Dialogue : Who Do You Think You Are?
Who Do You Think You Are? was devised for use by young people and adults, to
ask them to imagine life through another's eyes. Since much intolerance is
formed by an inability to see the world through eyes other than our own,
the players are asked to identify with, to seek to understand or imagine
the feelings of the person defined by the game.
For children it would be better to provide pictures of people or to ask them
to imagine that they are somebody they know, or, using examples in poems,
that they are, say, a busy mum or old. Older children can play Voices.
The pack contains five types of card : Where, Gender, Relationship, Work,
Each player receives five cards from the shuffled pack and the
object is to collect one of each type of card by, in turn, discarding and
picking-up as in rummy.
As players succeed, they declare their hand and leave
the game, the others continuing until all are out.
On declaring, players roll
a dice to determine age, this being in the decade starting with ten times
the dice value - so 2 gives 20-29. Occasionally this produces an unusual
combination with other cards, but there are no insoluble combinations and
eccentricities help define the character.
The players look at the cards, which together give a light sketch of a
First they will have to reconcile the cards with each other until
they have an idea of what sort of person it is, then taking the Emotion and
Where cards go on to imagine what is happening to the character at the moment
of the poem.
This can be written from inside or outside the character. It
helps to start by imagining the place in some detail and also whatever the
character is physically doing (or not).
This encourages the players to feel
they are there. The reason for the emotion needs to be worked out in the
context of what else is known or decided about the character.
There are obvious opportunities for card makers to arrange the balance of
possibilities to suit the group they wish to work with. A worksheet set is provided,
but they could be handmade by writing on half-postcards, with a dab of colour
to identify the different types.
The card game could provide less or different key information, and for larger
groups it would be simpler to draw slips bearing the information from
seperate "hats" - some trading might be permissable, but not of gender.
Although the poems are to be about people, it is usually helpful if the
"landscape" is considered early on - whether an open park or the inside of
an office, trying to imagine what the subject can see not only leads to
imagining thoughts, but provides details, clues to the life being described.
For further information on this sort of game click on games listed under DIALOGUE in the INDEX side bar.