Culture: Game: Word Game
Explain That!   (+62, -3)  [vote for, against]
A creative-thinking game

One player gives a condition. Another player gives a consequence. The remaining player(s) quickly think(s) of an explanation for how the consequence might follow from the condition.


Condition: "If trees could speak..."

Consequence: "...overcrowding in jails would no longer be a problem..."

Explanation: "...because trees would probably be able to yell pretty loudly. So we could take advantage of that by keeping prisoners in woods, instead of in jails. If any of the prisoners tried to escape, the trees would yell loudly enough to draw the guards' attention. And with most prisoners living in woods, there'd be fewer prisoners in jail."

The funnier and more believable your explanation, the better.

This game could be played just for fun, or a points system could be added if you want to play competitively. Perhaps the first player to provide a good explanation wins that round, unless another player can immediately provide a better (more believable, or funnier) explanation, or all players could have one minute to think up an explanation, and then vote to decide whose is best.

This could also be played as a card game, with a deck of 'condition' cards and a deck of 'consequence' cards.

Note: This is a pretty simple idea so in all likelihood it's already baked. If you've heard of/played this game already, please could you let me know what it's called? Cheers.

If it's not baked, I'm pretty tempted to make those cards.
-- imaginality, Jul 23 2008

Munchausen - storytelling game http://www.boardgam...of-baron-munchausen
A game about telling an imaginary tale, like "explain to us how you use painted ducks to build a castle". [ilSilvano, Mar 05 2010]

This sounds like how new product design gets done at my day job.
-- normzone, Jul 23 2008


Quid pro quo.
What's your day job [normzone]?
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 23 2008

//first player to provide a good explanation// would be loud and chaotic.

Instead, each player should write an explanation on a piece of paper. The pieces of paper are mixed together and then read aloud. A different player is made a judge each round and decides on the best explanation. (This is similar to 'Apples to Apples')
-- xaviergisz, Jul 23 2008

Wow! Really clever! +
-- phundug, Jul 23 2008

+ well, I guess you explained that really well.
-- xandram, Jul 23 2008

Want! [+]
-- Dub, Jul 23 2008

Sounds very much like "Westminster Politics" where each player is expected to describe why a particular policy is going to be great for the electorate, using only a random handful of topical buzzwords and focus-group led reasoning.
-- zen_tom, Jul 23 2008

Could be a varient of a a game called "balderdash," where you make definitions, or significant events that correspond to a given date. The "real" definition is on the card. All definitions are mixed up, and points are scored based on people trying to guess the correct definition.
-- nomocrow, Jul 23 2008

Sadly, baked: this is how legislative decisions are made the world over. ([+])
-- shapu, Jul 23 2008

(fries), it's a privately held (read:one owner) outfit that makes ruggedized computer equipment for the military. The owner sheds ideas like a dog does fleas, and we attempt to translate them into reality before he forgets about them and starts yet more projects.
-- normzone, Jul 23 2008

Sounds like a great job...of course I think I'd rather have his...
: ]
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 23 2008

//The funnier and more believable your explanation, the better.//
Points go to [normzone] in this round.
-- 4whom, Jul 24 2008

Make those cards! What have you got to lose? +
-- simonj, Jul 24 2008

While I like this idea I'm not sure how the scoring is practical. I don't think players will collectively agree one explanation is better than the other. +1 anyway.
-- nomadic_wonderer, Jul 24 2008

How about this procedure? The condition and the conclusion are read. There is a buzz-in (like on the game show "Jeopardy"). The person who buzzed in must give an explanation. Then all the other people vote "approve" or "disapprove" - the buzzer-in scores one point for each "approve" but loses one point for each "disapprove".

Therefore, it's advantageous to buzz in only if you have a good answer.

I think it would be fun if another player could then offer a rebuttal stating how the condition should in fact imply the *opposite* consequence. (E.g. "No way! If trees could talk then logging would be discontinued, leading to more unemployment, more crime, and MORE people in jails, not fewer!")

The rebuttal would be subject to the same approval/disapproval scoring.

For simplicity, instead of the buzz-in, the roles could rotate in a circle (if you're playing with 4+ people), with each player in turn playing "Proposer", "Concluder", "Explainer", and "Rebutter".
-- phundug, Jul 24 2008

Truth is funnier than fiction? I make it sound like fun. When it's fun, it's very very fun, but when it's not, it's very very not fun.
-- normzone, Jul 24 2008

Awesome! [+]
-- kuupuuluu, Jul 24 2008

Because the tree's true nature would be revealed: pure and utter evil. They would spit vile and blasphemy to all passers by, anyone struck by their dictum would at once be sent through an infinite digression of pain and existence. And since no living man would be seen as composed of any maliciousness close to that of the trees, they would all be released on account of not being all that bad.

How do you keep score? This is just another idea game idea. Probably baked by a fourth grader somewhere. Neutral.
-- daseva, Jul 24 2008

strange place, the bakery is... I put up an almost identical idea to this about two years ago, under a different name, and it collected bones so I deleted it. I use it as a method of ideas development with my students in the form of a two card choice system, involving additional inputs from operators and modifiers. I based it on a combination of the I Ching and Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies. I particularly like the idea of it being a game, so I naturally approve to the highest order +

//This is just another idea game idea.// [daseva] that's pure humbug - "always with the negative" - Donald Sutherland Kelly's Heroes 1970 MGM
-- xenzag, Jul 24 2008

So can we try it out?

"If we all played a game of 'Explain That!' together..."
-- James Newton, Jul 25 2008

...because someone would say "if we didn't wear pants any more...", someone else would say " would be really good" and then a third person would come up with a reason which was utterly convincing.
-- nineteenthly, Jul 25 2008

Why would anyone wear pants to the halfbakery? I thought the whole point of the internet was that I could do everything I wanted without pants.

Now I hear people have been wearing pants all along and I don't know WHAT to think.
-- shapu, Jul 25 2008

[+] If I give you a bun ..
-- kamathln, Nov 26 2008

This would rely on it being played only by witty, intelligent people. If jut one player wasn't able to regularly come up with inventive explanations, the game would be no fun at all. Also there's no way you could possibly score this game - I'm mystified as to why everyone seems so enthusiastic about it.
-- hippo, Nov 26 2008

Sounds close to the Media doing their Spinning... very interesting stuff!!

Scoring might be a vote at the end of a bunch of related event cards like 'Should we burn all the trees that speak?'

-- Bcrosby, Nov 26 2008

...because Cloud Nine also likes the idea so much that the mutual bunnage would turn her into a vertable Joan of Arc, leading armies to the betterment of all mankind.
-- Voice, Nov 27 2008

If Wales ruled the world then bannanas would become the second most favorite fruit of every third triplet.
-- Voice, Nov 27 2008

Good to see this still attracting interest. I agree somewhat with [hippo] that having a workable scoring system is key to whether this would work as a commercially available game.

I've now come up with a rules/scoring system that I think will solve the difficulties mentioned here. If you've played 'Scruples', the rules of that are *vaguely* similar to my rules for this. I reckon it'll work well. I'm going to keep the precise details under wraps just for the moment, though - sorry!

I've also written 60 or so condition cards, and 20 or so consequence cards, so this is nearing the play-testing stage...
-- imaginality, Nov 28 2008

You have two teams. A player from team 1 draws a "condition card" and reads it and then a player for team 2 draws a "consequence card" and reads it. Team 1 has 1 minute to come up with a "explanation." Then Team 2 has 1 minute to say why it won't work. Then team 1 gets to retort. This goes back and forth until one team has no retort or they repeat a reason or they are laughing too hard to speak.
-- theGem, Nov 28 2008

Sounds like the average game night would start out like a light-hearted Lincoln-Douglas debate (condition)... and inevitably end up with a Lincoln-Booth result (consequence). -N8
-- Unventor, Mar 07 2010

Absolutely brilliant.

For the example question you could also say trees on every street corner could be recruted as law enforcement officers to observe and report thus thwarting crime anywhere there are trees. "We can't rob that bank, there's a palm tree out in front."

I think it could be scored by an honest evaluation by both sides of whether or not the explanation is plausible.

For instance, "If steel were green / dogs could fly" would be one I'd bail on.

In any case, stuff like this is why I love this site.

Print those cards Imag.
-- doctorremulac3, Mar 10 2010

I think this is how they choose articles for The Onion. [Condition] causes [Effect] says [Political figure].
-- marklar, Mar 10 2010

To test this, make it into a (prototype) Print 'n Play game, post it on, and ask for reactions. You'll get enough feedback to actually turn this into a new (sellable) party game, or to despair and give up on the idea.
-- Forthur, Mar 10 2010

I still think this is unworkable. There's no way of scoring this 'game', and it relies heavily on all participants being of the same high level of cleverness and wittiness. I am reminded of the game "Mornington Crescent" which can be quite funny when played by professional comedians who have been appearing on "I'm sorry I haven't a clue" for 20 years, but is just dire when attempted by anyone else.
-- hippo, Mar 10 2010

What do you mean there's no way of scoring it? For an easy example, it can be scored the same way as Apples to Apples/Cards Against Humanity, as [xavier] said back in 2008.
-- notexactly, Jun 21 2019

random, halfbakery