POETRY_WORKBOOK


Invention : A Poem is a Fertile Egg

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.
Players 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.

The poem 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

For further information on this sort of game click on games listed under
INVENTION in the INDEX side bar.

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Windows Workshops Dave Calder, The Windows Project ,1997,1998,1999,2009