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A Thousand Blank White Cards

Summary: A unique open-ended activity that lets players create the rules on white cards!

Ages: All. Recommended # of People: 5-6. Messiness Factor: You’ll move around. Materials Required: pens, blank white cards, an open space.

A Thousand Blank White Cards

How to Play

A Thousand Blank White Cards is a fun game that will ask players to make up creative rules.  Everyone starts with a wide open blank canvas.

The facilitator should prepare small stacks (7-8) of white index cards.  For about $10 you can large packs of cards online from Amazon.  Give each person a pen.

Instruct everyone on how to create a good card.  Each card should have (1) a title, (2) a consequence, and (3) a simple drawing.

For example:

  • A giant dinosaur arrives.  Everybody must scream in fear.  Everyone loses 1200 points.
  • Cookie Monster.  For each card in the discard pile, cookie monster eats these.  You get 100 points each.
  • Ghosts come alive.  Search the cards in the discard pile and take one.  Play it.
  • Exercise bunny.  While this card is in front of you, you must do 8 jumping jacks before you take your turn.
  • Pirate ship.  Speak like a pirate for one turn, then disc-ARRRRR-d this card.

Some cards can describe a way to win the game.  Other cards can react to that (an “Undo” card or a reaction card if someone seemingly wins, it can take away their win).  More explanation on that below.

Each player writes various cards, each with the 3 required parts as described above.  It should have the title, consequence and drawing.  It can be funny and involve silly actions as well.  Collect all the cards once they are written.  Place the deck in the middle of the room on a table or anywhere easy to reach.  There will also be a “discard pile” in the center for cards that have been discarded.

Playing the Game

Follow the following steps:

  1. On a player’s turn, he or she first draws a card from the deck.
  2. He or she then plays a card from their hand.  Place the card in front of any player or on the table.   For instance, a beneficial card could be played in front of himself or herself, or a negative card could be played in front of another player.  Some cards will be played in the center or perhaps impacts everyone.  Some cards will be discarded in the center after used.  All of this depends on the rule written on each card.
  3. After the first player has finished their turn, play continues clockwise, either until there are no cards left in the deck, or until some card effect has determined the end of the game.

If you’re not sure what to write on a card, just ask yourself what cards would be interesting to see in the game. This might be a reaction to another card — for example, if one player creates a card that says “When this card is played, you win the game,” another player could create an “Undo card” or a silly card that reads “Opposite day: If a player wins the game, play this card immediately. That player loses the game and exits this round”

At the end of a game, you can discuss as a group which cards were good and should be kept for play in future games. The fun of this game is not so much winning, but rather being creative in making unique cards that can be retained for future play.