MONOGAMY - a game for loversRequired materials : Monogamy (the game), these rules
First, we need some characters. Everyone should think of a name, and then 1-2-3-say-it-out-loud. Try as hard as you can not to create any more of these characters beyond the name at this stage.
These characters have bought the game Monogamy, and have just sat down to play. Open the box yourself!
Begin playing Monogamy. Decide which character goes first. Describe what they do. How does it play out? Decide this collectively, interrupt freely, be interrupted with good grace, make a point of not matching characters to players.
Before playing the next turn, add a piece of backstory to your characters. Just a sentence, describing a thing that has happened in their lives to bring them to this point. Try to add the detail to a character you didn't name.
Now play the next turn. What happens? Do they enjoy it? Does it go right? (it doesn't seem like it's likely to, but you never know)
Now add more backstory. Try to add a detail to a character you didn't just add a detail to.
Keep going! Play more cards, add more backstory. Continue until Monogamy concludes, or at least your characters have.
Some advice for playing and general ethos:
- start slow. At the beginning of the game, your characters are likely to be nervous and awkward. Let them warm up as you warm up as storytellers.
- no-one owns a character. If you feel like you are more invested with one character than another, then feel free to say so out loud, and stop making any decisions about that character for a while.
- the meat of the emotional arc is in the interplay between the backstory and the current story. What secrets are they hiding? Are they revealed over the course of playing Monogamy? How does playing this game change their relationship?
- there are three general tones this game could take, all of which are valid:
- comedic. Monogamy sounds awful, and like it could be played by awful people. That's fine. If it's going that way, then just go for it. Feel free to turn this into a Tom Sharpe farce. This is totes valid.
- sexy. You are describing fictional people maybe doing it with each other while with someone you maybe do it with. You could get actually turned on. That's fine. Feel free to keep playing with fewer clothes on. Or get distracted entirely...
- emotional. You are talking about people uncovering emotional truths with their partners while in the company of a lover. This is fine. If, as they say after TV programmes, you are affected by an issue raised by this game, then decompression afterwards is the most important thing. When you are done, talk about your characters, talk about who they reminded you of, talk about what your hopes for them were. Care for each other.
Okay! That's my game. I wonder if Monogamy works the way I have assumed...
28 January 2015