Conversations Against Mundanity
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Conversations Against Mundanity
Mundanity, noun; being very ordinary and not interesting.
For conversations that get a little more real.
A good conversation can unlock parts of us that little else can. There’s nothing wrong with chatting about the everyday – it’s what fills most of our lives after all – but those don’t tend to be the conversations we remember.
Instead we remember when we were honest enough with one another to open up and say something real and true.
This game tries to kickstart those kinds of conversations. Because sometimes we want – need – more than small talk. Sometimes we’re hungry for something more than the mundane.
The aim of the game
To have conversations that really mean something.
Six decks, each with 16 question cards and 56 subject cards.
A set of intervention cards.
What you need
A way to keep track of the points and a five-minute timer.
Who can play?
You can play with 3-8 people, with good friends or complete strangers. If you’re playing with children, use the Family Deck. The other decks are rated 18+.
How to win?
You play until you run out of question cards, dinner’s ready, or the last orders bell rings. The person with the most points at the end wins.
The most important rule
Be a good conversationalist. If you break this rule, be prepared to be muted. This means:
·Don’t judge others, and don’t be defensive yourself.
·Listen well and don’t interrupt.
·Try to be honest, open and real, and if you find yourself getting wound up – or worthy – it’s probably time to change the subject.
·If you find you’re speaking plenty, maybe it’s time to listen now.
·If you haven’t said much, try and get stuck in.
·Don’t be afraid to use the Intervention Cards, they’re there to help.
·Remember to look after yourself (and everyone else).
How to play
1.Together, pick a deck.
2.Deal all players one question card and three subject cards, then place the leftover question and subject cards in two piles face down in the middle.
3.The Intervention Cards should be laid out each facing up so players can get to them.
4.The person whose place of birth is the earliest in the alphabet goes first as Conversation Chooser.
5.The Chooser reads aloud their own question card, and the players respond by each choosing one of their subject cards to fill the blank and giving it to the Chooser.
6.The Chooser picks the subject card they think makes for the best conversation. Whoever’s card that is, wins a point. The unchosen subject cards go to the bottom of the subject card pile.
7.Set a five-minute timer and let the conversation begin!
8.Any player can play an intervention card at any time, according to the rules on that card.
9.When the five minutes is up, the conversation ends. Put the question and subject card from that conversation in a discard pile.
10.All players make sure they have three subject cards and one question card by picking up from the relevant pile.
11.The next person clockwise becomes the Chooser, reads out their question, and the game continues from 5. as above.
12.Play as many rounds as you like and the person with the most points at the end wins.
The different decks
What’s the stuff we do or think that we don’t usually talk about?
What makes us who we are and what does it mean to be us in the world?
What do we actually believe – about the world, about faith and religion, about divisive subjects?
What are the things we never say about sex, relationships and bodies that we could do with speaking out loud?
What power do we have to make choices that have an impact on ourselves and others?
Playing with anyone under the age of 18? Not feeling ready to dive into some of the grittier subjects? Then this is the deck for you – it’s an age-appropriate mixture of the other subjects.
Need to stage an intervention? Use a card
The intervention cards should each sit face up in the middle. Anybody can play one by simply holding it in the air. Each one has its own rules (these are written on the cards) and some cause points to be won or lost. Some need validating – this means if you play one, at least one other player must agree (by shouting ‘validated!’) before the intervention takes effect. When any intervention card has been played, it is returned to the middle. You can play each one as many times as you like in each round.
If you’ve got to grips with the game, feel free to chuck the rules out the window and do your own thing with the cards. Here are some ideas:
• Play quickfire by reducing the conversation timer to one or two minutes.
• Mashup your game by mixing all the decks together!
• Use the cards as an icebreaker to help people get to know each other, for example by offering a group one question and a handful of subjects and everyone has to pick a subject and answer the question.
Some other things
This game aims to open people up to deeper conversations and it comes with trigger warnings!
• The game is intended to play with a variety of audiences – including people outside of church. The decks enable you to choose the kind of conversation you might have; we know some conversations aren’t for everyone, so if you’d rather avoid personal topics we recommend you don’t use the Confessions and Taboo decks.
• Although we encourage speaking honestly and openly, it’s up to each player to disclose what they want to disclose in the conversations. Everyone should take responsibility for their own needs, including seeking help or advice from an appropriate agency, which might include your local Methodist church.
• This game does not offer answers. It facilitates conversations between players who will offer their own thoughts on each subject. These thoughts may not be those of the Methodist Church. Although the Church is diverse, with many different perspectives and opinions, there are some subjects that we have clear views on. You can find out more at: methodist.org.uk