Blackout no Whiteout


This piece was collected over a casual FaceTime in which we were previously just catching up and talking about our elementary school experiences. We are close friends who met in high school and have known each other for five years. My informant (JS) was born in California and is now attending Carnegie Mellon as Computer Science major. He enjoys coding, playing video games, and weight lifting.

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant (JS) and interviewer.

Interviewer: What’s Blackout No Whiteout? 

JS: So, um, if you don’t want something you give it to someone and you say “blackout no whiteout” you don’t have to take it back and they have to keep it.

Interviewer: So can they give it to someone else?

JS: I think so. They just have to say “black out no whiteout” again.

Interviewer: How old were you when you used this?

JS: Um, like, kindergarten, five, six. I learned it from school friends. 


I like to think of Blackout No Whiteout as the opposite of Dibs. When I was little and we used this rule, it was often to get rid of trash and force someone else to throw it out. In my opinion, I thought it was funny and innocent at the time, but looking back, we used it as a way to pick on some classmates who always ended up getting stuck with the “thing” nobody else wanted. Children can be mean to each other, and this is one of the games that demonstrates that.