The 'OR' Game

by Martin Riggs
(New York, NY)

(Photo from Helga Weber)


It is a great icebreaker for any party or any situation where you would like to get to know people. It not only helps break the ice in social situations, but can also tell you a lot about a person. It can be played with two people or in groups of as many people as would care to participate.

It is a game based upon preferences. The only rule is that you have to provide an answer when presented with two options and you must provide the answer without commenting on why you chose your response. That's actually two rules!

Usually, the question deals with related items, people, places, etc., but by no means is this necessary.

For example, if I were to start, I would formulate an "OR" and ask it to another person. In this case, say I'm playing with my friend Joan. I would ask John something simple to begin, like: "salt or pepper?"

She would give her answer and then ask me an "OR" back. She could then ask, "Donald Trump or Donald Duck?" I would answer and give her another "OR." As the questions become deeper, they reveal more about a person and their preferences and personality.

Common "OR"s are preferences between colors, foods, movies, celebrities, politicians, TV shows, etc. It can be anything. Of course, if you are very comfortable with the person you are playing with you can ask more difficult "OR"s, such as preferences between immediate family members, a choice between two ex's, and so forth.

An answer without comment is the only requirement to keep the game moving. If a person does comment, there is a penalty imposed. Say I ask Joan this OR: "'The Godfather' or 'The Godfather Part 2'?" and she replied, "Oh my God! Are you crazy?! 'The Godfather Part 2'!", then I would minus her a point for providing a comment instead of an answer.

Whether or not the point rule actually counts for anything is up to the people playing the game. I like to deduct crazy numbers of points for different comments, sometimes arbitrarily saying, "Minus 1,000 Points for that answer!"

When asked what the points mean, it's fun to say I have no idea, but I made up the game so "Minus 1,000!" Either way, you get the point of the game. Give it a shot - it can be played anytime, anywhere, with anyone.

Cheers…and Happy "OR"-ing (cheesy, I know)!

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