G-H-O-S-T

Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about what games I can play with my kids as they get older.  This one fits the bill.  No screen, no board, no cards; all you need is a few peeps (two or more, actually), their brains, and a good attitude toward having some fun.

This game and post content courtesy of Mr. Seth Godin.  All credit due is to that fine gentleman.

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This is my favorite game.

It doesn’t involve a board, there are no cards and it’s free to play. It works for two to six players.

You can do it in a car or a plane, it works great for two, and if you’re kind, you can play it with someone less skilled than you.

The more you play, the deeper and more fun the strategies go.

I thought I’d share the rules here, because more g-h-o-s-t is good g-h-o-s-t.Summary:

Go around the circle of players and each person adds a letter to a spoken string, striving to not be the person who actually makes the string of letters into a word.Players go one at a time, in order.

Of course, you can sit anywhere you like.

When each player has taken his or her turn, begin again with the first player.To play a round, someone says a letter.

The next person in the order has to add a letter to the first, beginning a word.

For example, the first person might begin by saying, “y” and then, the next person could say, “o”.

The third could say “u” because three letters don’t count as a word.

Beginning with the fourth letter, the goal is to not complete the word. So, if the letters are y-o-u from the first three players, the fourth player shouldn’t say “r” because that would make a word.

But it’s fine to say “t”.

If, on your turn, you are stuck and there’s no choice but to say a letter that completes a word (in this case, “h”), you lose the round.

Every time you lose a round, you get stuck with another letter in the word ‘ghost’, hence the name of the game. If you lose five rounds, you’re out of the game. The last person left, wins.

If you lose a round, it’s your turn to start the next round by picking a new letter.

Okay, three simple complications:

1. The letter you say has to create a possible word. So if the string is, “y-o-u”, you can’t say, “x”. (Unless you’re bluffing, see rule 2).

2. If the person before you says a letter that you believe is impossible, you can challenge their play. If they can respond with a legal word, you lose the round. If they can’t, because they were bluffing or in error, they lose the round.

3. No proper nouns, no contractions, no hyphens, no acronyms, no abbreviations. These words don’t exist in the game.

And the big complication, the one that changes everything and makes this a game for the ages:  Once you get the hang of it, the group can play reverso.

This means that when it’s your turn, you’re allowed to add a letter before the string, if you choose, instead of after.

So now, words can be built in either direction, and game becomes magical. ‘y-o-u’ can now become ‘a-y-o-u’ and then ‘b-a-y-o-u’.’r-d-s-c-r’ for example, isn’t worth challenging, because ‘hardscrabble’ is a word.

If you want to play reverso g-h-o-s-t as a finite game, with thrown elbows and strategy, it makes a terrific two-player game.

If you want to play it as an infinite game, setting up friends and family to do ever better, a game that never ends and has wordcraft and humor to it, you can do that as well.

Have fun.

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And if you want more from Seth Godin?  Well, he’s got a bunch.  Check him out here.

Friday Faves, #44

This week’s list is like a fine wine….it’s tasty, and it will grow on your.  ENJOY.

Destination of the Week:  Menlo Park, California.  Not just a pretty face, not just deep pockets, but a complex and cool, mid-peninsula town in the San Francisco Bay Area. Check it out. More than once.

Quote of the Week: ” We don’t want to try to pigeon anybody and say, ‘You’re only a third-down ‘back.’ I don’t believe in that. If you come to play football, you come to play every down.” – Tom Rathman.

Band of the Week:  Not a band, but an iconic figure in American folk music for a half a century.  Joan Baez. Sample?  HERE.

Meal of the Week:  Vietnamese sandwich.  Need one?  Me too.  Maybe HERE.

Website of the Week:  Like pro cycling?  Me too.  Might have shared this site before, but no matter. Twice is better than none!  Check it out for all the races, great pics, and as a portal to cool cycling info. HERE.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Faves, Issue #43

This week’s list is all about beating the heat, ’cause it’s pretty hot in this neck of the woods….  ENJOY!

Destination of the Week:  Cambria, California is one of the many great, quaint coastal communities on the central coast.  Can’t beat the coast to stay cool when much of the state is bakin’!

Quote of the Week:  “Hydrate or die.”

Band of the Week:  Who else?  The Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Here’s a classic.

Meal of the Week:   Ice Cream.  One of the best places to procure on the planet found here.

Website of the Week: Great Website. Great Tips.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Faves, Issue #41

This week’s list is in honor of an old friend who’s getting married this weekend.  ENJOY!

Destination of the Week:  Los Gatos, California.  The first trendy, awesome little town in the Santa Clara Valley.  Pricey place, but doesn’t cost a thing to stroll the streets and enjoy the vibe.

Quote of the Week: “I do.”

Band of the Week: Gotta be The Kinks.  Gotta be “LOLA”.

Meal of the Week: Jumbo Burger with Cheese at Helvetia Tavern in northwest Oregon.

Website of the Week: For Dads everywhere. Encouraging Dads.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Faves, Issue #40

Continuing with the theme established last week, let’s take it the next step.  What does the interwebs have to say about each of these tidbits…? Read on to find out.

Destination of the Week:  The baseline. Greenwich.

Quote of the Week: “…we shall never surrender!”

Band of the Week:   Jet – “Are you going to be my girl?”

Meal of the Week: Bangers and Mash – classic comfort food.

Website of the Week: Bloomberg “Markets” – every workday.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Faves, Issue #39

Family crisis has things a bit a swirl today, so trying a new approach to the Faves to get ’em done speedy-like.  Google and/or Wikipedia the tidbits below to get some fresh insight on GOOD.

Destination of the Week: “Red Rocks, Colorado” – Beauty, Spiritual, Rocking Good Spot for a music gig — Get There !

Quote of the Week: “Fight the Good Fight” – Good to live by, EVERY day.

Band of the Week: “Oingo Boingo” – Danny Elfman and crew — awesome sounds!

Meal of the Week: “Roasted Brussels Sprouts” – Don’t be afraid, try them!

Website of the Week: “POLST.org” – for yourself, and loved ones, this is essential.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Faves, Issue #35

Rainy spring day here in San Jose…perfect time to gather up this week’s list. ENJOY.

Destination of the Week:  A city of relative calm and prosperity in a dynamic region of the world, Amman Jordan was founded 9,000 years ago.  So it’s got some history, to say the least.

Quote of the Week: “…if I could, you know I would…let it go.” That song’s so good, here’s another version, from a few years earlier.

Band of the Week:  Given the quote, no surprise…it’s U2.  You too probably have at least heard of them.

Meal of the Week: That old Irish standby, Corn Beef and Cabbage. This recipe guides you start to finish.

Website of the Week:  Yet another great resource for parents, for families…for GOOD. Right here.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!