Some of My Favorite Apartment Games

I’d like to think a list like this needs no more introduction than a title, but I’ll go on introducing anyways. It’s a list of games: easy games, fun games, games which you can play in your own home (yes, do try these at home, folks!). In my home, these are the games I regularly play every week, but I’m sure there are many more. They can be also be played in houses, duplexes, public housing projects, or wherever you happen to dwell. Please share if you have any of your own! With no further ado…

Apartment Games:

  • Will I Require Pants? – A simple yet enjoyable game, suitable for many occasions. Play it next time you will be using a handsaw, running for the doorbell, carrying bags of garbage, talking on the phone with relatives, walking around the house at night, eating finger-food, sewing or doing needlework, or any of the many other situations where having (or not having) pants is so often uncertain.
  • Does This Go Here? – This game is not as well-known as some, but I guarantee it’s worth trying. The object is to find something in the home that is out of place. But you probably won’t win with just any ol’ dirty sock wrapped ’round a ceiling fan—you should seek out the most wildly unlikely, head-scratchingly bizarre, pickle-jar-full-of-melted-cheese-inside-a-fishtank type combination. Great with kids.
  • What Am I Supposed to Do With This? – Much similar in idea to the classic game “Hot Potato,” but picks up where it leaves off. The giver hands the receiver a “potato,” which is, let’s say, a large freezer bag full of pipe cleaners. No matter how seemingly unimportant or stupid, whatever it is mustn’t be thrown away! Instead, the receiver must decide what next to do with it. You’ll discover this is easier said than done…
  • You Go Here Now – Like Tetris, spatial awareness and strategic thinking are necessary to win at this game. The challenge is to fit something into a space which really can’t possibly accomodate one more thing. How is that possible, you ask? When you finally find out, make sure to yell, “You Go Here Now!”
  • I Come In Here For Something – Fun for all ages, and can be played anytime, with equipment you probably already have. All that’s needed are two or more rooms, a collection of stuff which cannot be stored in only one of them, and another (hopefully larger!) collection of mental distractions. Simply mix and begin play. Plan a series of such games for hours of entertainment.
  • Find The Smell – One of my least favorites, unfortunately, since I’m generally quite good at it. This game is distinct in that winning isn’t always much fun (as “The Smell” is often something unpleasant/unwanted/disturbing), but still not as bad as losing. Rotten fruit, pet feces, standing water, household pests, building damage, questionable visitors, and all manner of dead things are usually good props utilized for play. Similar to hide-n-seek, but more viscerally revolting.
  • Secret Weakness – Hard to explain the rules for this one. Can be played alone or with any size group. A sort-of riddle game, the idea is to find something (not previously expected) that makes you feel suddenly, gut-puchingly powerless. For example, if one player has a job with a strict dress code, use the last of his/her leftover purple hair dye. An elegant game when played correctly.
  • I Need A Hug – Collect as many hugs as you require in the shortest amount of time, from as many people you find tolerable. Usually played after other games, like Secret Weakness or Find The Smell.

There you have it! Hope you enjoyed my list, and please, please, do send me more if you have them. I’m always up for more fun!

Games Fun, Fun Good

I like mind games. I bet you didn’t know that mind games are good for you. Don’t believe me? Allow me to explain.

Many are the reasons that these things, these things of which I speak, make our lives better. Have you been bored lately? I haven’t… I can’t. I just will not allow myself. I must play. I play with those around me — confusing them, prodding them, keeping ’em guessing. I play with stuff I find. I play with myself. That’s right, I said it. How can one resist a flavored toothpick, a sublimely obscure joke, a button that goes ‘click’, or — dare I say — one’s own elbow skin? How?! This (as many of you will know) is called “fun”. Not only are they entertaining, but these little games keep me occupied when the otherwise tedious stimulus-response cycle threatens to de-vamp my vim. I gots to have me my vim, you know. Gotsta.

It’s from this perspective I volunteer a seemingly obvious adage: fun is good for you. Not taking things too seriously keeps you stable, it gives you a release when you need it and makes life interesting when you don’t. Drink up, ye seekers of sanity, the cup of vim.

Unfortunately it seems not too many people realize this. Or, worse yet are those who have no energy… at all. “Ebullient vitality and energy” can be difficult without that. I’ll be the first to confess I’m a) young b) healthy c) naturally, let’s say, a “curious” individual. So I’ve got an advantage. What’s to stop you, though, from pretending that instead of “working” at your “job” you’re just maintaining deep cover? And the twist is — you must discover who it is you’re supposed to spy on (!!!). Keep tabs on people’s calls. Make up secret codes between your co-workers. Nothing, nothing, could possibly make refilling the water cooler any more intense.

I know some of you will find this outlook childish, immature, perhaps even regressive. To them I say: uhhhh huuuuh… Do you even remember how awesome it was playing games in grade school? No. Of course not. Because you are an old fart that has grown stale instead of savory with age. Come on — grade school is the only time when Marbles vs. Dinosaurs is a perfectly sensible bout. Maybe I’m like this because back in the day I didn’t get enough quality playtime. I was that kid that was with a different group each day on the playground. Nobody could stand me for too long. I remember once, for about a week in fourth grade, I incessently chanted “craaack, CRACK, crack … crack-crack … creeeaaaaaak (et cetera)” just for the hell of it. Plea for attention? Nascent ennui? Yeah, I’m gonna go with nascent ennui just cause most people won’t understand that.

What was my point? Oh yes. There is only one thing in the entire world that we can have complete control of: our own minds. You’re assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to make your own life interesting. While you’re at it try making it livable too. Then call me. We need to work out the details and write a frickin’ book.