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Games for sharing what gives life

The Spielkroll

Materials required: 1 die, 1 counter and 1 bic per person, sheets of different colours, e.g. blue, green, red, white, and a large sheet of paper (e.g. A3) to make the game board.

Objective: To communicate
This is a game of goose.  Each square corresponds to a question that the player is asked to answer. The others listen attentively, without speaking!  The squares have four different colours corresponding to four types of question.

Making the game
Players are invited to build their own game.  They are given 2 sheets of paper (1/8 A4) of each colour: 2 blue, 2 green, 2 red. On each sheet they write a question relating to the colour of the sheet. For example, on a red sheet he would write: "Tell us about an event that made you happy".
The slips of paper written by each player are collected into three piles (a blue pile, a green pile and a red pile) and shuffled into each pile.
So that the preparations don't take too long, the host of the game will have made a board with the squares of the game of the goose on it, as in the image opposite.

Spielkroll 50 ko

Value of the box colours

     Blue: "Define for us what...".  This concerns abstract thought. Examples: "Define for us what is for you: a diploma, audacity, cooking, dialogue...".  
     Green: "If you were an object, a plant or an animal, you would be: .........".  This is about imagination. Examples: "If you were a piece of furniture, you would be: ...; if you were a flower, you would be:.... If you were a bird, a country...". The person answering is asked to say why they would be a particular object, plant or animal.
     Red: "Tell us" about an event in your life that aroused a strong emotion in you.  This takes us into the realm of emotions. Examples:
"Tell us about an event in your life when you felt particularly distressed, very happy, very angry, etc... whether in your family, in a youth movement, at school, in the community..."  
     White: When a player lands on a white square, he or she is invited to ask another player a question about what he or she said when answering a previous question.  This requires everyone to pay attention to everything that is said! Here are two examples: 
"In recounting the event that made you furious, you said that you were angry with "x".  Won't you try and tell us why?
"You said that a community is a place where everyone assumes their material responsibilities.  Do you think we don't do that in our community?" 

How the game is played. A player rolls the die and moves forward the number of squares indicated. For example, 5 corresponds to a red square. The player takes a red sheet of paper and answers the question. The others listen in silence. The sheet is then placed under the other red sheets.

1. The main attitude is to listen respectfully to others.
2. The game is all the more interesting if everyone shares what they say.
3. Don't give yourself away more than you want to.  
4. Don't "quote" outside the group what someone else has shared.

Together go through a knot

We owe this game to Jean Brasseur, a member of Esdac co-author of the book "Pratique du discernement en commun" soon to be translated into English
Equipment: a 15 m long rope. 
Preparation: the facilitator ties a simple knot in the middle of the rope, without tightening it.  He ties the rope at each end around the back of a chair.

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How it's done: the facilitator asks 3 or 4 participants to stand next to a chair and grasp the rope with one hand, the index finger and thumb together forming a ring around the rope (see image). He literally tells them the following, without comment:

"The knot symbolises a difficulty through which your group is called to pass.  Listen carefully to the instructions, because I'm not going to repeat them.  So this is also an exercise in listening carefully. If you have any questions, talk amongst yourselves. Here are the instructions:

  • the aim is for everyone (the 3 or 4) to cross the knot,
  • as quickly as possible,
  • with as much fun as possible for everyone,
  • and always keep the thumb/index ring of one hand closed around the rope. You can use the other hand as you wish.

The leader adds to the rest of the group: "Everyone pay attention to what they see, hear and feel.

Afterwards: The facilitator asks those who have been playing, then those who have been watching:

  • What did you observe? 
  • What can you say about the way power was exercised in this small group? Who was in charge? Who submitted?
  • What major lesson can you draw from this experience?