Rules to Make or Break

This is one of my favorite games, I use it to introduce a session on "Rules" or any variation thereof. It starts simple and gets as complicated as your students make it.

You'll need:

  • 1 dice

  • A load of dried beans, beads, tokens of any sort, piled in the middle of the table.

And that's it. Here's how to play:

  • Nominate a player to start. They roll the dice and if they roll a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 they take that number of beads from the pile in the middle. If they roll a 6 they get to add a rule to the game. Once several rules have been added players can change them as well. The whole idea is to let it descend into greedy chaos.

  • Nominate an adult leader to be the arbiter of rules (you don't want someone on the first 6 making a rule that they win and the game is now over for example).

It usually takes a few rule changes before students realize that, to an extent, anything goes and they start taxing other players, confiscating tokens etc. Stop the game when you see fit. It's not about the winning (I rarely tell them there's a goal at the beginning, they mostly just assume it's about getting the most tokens), it is very much about the chaos that breaks out when rules are utterly random and then leads into conversation about the value/need/process etc of rules and how we obey them.