Email games can be fun to play if you have friends who live far away or even if you just want a funny game to play with friends who are close by. Recently there have been many websites offering games, such as chess, checkers and solitaire, that can be played by email. However, these games often involve having a membership, downloading software or allowing the website to collect information about you. If you are looking for simple, free email games that can be played easily and with anyone, there are a number of games that are sure to bring a smile to your face.
The add-a-line story has been around long before the Internet, but it has become a popular email game to play because of its potential for humor and its ease of play. The story can take any number of hilarious turns and can last as long as those participating want it to. To play the game, one person starts the story by writing a single line. The players can decide if the line ends at the end of a sentence or if the writer has to stop as soon as they hit the end of the page margin, regardless of if they are in the middle of a sentence or not. This game requires at least two people to play but can be passed around between as many people as you want. This is done by establishing the order in which the story circulates. When the story is deemed complete, send the full story around to everyone so all will have a chance to read it.
The fill-in-the-blank game is essentially the email version of Mad-libs. It begins with one person who creates a story. Several blank spots are left in the story which the receiver or receivers will fill in and send back to the original sender. This game can be played with multiple people by setting a rule as to how many blanks the receiver can fill in before passing it onto the next person. Once the story has been completed, the next person in line gets to be the one to create the new story. Be sure to send the completed story to everyone.
The Question-with-a-question game is played by having one person start off asking a question. The person they send their question to must respond to that question with another question. For example, "Did you see that weird dog out there?" "Can you define weird?" "How can you not know what weird means?" etc. If someone slips up and answers with a non-question, they lose a point. The players can decide whether to start the game over when someone slips or to keep following through the list of players.
Each player will need access to a simple drawing program. The person starting the game will begin the drawing by adding a single line or shape. It doesn't have to be a straight line. They will save the file as a JPG (since this is a fairly universal format and doesn't take up a lot of space) and attach it to an email for the next artist. The next person will open the picture in their art program and add onto it. For example, one person could draw a circle, and the next person could turn it into an eye. This continues until there is a consensus that the picture is complete. The players of the game can decide how much drawing is allowed per turn, for example, if only one stroke is allowed at a time or if the artist can add multiple items.