Picture Telephone AKA Telestrations, Writey Drawey, Ghost Meets Disaster
For ~5 - ~20 players.
- One pencil per person
- One sheet of paper per person
Everyone sits in a circle and gets their own blank sheet of paper and pencil.
Everyone starts by making up a short sentence and writing it on the top of their sheet of paper. Keep that sentence a secret. Write somewhat small; it should take up only a vertical inch of paper. Once everyone has written a sentence, everyone passes their paper to the right one person around the circle.
Once you receive your neighbor’s paper, rounds begin. In each round, someone will add one “translation” of the initial sentence.
In each round you have to perform one translation. If you receive a paper with a sentence at the top, you have to draw an illustration that best represents the sentence without words. If you receive a drawing, you have to write out the sentence that best represents the drawing.
In either case, try to keep your work somewhat small, only taking up another inch at the top of the page. This is so there will be enough room for further translations underneath!
Once you are done, or have run out of time, fold the top of the paper, containing the drawing or sentence you received, backwards so that only your contribution is visible. Then pass this paper to your right to complete the round.
Once you’ve played the number of rounds equal to the number of people playing, everyone should have their original sheet with their sentence. Have a show-and-tell each person reading out the progression of sentences.
If the entire front side of a sheet becomes full, unfurl the page and start writing on the back.
For a large group, it might be useful to enforce a 30 second time limit for each round to make sure the game keeps moving.
For a large group, you can also limit the number of rounds to 8 or so.