it.

(as named in Helicon I think) You set up a line on a floor (edge of tile, line of string, line burnt onto carpet with blowtorch etc.). Each contestant must stand with their toes on the line, and then keeping their feet there must "walk" using the beer cans firmly clasped in their hands, leave one of the beer cans in an upright posistion as far from the line as possible and then "hop" back using the remaining beer can until they are in a position to stand up. If any part of their body touches the floor, the attempt fails. The winner is the one whose can is furthest from the line.

Falling Leaf
One person stands, eyes closed, in the centre of a circle of people (it should be quite a close circle, not more than six or eight people, and with no gaps in it). The one in the middle relaxes (but keeps his body straight and his feet fixed) and topples over, and is caught by whoever he falls towards, who then pushes him towards one of the other people in the circle, who catches him, and so on.
After a while of this, the person in the middle should be thoroughly relaxed and maybe a little dizzy. On a cue from one of the people in the circle, the people in the circle should catch the one in the middle and lower him (gently!) to a horizontal position, lift him as high as you can and then float him down, back and forth like a falling leaf, to the ground.
Sounds odd, but it's a very pleasant experience.

Astral Pole
Hold a broomstick in front of you, one hand at each end, wrists upwards. Keeping hold of the ends, you then step over it and bring it over your head (you are now in the same position as before, but with your wrists twisted). Take your right foot, bring it over the end of the broomstick, over your right wrist and through the space between the stick and your body (this is easier if you crouch down). Take the left hand end of the stick over your head (your right knee will also be in the way; go over that, too) and down your back. The stick is now behind you; step backwards over it. You should be in the position where you started. Now do it again, backwards.

Astral Pole Spin-Offs
There are team races where you finish your drink, sprint a given distance, then hold the broom vertically with your head over the top of it and run round it X times staring down at the broom all the way, then sort of wobble back so the next person can do it. Also a similar game but holding broom vertically above head.

is a game played by CUSFS rather than OUSFG, and the (incomplete) rules to it are on one of their pages.

Bizarre Games

Harry Harrison
(I can't even begin to explain this... MB)

Inventing Cocktails
- that was surely the silliest of all. (See also the CUSFS drinks list and OUSFG cocktail list.)

One-legged Herring Duelling
This requires two idiots, two herring, and stout washable rainwear. It should be played outdoors. Contestants stand on one leg facing each other, holding their right foot in their left hand for balance. In their right hand, they each hold a herring by one end. They hit each other about the body with the floppy ends of their herring for one minute; the winner is anybody who refuses to play, closely followed by the player whose herring is most severely damaged by the experience.

Go back to the OUSFG homepage