A Poem is a Fertile Egg was the precursor of Amazing Animals. In it
the mixing of recognisable creatures is more obvious, but both games seem
irresistably to lead to "nonsense".
Egg does, somewhat eccentricly,
introduce the idea of genetics and a more scientifically valid game (the DNA,
or Frankenstein, game) where letters represent the genes and the name-
word is created from correctly bred combinations, could be devised.
were told that a fertile egg was created from male and female chromosomes
and that in reality there would be the same number of chromosomes from
both male and female. However they were being invited to make unnatural
hybrids by mixing different species.
They then played two number games,
rolling balls of two different sizes through a row of holes of two different
sizes. They then chose two animals to mix from a table of make-believe
chromosome counts. The names of the listed animals were swapped every
day with no respect for the true facts of nature. So, for example, a score of
6 male and 15 female could be half frog, half mouse.
The players were then told that the chromosomes determined the nature of
the creature by passing on genetic information and that for the game the
female chromosomes were to be represented by nouns and adjectives, the
male by verbs and adverbs.
So the score of 6 male and 15 female could
start a poem about a `Frouse', using 6 verbs or adverbs and 15 nouns or
adjectives, together with as many linking words as were needed.
was `engineered' on a small blackboard until it hatched, and was then
`cloned', by typing the poem and drawing a picture on a stencil which was
duplicated, so that at the end of each day a booklet was ready containing
all the poems written that day.
Since the game can be played simply, using three dice with 6 not scoring,
(i.e. 6 = 0) a sample table is provided below. Players could select both
from any column, or one from A and B, or one from A or B and the other from
the own choice column. The choice of verbs, adverbs, nouns and adjectives is
best done on rough paper.
CHOICE A    CHOICE B
1  BUG                   VIRUS
2  FLY                     BEE
3  SNAKE               CAT
4  KANGAROO     DOG
5  HAMSTER         RABBIT
6  FROG                 FISH
7  GIRAFFE           BAT
8  SEAL                 WARTHOG
9  HIPPO                 FOX
10  TIGER                 PIG
11  WHALE             ALLIGATOR
12  ZEBRA               HUMAN
13  MONKEY           HEDGEHOG
14  COW                 PARROT
15  MOUSE             SPARROW