Phasing Out

Duration:  5 minutes

Age: 9+

Players: 5 – 12.  If you have more players, split them into smaller groups and take turns in playing.  There is much to learn by sitting out and observing and it will provide material for a discussion of the game.

This is a good introduction to trust and the idea that you can be doing things differently from everyone else without necessarily being wrong. 

  • Stand in a circle, facing outwards.  The leader counts, audibly and with a steady pulse, ‘One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, One’.  From this 'One' everyone continues counting to eight in their heads, calling out ‘one’ each time they reach it.  It is important not to give any audible or physical indication of the pulse such as tapping feet or whispering under breath. 
  • What will almost certainly happen is that all the different ‘one’s will gradually move further and further apart.  This is fine and the point of the exercise is to show how subjective is everyone’s notion of pulse.

Tip:  If the ones don't drift apart it may because your group has an amazing telepathic bond they gained when they were, en masse, abducted by aliens.  On the other hand it may be because they are so desperate to conform that they are inadvertently cheating.  In this case let it go and move on to another game: it was a valuable indicator of the nature of your group at this stage.  Next time you play the game it will be interesting to see if there is any difference.