Workshops by Thiagi, Inc. | Search

FORBIDDEN WORDS: A Framegame for Reviews

Copyright © 1997, Sivasailam Thiagarajan. All rights reserved.

Here's an interesting game to play near the end of a workshop. It helps you to review major concepts.

Can you describe the concept of simulation game without using any of these words: simulation, game, play, rules, reflect, represent, model, win, lose, and real? You may not use other forms of these forbidden words either. For example, reflection, reflective, or reflected are not acceptable.

Here's my attempt: This is an activity which is very much like what happens every day. It involves make-believe and pretending, but it is not drama or a roleplay. It is usually done on a computer, but a computer is not necessary. In training, you may have teams of participants involved in this activity . . .

Here's how to incorporate this idea into a game: Participants are organized into triads. Each participant picks up a card that has a concept to be described. This card also lists words which should not be used in defining the concept. The first player (sender) describes the concept and the second player (receiver) tries to guess the concept. The third player (monitor) keeps track of the time and makes sure that none of the forbidden words are used. When the receiver guesses correctly and shouts out the concept, the monitor announces the time. This time is recorded on both the sender's and the receiver's score sheet.

The second player now becomes the sender, the third player the receiver, and the first player the monitor. A different concept is used. The same procedure is repeated until all three players have had a chance to be the sender. The player with the shortest total time is the winner.

By the way, if the sender uses a forbidden word, both the sender and the (innocent) receiver are arbitrarily given a time of 3 minutes!

When you load this framegame, the secret is to select the concepts and the taboo words with care. Force your players to come up with plain English translations of technical definitions.