Playtime: no tech games

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.

Spaghetti Standoff

6-8 players stand in a connected circle, each holding two uncooked spaghetti noodles in either hand (shared with their adjacent neighbor), forming a big chain.

The moment the game starts, it is everyone’s goal to be one in the last pair of players with their fragile noodle friend intact. When one of your strands breaks, you put that arm behind your back, and if both strands break, you’re out for that round.
official link

Columbian hypnosis

by Augusto Boal

Divide into pairs.

Each pair decides who is Player A and Player B in their small group.

Then, ask Player A to hold the palm of his or her hand about six inches from Player B’s face.

Ask Player B to imagine that her or his partner’s hand has hypnotized him/her and that s/he has to follow it anywhere it goes, keeping the same distance between her/his face and the palm at all times.

After a set time, switch and let B’s lead.

The machine of rhythms

by Augusto Boal

An actor goes into the middle and imagines that he is a moving part in a complex
machine. He starts doing a movement with his body, a mechanical, rhythmic
movement, and vocalising a sound to go with it.

Everyone else watches and listens, in a circle around the machine. Another person goes up and adds another part (her own body) to this mechanical apparatus, with another movement and another sound.

A third, watching the first two, goes in and does the same, so that eventually all the participants are integrated into this one machine, which is a synchronised, multiple machine.

When everyone is part of the machine, the Joker asks the first person to accelerate his rhythm – everyone else must follow this modification, since the machine is one entity. When the machine is near to explosion, the Joker asks the first person to ease up, gradually to slow down, till in their own time the whole group ends together. It is not easy to end together, but it is possible.
For everything to work well, each participant really does have to try and listen
to everything he hears.

Love and hate. The same exercise, with the following modification: all the partici-
pants must imagine a love machine, then a hate machine.

Now let’s “jam”.

Mechanical Constraint

– Turns / time slow down
As seen in Ninja

– Self Organization / complexity
As seen in Triangles and Bomb and Shield

– Pervasiveness
As seen in Blowdart game, assassin, etc

– Stranger/non player involvement
As seen in Cruel2Bkind, etc.

– Improvisation / performance
As seen in most Games for Actors and non Actors

– Fluid teams / Cooperation-competition
As seen in the RPS variations, Spaghetti Stand-off

Thematic Constraint

– Discrimination / Intolerance

– Democracy / Community

– War / Violence

– Love / Sex

– Power / Disempowerment

– Peace / Unity