Background: The informant is very fond of the games she played with her family as a child. In the early 70s, they did not have the digital resources we do today to keep us entertained. Board games were a hit in her house, as were cards and chess, but her favorite game is what she calls the ‘tape-not game’. This game is similar to the popularized smartphone game Headsup.
Context: the informant explained that every Sunday night, her family would choose a game to play together. She was one of 5 children, plus her parents, so games were especially fun because of the size of the group. She said her favorite game was the ‘tape-note game’ and described the premise. Each player writes the name of a person of notoriety on a sheet of paper and tapes it to the person’s forehead next to them, without that person seeing the name on the card. Once all the players are assigned names, each player takes turns asking a yes or no question about the person on their head. The first player to guess who is written on their note wins. The informant loved this game in particular because it was interactive and required a lot of thought to succeed in the game. She also liked that depending on who was seated next to her, she could choose a celebrity that she thought would be funny or challenge the player. The game was more personal than cards, and the informant appreciated all the laughs that accompanied playing. This game was termed by her family and the rules are flexible depending on the night.
Thoughts: This is a folk game that is specialized to the informant’s family. It became a Sunday night custom and an opportunity for the family to gather together and connect. The informant is reminded of a different version of this game that fits into a more contemporary digital era when she sees people playing Headsup. Another similar popularized game is the board game Headbands. These commercialized games, however, come with a handbook on how to play, whereas this family folk game is less formal and more personalized.