No Tech

Design exercise: a game that can be played without any (digital) technology.

These are the games we are going to play that will provide some starting points for the exercise.


  • Players form a circle, each standing at arm’s width away from each other.
  • On the count of “3… 2… 1… NINJA!” all players jump into ninja poses. Choose your pose wisely!
  • Randomly choose a ninja to begin.
  • On their turn, each player is allowed to make one swift ninja attack. This can involve your whole body. Eliminate others by striking their hand – the wrist is not included. You must stiffly hold the position you end your move in.
  • The next player is allowed to move once you have have finished your attack.
  • If you are attacked by another player, you may dodge, but you can’t move your feet.
  • When only two players remain, they begin the final duel. The final two ninjas stop fighting, bow, and stand back-to-back. On the count of “3… 2… 1… NINJA!” they jump into poses. The ninja with the boldest pose goes first and play resumes normally.
  • The game ends when only one ninja remains.

Blowdart game

(the video doesn’t show exactly how it works but it’s fun)

The object of the game is to call someones name and when they look, dart them.
“Darting” occurs when you make eye contact with a victim, make a fist over your mouth (as if you were holding a blow gun) and make a “pfffft” sound. If you are hit with a dart you must immediately stop what you are doing and fall to the ground.
Your not allowed to move or get up until someone approaches you and removes the dart from your neck. You can avoid darts by a) looking away before the dart is shot b) closing your eyes before the dart is shot or c) covering your neck with your hand before the dart reaches you.

  • You may not dart someone who has pre-existing eye contact with you–only those who turn and look when their name is called
  • You may not block your own neck and shoot at the same time.
  • Your victim must make eye contact before you fire.
  • It is recommended that the person that removes the dart cannot be the same person who darted you.
  • The victim cannot attempt to shoot back. Holding a blow gun in the face of another blowgun does not constitute a valid block.

Bomb and shield + Triangle

  • Everyone stands in a defined playing area.
  • There is a bomb that will explode in 2 minutes and the only way to avoid the blast is to have a shield between you and the bomb.
  • Each player secretly chooses someone else that will be the Bomb and another player that will be the Shield.
  • On ‘Go’ signal, every player attempts to move so that his Shield is between himself and his Bomb.

Mafia / Werewolf / The Resistance

Werewolf is based on the game Mafia, which was created in 1986 by Dimitry Davidoff, a psychology student in the USSR.
In 1997 Andrew Plotkin added the Werewolf theme and documented the rules you can read here. There are many variations though.


Of outdoor/street/urban/big games, some of which require some gadgets:

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