When I was a child I was labelled a ‘bad loser’ when it came to playing games. For me, it was all about winning. I would take games so seriously that my family would often just ‘let’ me win to keep the peace. Monopoly, especially, brought out my most competitive characteristics. I wanted all the properties and all the hotels and all the cash. Looking back on this, maybe there were more useful things to learn in playing games.
“It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part.” Have you ever heard that phrase? Do you live by it?
What would a game look like if the aim was not to win or be in competition, but to play with other people? What if the point of a game actually was the ‘taking part’?
So Tea and Tolerance have begun to explore this question. To create a game that is about taking part in conversation: discovering what we each think, feel and want. What kind of world would you like to live in? How can we disagree agreeably? The answer to both these questions takes time, thought and space. How can we create the space and focus for these questions. How can we have more useful conversations?
So we introduce ” Being Human: the Conversation Game.”
It contains 5 sets of cards: questions, quotes and instructions. These are placed on a tea towel ( the game board) and with ‘teapot’ playing pieces for each player. This is all contained within a tea caddy. There are guidelines and specially devised Play Nicely rules, which help you enjoy the game.
We are embarking on initial design and print over the next two months and hope to have games available later in the year, so watch this space. Follow us on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest in buying the game.
A little more explanation of our original conversation model.
When we take our tea trolley to different groups we provide two hosts. People choose if, when and how long they participate. Consent and freedom to choose are key elements.
In practical terms, they choose a teapot or other receptacle and they choose a question, then we invite others to do the same and we all have a conversation ( if we want). One of the hosts will take the role of active’ listener and the other will ‘hold the space’. Between these two hosts, conversations are navigated and gently supported so that listening is maximised and any conflicts or provocations that arises have space to be heard and not swiftly judged. Part of our ‘Play Nicely’ guidelines: we agree to disagree agreeably. Each person listens to the other and is curious about the other’s viewpoint. They allow the other their view. This is important in the aims of the game. This enables people to have difficult conversations without shutting other people or themselves down. If we can not talk about it, how do we propose to ever move on?
Find out more about our game here