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What if?

What it is: A silly group game that’s played indoors. There aren’t really winners or losers; it’s more a game of being creative/funny and laughing at everyone’s responses. It works well with teens or adults.

Best for: A group of about 10.

What you need: You’ll need paper and pens for everyone to write with. The paper doesn’t need to be big; in fact, index cards would be perfect.

How to play: To start, pass around pens and cards to everyone in the circle. This is a great, easy game for groups because you don’t need a certain number of players and no one has to sit out; everyone can play right away. Once everyone has a card and pen, tell everyone to write a question that begins with “What if…” at the top of the card. For example, “What if people had platypuses for pets instead of dogs?”

These questions can be as serious or as silly as you want them to be. In our games, they usually end up both ridiculously silly and about people in the room, like “What if Joe wore only corduroy clothing all the time?” At any rate, don’t be afraid to let your creativity show!

Then collect all of the cards, shuffle them up, and deal them back out to everyone randomly. If someone gets their own card by chance, you can let them switch for another one.

Once everyone has a card with a question that they didn’t write, tell everyone to then write an answer to the question, starting with the word “Then…” Again, these can be as silly or as serious as you want. If you got the question “What if we all had platypuses for pets instead of dogs?” you might write: “Then we’d all have to live next to rivers and streams.” Or you might write “Then Lassie would have turned out a whole lot differently.” The point of the game is to be kind of silly, so don’t be afraid to. :) Also don’t worry if you think you’re not terribly witty (as I always do in games like this), because it really won’t matter in the end. You’ll still be funny even if you’re not witty. I love games like that.

Then for the last part of the game, everyone goes around the circle and reads their cards, but here’s the catch: you’ll answer each question with a mis-matched answer. So here’s how it works. Say Mike’s playing and he was holding the platypus question. He’d read the question out loud: “What if we all had platypuses for pets instead of dogs?” But then the person to the right of Mike, we’ll call her Kim, would read her answer for her question, which might be: “Then the world would be a much better place.” Then Kim would read the question on the card she’s holding, “What if there were a Chick-fil-A on every corner?” and the next person in the circle would respond with their answer to their question. You’d go all around the circle until you got back to Mike’s answer: “Then Lassie would have turned out a whole lot differently.”

Usually hearing a question with the wrong answer is pretty funny, either because it makes absolutely no sense or it’s surprisingly true. :) So as you go around the circle, you’ll all probably laugh and joke (especially if  some of the questions are about people in the room) and claim the questions. A lot of silliness, but a lot of fun, too. Then if you like it, play another round!

Variations: This game reminds me a lot of paper telephone, probably because both games invariably tend to be about people in the room in ridiculous situations. So silly. But so fun.

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5 Comments

  1. English for kids replied:

    What if I didn’t visit this great site .I’ll get crazy .Wonderful game,I’ll do it in my school.Thanks again .

    May 19th, 2012 at 3:49 pm. Permalink.

  2. Kristen replied:

    Oh my gosh!!! We just played this game with our youth group- we actually had a very small group tonight- there were only 3 adults and 2 kids! But we LOOOOOOOOOOVED this game! We played for 45 minutes and were all crying ourselves to tears! It was hilarious! Thank you for the game. Everyone kept asking where I found this game! So. Good.

    March 20th, 2013 at 10:58 pm. Permalink.

  3. The Game Gal replied:

    Kirsten, that’s so great! This game really does get so hilarious. Glad you had fun!

    June 3rd, 2013 at 7:44 pm. Permalink.

  4. Jeanette replied:

    Hi Game Gal,
    This is a fab game for my English teaching class. Do you have a list of starter phrases for the game?

    November 12th, 2013 at 7:16 am. Permalink.

  5. The Game Gal replied:

    Hi Jeanette,
    Thanks! I actually don’t have a list of starter phrases ready. But here’s a few quick ideas I put together, with some ideas of how to create your own, too:

    • What if rain drops (or clouds, trees, etc.) were made of chocolate milk (or cotton candy, marshmallows, etc)?
    • What if money (or clothes, books, toys, etc) grew on trees?
    • What if you (or your uncle, mom, dad, sister, etc) were rich and famous?
    • What if we started a settlement on the moon (or Mars, Jupiter, etc)?
    • What if you had super strength (or could fly, or stop time, etc)?
    • What if the sky were green instead of blue? (Or if the oceans were pink, or if rivers were yellow, etc)
    • What if humans could only see in black and white?
    • What if dogs and cats (or any other animal) could talk?
    • What if your life were a movie?
    • What if time travel (or fairy tales, or Harry Potter, etc) were real?
    • What if you wore only the color blue (or any other color) all the time?
    • What if french fries (or washing machines, microwaves, cell phones, Facebook, etc) had never been invented?

    Hope those can help!

    November 12th, 2013 at 12:45 pm. Permalink.

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