The Perfect Ice Breaker

We’ve talked a few times about the benefits of board games. They can help kids learn new skills. They are a great pastime and a social one to boot. But there’s one other way in which board games (and card games) can help us in our day-to-day. Board games can be the perfect way to get to know someone.

Not everyone is going to be a big fan of board games and in some scenarios, games as icebreakers may not work as well as others. There’s also the type of game and audience. A game that relies on crass humour may not be the best thing to pull out at a networking event at your office. That said, if you are going to a convention or meeting a group of likeminded people you may be able to pull out games you might not be willing to try otherwise.

If you’re looking for a good ice breaker, you need to consider the following:
– The rules must be simple and easy to understand
– It must be instantly engaging
– It must be quick
– It should support any number of players
– Everyone should feel involved at all times
– Who is the audience?

(Summer tip — ice breaker games are often good for family travel too!)

Some good quick hits:

Love Letter

This quick card game has simple rules but can be a lot of fun. Players try to get their letters as close to the princess as possible and do so by having the highest value court member in their hand when the when the game is over. Better yet travels well.

Werewolf / Are You a Werewolf

This is a great game to play around a campfire. Players try to determine who amongst them are werewolves while trying not to get eaten at night. A lot of bluffing, teamwork, and accidental lynching of innocent villagers.

Dixit

A great game for all ages. There’s no long text involved as players play with cards depicting various fantastic scenes. Select a card that matches a title suggested by the storyteller then the group as a whole needs to determine which card belonged to the storyteller and which belonged to another player. Fantastic and creative and very easy to learn and play.

Telestrations

A game of drawing and interpreting other player’s drawings. Each player choses a word from a card and must draw it then pass it to the next player for them to interpret. They write down what word the first player drew and pass it along. The next player then draws that word. Part telephone and part pictionary, the game is sometimes better when players are less skilled at art. (There’s an After Dark version as well)

Exploding Kittens

An amusing card game where players try to avoid drawing an exploding kitten card and do everything they can to ensure their opponents are the ones to explode. Play cards to skip your draw, for opponents to draw and defuse kittens. The amusing art is worth a chuckle and there’s also a “Not Safe For Work” version with even more… creative… art.

Say Anything

A game to play if you really want to get to know someone. Players answer strange questions and then a judge votes on whose answer he likes best.

 

So if you are going to an event toss a few ice breakers into your suitcase and use them to help meet new people or get to know some of your friends even better!

Greg Grondin

Gregory Grondin is a full time Systems Analyst working for Mariner Innovations. He also works as a weight loss consultant for Weight Watchers and is part owner of Heroes’ Beacon. You can follow his web comic series at http://www.spacepawdyssey.com


Greg is a fan of gaming and comics in general and an avid collector of Transformers figures.


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