Around the World
Around the World is kind of like a tricky thinking game, where you have to catch on to the pattern and see how long it takes everyone else to realize it too. So basically you tell your friends, Im going to name a place. It can be any kind of place, whether its a city, country, continent, theme park, school, whatever. Your job is to figure out which place we can go to next. There are only certain places we can go to, so youll have to figure out the pattern. Then you start the game by naming a place that begins with the letter A, because the pattern is that you are actually spelling Around the world! So then you can say like OK, the first place we will go to is Africa, and then you ask your friends what the next place you can go to is. So they keep guessing, and you say yes or no depending if they choose a place that begins with the letter R. You can help them out if they are having a lot of difficulty by saying, OK fine the next place we are going to go to is Richmond. And then you just keep this up until someone figures out the pattern and can help you continue the game, as the rest of your friends are still confused. Basically the point of the game is to figure out the pattern, feel smart about yourself, and then see how long it takes your friends to figure it out!
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Hande told me that she first learned this game from her Varsity Girls Basketball teammates while they were on a trip to San Diego for a tournament. In their downtime, the girls would play these kinds of puzzling games and see who was the sharpest at figuring out the patterns. Those who already knew how to play got to administer the games while the newbies were stuck trying to solve the game. Hande said that although she wished she was already in the know and not one of the people trying to figure out the game, she had a lot of fun playing and after she figured out the pattern, it was almost a bittersweet kind of feeling because she would never be able to re-experience the process of playing the game and figuring out the patterns. In this sense, those who already knew how to play the game and those who did not belonged to separate communities and, during the game, could only identify themselves with certain peoplethose who shared the same level of newness or experience. The game was therefore like a kind of initiation processonce the player figures out the pattern and realizes how the game is played, they are no longer part of the new group but now a member of the elite group that possesses knowledge of and experience with the game. Games like Around the World certainly serve not only as fun ways to pass time and trick ones friends but also as unifying elements that contribute to group identity and ones affiliation with certain groups or organizations.