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Guess Who?» Forums » Variants

Subject: One-Way Play rss

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Sean Martin
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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Guess Who doesn't need to be played two-way. I lump this game under the "hide and seek" heading in my brain, where one player (the "hider") knows something and the other players (the "seekers") must figure out what it is. The category includes Mastermind, Black Box, Eleusis, etc...but it also includes Guess Who, Battleship, and that sort of thing, after a minor format adjustment.

In fact, if you play this way, some handy things happen:

--the rules are a bit simpler to explain (since players aren't trying to double-task), and the "best question" concept isn't complicated by consideration of what your opponent is doing;

--the competitive element is no longer right in your face (in particular, you don't need to pace your progress against your children's delicate sensibilities); and

--more people can play, since (in theory) any number of seekers can contribute. In practice, five or six is probably pushing it, although my personal record is a 2nd grade class of about twenty.

For any group of seekers, you have some procedural choices to make up front. In the cooperative game, the seekers take turns asking questions but basically act as one player. In the competitive game, seekers get to hear others' questions and answers but are working for themselves. In the uber-competitive game, seekers whisper or write down their questions, and receive whispered or written-down responses.

Between two players, we sometimes put the competition back into the one-way format by using money. The seeker must pay the hider to answer questions. When they switch roles, the new seeker may only use the money she made when she was hider (extra money leaves the game).

This is a very useful category of games to know if you work in a school. Generic critical thinking plus flexibility in theme and application equals good stuff.
 
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Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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We've never played this "two-way," though I guess that's what the rules state. It's always been hide n seek for us.
 
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