One person holds up an object to the camera The rest of the group is given 8 seconds to find a matching object The first person decides what is the best match
Create fun connection between people
Involve people with their physical environment
Build confidence (improv justification skills)
Play on Zoom or other video conferencing
Player 1 holds up an object to the camera and begins to count down from ten ( 8 etc.). The rest of the group scrambles to find a matching object and hold it to the camera by the time Person 1 reaches zero.
Player 1 looks at the objects and decides which is the best match. They may call on each person to explain WHY their object is the best match. This is where the game gets fun because people can use any type of justification to make their case (ie. focus on symbolism, personal story, etc. rather than simple physical match)
The person who they declare has found the best matching object sets their object down and picks a new object and the play repeats.
In a large group, in Zoom you can spotlight up to 9 people for the person to choose between. Or they can look at the whole screen. Or demo it in the main session and then send people into small groups of 4-6 people to play so everyone has a turn to be the chooser.
Instead of showing an object the facilitator asks people to find something that matches a description. Find something… Blue! / Shiny! / Sticky! / Edible etc.
A way to play in large groups is to have the prompt in the main session (find something blue!), start the countdown, and send people to breakout rooms. The goal for each player is to have something held up to the camera by the time they land in a breakout room.
If you want to keep people in breakout rooms to talk more with each other you can ask people to tell the story of that object. Even a simple object within reach is going to have some meaning or association attached to it.
The prompt of “Find something you care about” is a great conversation starter for small groups especially. You may want to specify “that is not your phone”. If doing this more personal prompt, we often warm people up with descriptive prompts (‘find something shiny’) to get everyone comfortable with the choosing of objects quickly.
Another variation is having people grab an object that fits the prompt (for example, ‘something with moveable parts’) and then have them explain how that object is the perfect metaphor for whatever you’d like them to connect around (ie. ‘the perfect metaphor for your role on this team’ or ‘the perfect metaphor for how X event went’ etc.). Works well in small groups so everyone gets to share.
Use the spotlight feature in Zoom to bring up to 9 people into a shared spotlight so everyone on the call can see the objects being compared. All variations of this activity are easily demonstrated in the main session and then you can send people to breakout rooms to play in smaller groups.
Developed along the way in the applied improvisation open space sessions in 2020.
Perhaps by Toby Butterfield started this game? Some variations and adaptations added by Erica, some by collective genius and shared discovery of those we play with regularly.
Credit: Erica Marx Coaching