Gossip can be a troubling thing for many people, as gossip is often not true. However, gossip games can be a lot of fun if played with the right group of close friends. Use gossip games at parties to get your guests interacting. You can also use gossip games as educational tools or to help highlight the negative effects gossip can have on a person.
Play this game in a classroom or party setting. It works best with less than 30 people. Line up everybody in a circle or in a straight line. Pick a starting player. The starting player comes up with a piece of humorous gossip about somebody in the group, such as “I heard Bill sleep walks to Walmart at night.” The starting player picks a player in the circle and whispers this gossip into her ear. This person then whispers the gossip into the ear of the person to her right. This gossip circle continues until it gets to the last person in line. This person restates the gossip they heard, which may be drastically different than the initial gossip. Use this game to illustrate how fast gossip travels and how different it can end up being.
This is Me
“This is Me” is a good game to use as an icebreaker at a social event that features new groups of people interacting. Everybody sits down in a circle or any layout that lets everybody see each other. Pick a starting player. This player introduces himself and gives information about his life and preferences. He should give at least 10 specific facts about himself for everybody to remember. Let everybody interact for about five minutes after he’s done talking. Randomly pick a player to stand up and try to remember one of the facts about the person who has talked. Pick five people to remember facts in this manner. The person who told the story can then verify how accurately they remembered the facts. Play this game until everybody has introduced themselves at least once
“Gossip Revisited” is a classroom game created by Barbara Edwards. Divide the class into equal-sized groups and give each group a slip of paper with an important piece of information about the unit you are studying. This should be a complex concept, which gives the students room to interpret it in their own manner. Give each group a few moments to write down a three-to-five sentence paragraph summarizing the point. The groups hand their summary to the group to their right. This team then writes its own summary based on the previous summary. This team passes on its own summary to the next group. Continue until the summaries have gone through each group. The groups read aloud their final summary to see how far it changed from the original.
Use this game to illustrate the negative effects gossip can have on a group of people. Hand out paper slips with the word “safe” written on the front. One of them should have the word “murderer” written on it. Players walk around the party whispering “I heard so and so is a murderer.” The person must whisper into the ear of the accused person, “I heard you were the murderer.” The accused then whispers “no” or “yes” into the person’s ear who accused them. If she says “yes” the accuser must calmly walk away, count to 30 and fall dramatically to the floor and pretend to be dead. The murderer must whisper “I am the murderer” into the guests’ ears for the same effect. Play until only murderer is left standing.