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This publication is produced by the Social Development Unit
         INTRODUCTION                                                  2

         RULES OF THE GAME             ...
Why Mix N Match
                                                                           The results from one of SDU’s s...
How to use this guide
    This guide maps the typical stages of social interaction: from strangers
    to friends to, hope...
Rules of
        the Game
       Exude Exuberance,
Game Tips
    A novice organiser may find it daunting to arrange
      activities for a group and be an informal sort of
Group size
 Ready, Get Set...                                                             The role of the organiser or fac...
VENUE                                                                      Seating Arrangement

     How do you choose the...
To ensure that participants sit where they are supposed to, you can            REFRESHMENTS
     allocate seats by having ...
Mix n Match                                                   Game Gear

            Getting To                          ...
How To Play
                      TicTacToe                                                  Determine the categories (on ...
     Based on the rules of TicTacToe, participants cross out the names on
     their cards as they go along a...
Game Gear
     • Indoor/Outdoor venue                                                             Game Variations
1,001 Questions?
Secret Pal
                                                                               Think Cluedo – but no one’s look...
Game Gear
     Secret Pal is best played over
     a period of time, say on a holiday
     or at a camp when the organiser...
Dating Games
                                                                            This section is definitely for in...
Game Gear

     Speed                                   • A cosy indoor venue
                                          • ...
Blind Date
     This is best played in the dark. The game is so called because
     participants are not allowed to see ea...
Games For                                                                                      Charades
Director’s Chair
                               This is a game that hones communication skills. One player has to
Blind Voice                                                              Land Mine
                                                                The Amputator
     elb ow                            ...
     We hope you will benefit from the games in this book. Only you
     will know which games are most appropri...
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Mix & Match Games/Ice Breakers for Social Events


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Mix & Match Games/Ice Breakers for Social Events

  1. 1. This publication is produced by the Social Development Unit
  2. 2. Contents INTRODUCTION 2 RULES OF THE GAME 6 GAME TIPS 8 READY, GET SET… 10 GETTING TO KNOW YOU 16 Mix n Match 17 TicTacToe 18 TicTacToeToo 20 Bingo! 22 1,001 Questions? 24 GETTING TO KNOW ALL ABOUT YOU 26 Secret Pal 27 He Said, She Said 29 DATING GAMES 31 Speed Dating 32 Blind Date 34 GAMES FOR ALL OCCASIONS 36 Charades 37 Director’s Chair 39 Blind Voice Recognition 40 Land Mine 41 The Amputator 43 LAST WORD 44 Disclaimer: The masculine pronoun is conveniently used throughout the book to avoid cumbersome language use. No discrimination or bias is intended.
  3. 3. Why Mix N Match The results from one of SDU’s surveys reinforce what we all knew instinctively as children: when it comes to socialising, individuals look for an informal setting, and singles prefer to interact with the opposite sex through the familiar. More than 85% of singles say that the ideal way to find a partner is to have friends and family introduce the dates to them. Additionally, half of those surveyed see the workplace as one of the best places to meet a suitable match. So, what’s the score? Singles prefer the familiar, and informal, when it comes to dating, and playing games definitely provides one of the most informal settings for couples to get to know one another. Introduction Most of us played games when we were young, during recess time, Where do you fit in? You are someone who enjoys games. Better yet, you are someone who enjoys organising games for the enjoyment of others. It doesn’t matter whom you are doing it for, be it a social community club or group, or a company; what’s important is that or at home with neighbours of the same age. From hopscotch, to you believe in the power of games. You are in charge of, or are hide-and-seek and police-and-thief, those sessions helped us to interested in, arranging activities that let singles meet in a friendly make friends and get along with the opposite sex. Well, some things and relaxed setting. This fun book will help you break the ice between don’t change and, today even as adults, we still play games. Be it men and women and help them get to know each other in an tennis, Scrabble, or a day at the beach, these activities help us informal and fun environment. It has games and tips that stimulate unwind, relax, and yes, widen our social circle, meet people and get and promote different degrees of interaction. It also has tips for to know a potential partner. It is therefore not uncommon for a anyone who wants to help individuals meet on a one-on-one basis. couple to end up dating after they get to know each other through a few sessions of rollerblading, for example. For sure, this book is not designed for you to help singles get hitched. It is to show you how to organise games that let singles interact and make more friends. And, in the process of playing the games, they may end up meeting their match – and finding their life partner. So, as they say in the Olympics – let the games begin. 2 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 3
  4. 4. How to use this guide This guide maps the typical stages of social interaction: from strangers to friends to, hopefully, soul mates. However, there is no particular order to using this book, so feel free to jump to different sections Getting according to your needs. ‘Getting To Know You’ This is the section for you if you want games and activities to break the ice between groups of people To meeting for the first time. Know All About You Getting ‘Getting To Know All About You’ This section is what you need to develop relationships between couples or groups of people familiar with each other. To Every game has its rules so check out the objectives and method for each activity when in doubt. These are spelt out clearly in each section, along with suggestions on how to vary the activity. We encourage you to experiment and adapt the rules according to your Know particular situation and setting, and to look for ways to improve the interaction among participants. And there’s absolutely nothing to stop you from coming up with other ingenious ways to add some spice to these games. You 4 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 5
  5. 5. Rules of the Game Exude Exuberance, Encourage, Don’t Force At the start of every session, encourage everybody to be sporting and to have fun but always stress that nobody needs to feel that he’s being forced Energy and Excitement to do something he doesn’t like. This is a good A dour face inspires nobody and as the organiser, way to set the tone right, so that an individual you just have to keep up the smiles, the fun, and would not feel ostracised or out of place if he were the excitement – no matter how many times you reticent or resistant to participation. After a session, have done it, or how tired you may be. In short, you may wish to have a chat with those who didn’t you’ve got to have enough for everyone, even want to participate. NEVER EVER put down an when you are running on empty! This is because individual in front of the entire group. This could you have a group of strangers on your hands. They damage his self-esteem, lead to undesirable may feel awkward and uneasy about being put in repercussions, and put him off such sessions a strange situation. Because these qualities are permanently. infectious, it’s essential that you exude a positive attitude – even if it means having to fake it on your Go A Step Further off day! After all, if you don’t warm up their social Be extra-perceptive of the group or individual body engines, who will? language and the overall sentiment among participants. For ‘Getting To Know All About You’ Be Mercurial games, such insight will be useful in pairing Observe the social temperature of the group. Are acquiescent minds together. they generally warm, boisterous or aloof? Make a judgement call on the group’s personality, and Have Fun, Fun, Fun deploy games and activities accordingly. ‘Getting This is the best “rule” to bear in mind. Don’t be To Know You’ is not merely an icebreaker or too focused on pairing up couples, or too hung- introductory activity. It can also be used as a band- up about matchmaking. Just help your participants aid of sorts, a quick-fix for situations where tensions relax and have fun. This will go a long way in run high. Getting everyone to warm up, and warm setting the right tone for everything else. up to each other, requires you to have a good feel of the group’s temperature. 6 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 7
  6. 6. Game Tips A novice organiser may find it daunting to arrange activities for a group and be an informal sort of matchmaker. Here are some tips for you if you are relatively inexperienced at playing Cupid’s assistant 1 Discretion Be discreet. If an individual asks you for help to get to know another, you may first want to check out how the other party feels, before you 2 Tact Don’t be in-your-face in your eagerness to matchmake. Exercise tact in asking the right questions and knowing when to ask those questions. A mark of a good matchmaker is the ability to adjust the expectations of the person seeking a spouse in a tactful and unobtrusive fashion. If you come across as a Mr Know-it-all, you can be sure that all the singles decide on a direct or subtle approach. Alternatively, if you observe that the chemistry is right but not quite there because of reasons like shyness, then you can deliberately pair the two up in games and activities Secret Pal as a start. which to start. is an excellent platform from Also, unlike days of yore when matchmakers asked pointedly about a single’s love life, being a good matchmaker today means you must learn the art of discretion. Not everyone wants the whole world to 3 will avoid you like the plague. Don’t preach or talk down on anyone. Network It’s not easy to introduce friends or colleagues to potential partners if your network of friends and acquaintances numbers fewer than ten. Having an extensive network of like-minded friends definitely helps you in offering better choices to your single friends. Nobody is saying that you need to know all the singles in your company, but what is 8 know he is actively looking for a mate. Similarly, a good matchmaker would look around for suitable candidates in a discreet and subtle manner, without being too intrusive. 4 needed is a critical mass to get the game going. Passion This is one quality that will win the day for you. If you have the passion and interest in a person’s well-being, and are sincere, then half the battle is won. This x-factor cuts both ways and works not just on the person you are trying to matchmake, but on the person you approach as well. Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 9
  7. 7. Group size Ready, Get Set... The role of the organiser or facilitator also depends on the size of the group. Different group sizes require different management skills. Before you organise any activity, do bear in mind For small groups (about 10 people), it is easier to break the ice and the following you can give each participant personal attention. Group members will also generally find it easier to get to know one another faster. PARTICIPANTS As a rough gauge, there should be one facilitator present for a group of not more than 10 people. In any case, you may like to Target group have a back-up so that the group is not left alone when you have Firstly, think about whom to go for quick errands, such as waiting for the caterer. you are doing it for, i.e. your target group. Are they If the group is of medium size (15 to 25), you should have between a group of strangers? Or are two to three organisers/co-ordinators at hand. This is actually the they co-workers? Have you met optimum group size as there is a large enough number of participants them before so that you can assess the to mingle yet small needs of the group, or are you as much a stranger to them as they enough for them to get are to one another? Different groups require different planning and the opportunity to know interaction formats. everyone in the group. Group composition If the group is big (50 or more), you need to be able to mingle and get Is the group generally uniform? What are their religious and cultural everyone to do the same. You also need to concerns? What about the age range of the participants? Bear in be prepared to make public speeches to mind that mature participants resent being treated like children, and welcome them or to give instructions. It if the wrong game is chosen, you risk alienating them. For young would be good if there are more than four people, usually below the age of 25, it is alright to try out the more organisers/co-ordinators in such cases, as exciting games that require physical contact and exertion, such as the games may get out of hand. As an Landmine . But if your group also consists of a few older people, organiser, you have to be in control and do avoid playing ‘juvenile’ games like those that involve yelling and there is nothing more exasperating than play-acting. Of course, if you know that these participants are game not being able to manage the group. enough, then by all means, play on! 10 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 11
  8. 8. VENUE Seating Arrangement How do you choose the venue? There are many to The seating arrangement can make or break an activity but this is choose from, for example, a restaurant, a bar, a hotel often overlooked. So put a little more thought into this. seminar room, a park, or some other unusual location that matches Some of the pitfalls you should avoid are: your group’s interest and creates the right mood for the activity at hand. Never have two separate free seating areas. Naturally, all the guys will be seated in a cluster and the girls in the other. This Restaurants or Hotels is especially bad if there is a chasm between the two areas. You In a public restaurant or formal place, can expect the group to remain polarised. gregarious games are best avoided, as Try not to have free seating. This is sometimes the bane of participants would not want to draw organisers because no matter where you try to direct your unwanted attention to themselves and we participants, they will naturally gravitate towards someone they should be considerate to other diners or know, or to those of the same gender. patrons of the business. If it’s not possible to book the whole restaurant, get a private If you are having a sit-down meal, seating should be assigned prior room. Some hotels do serve lunch or dinner in their seminar rooms to the function. Make sure the table can seat an even number of and this is acceptable as long as the ambience is cosy. participants. The best arrangement for maximum interaction is the diagonal seating, where a girl sits between two guys and across Pubs or Bars another one. An example is shown below. This is a good venue if you are attracting a younger crowd. However, some might be turned off if smoking is allowed and if it’s held too late at night. The noise, too, might make it difficult to get the group to mingle well. Unless you can secure a private room for icebreakers before proceeding to the function, it is advisable not to hold functions with groups of total strangers in a pub or a bar. Parks This is a good place for you to organise outdoor games or games Dining Table which require a lot of space to move around. It’ll also be fun to have the games followed by a nice picnic. Of course in Singapore, there is always the chance that it’ll either be raining or too hot to be outdoors, so you have to make sure that there is a wet-weather plan and sufficient shelter. 12 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 13
  9. 9. To ensure that participants sit where they are supposed to, you can REFRESHMENTS allocate seats by having name cards on the tables. You can put in So you have the participants, the venue and the games. What about that extra effort of playing Cupid’s assistant by trying to figure out the food? Or is there a need to provide food in the first place? who will be best suited to whom, so that you can assign the appropriate partners to be seated across each other. As a rule of thumb, drinks should be provided. Cold packet drinks will do nicely for a short session, although light refreshments could If you are organising a function in an informal place where there also be provided if the budget allows for it. are seats placed all around in small clusters, it is crucial to ‘manipulate’ the seating arrangement. For example, if there are tables for four, For some activities for singles, the main intention of the make sure that you get two guys and two girls to sit at a table. participants is not to eat, so having light refreshments like finger food is enough. So how do you do this without it looking contrived? Here are some suggestions: Be careful when choosing the menu. For instance, chicken Explain to the participants that you have planned games where drumsticks are delicious but are a hassle to eat. And make sure you need an equal number of girls and guys sitting at each table. to ask for bite-sized pieces as some participants, especially the women, wouldn’t want to risk looking uncouth during the break. You can tie balloons on 2 of the chairs and inform the ladies to sit on the chairs with It is also prudent to be sensitive to participants of different religions balloons. Or put a stalk of flower on the with dietary restrictions. If you are not certain of your participants’ girls’ seats. religious beliefs, the simplest way is to avoid catering anything with pork and beef so that the Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims, will not If you have different door gifts for each feel uncomfortable. gender, then you may want to place them according to where the guys and girls should Do keep in mind that the younger your target group is, the less be sitting. likely they are able to afford an expensive meal. So make sure you get your priorities right when organising an activity: It’s the content There are many variations to these suggestions, and all you need is and the company that matter more. to integrate them into the activities. Just remember that participants are generally shy about mingling and approaching people of the Well, we hope that these pointers are useful to you as you opposite sex, so chances are that they will thank you for your efforts. help direct Cupid’s arrows through the games you organise. Be careful not to let any stray arrows kill a person’s interest But what if all else fails and you find the group still in small clusters to know the opposite sex through a group setting. One last of guys and girls? You can start with having icebreakers where the piece of advice: Don’t be over-ambitious. Start with the warm- clusters will have to stand up and participate, like Mix n Match . up games before you proceed to something more serious. So Once you have the couples standing, you can then ask them to sit what are you waiting for? Get cracking on mixing and matching at different tables. your participants now! 14 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 15
  10. 10. Mix n Match Game Gear Getting To This is a solid icebreaker for large groups because it maximises contact among individuals as they intersperse and mingle • Indoor/Outdoor venue • 2 bowls or containers (optional) • Paper or cards • Prizes Know You All of us know how daunting the dating game can be sometimes in search of their respective partners in the game. How To Play – the awkwardness, the expectations and demands. An unsuccessful Introduce a pair of corresponding words. They can be about date may also dent a person’s self-confidence for good and put him objects, animals, famous couples, etc. Pick pairs of words or off such activities in future. The following games are aptly named names that are universal or very familiar to your group, for example, Cinderella & Prince Charming, King & Queen, Romeo as they act as warm-ups to help break the ice in all first-encounter & Juliet, Ebony & Ivory, Tom & Jerry, Clark Kent & Louis Lane, meetings, and develop contact and name-retention among individuals. Batman & Robin, Front & Back, Entrance & Exit, etc. Mix and Such warm-ups are especially good if you, as the organiser, are match according to any theme you fancy unsure about what will get the group going and need a bit of time Write each word or name on a piece of paper or card. To illustrate, to gauge group dynamics. ‘Cinderella’ will be written on one card and ‘Prince Charming’ on another MixnMatch Separate the pairs into two separate bowls or containers and mix them up (or in the absence of these, split the pairs into two piles and shuffle face down) The girls can then pick a card at random from one bowl/pile while the guys from the other The participants will then go around the group in search of their respective partner. No shouting, please The first couple to find each other wins Game Variations How you group participants is limited only by your imagination. If you do not have a group with good gender mix, instead of introducing pairs, you may introduce trios (like the 3 stooges) or groups (eg. members of the Beatles, or names of the 7 dwarves). This can also be used if you want participants to regroup themselves. To make things simpler in such cases, you could reveal to the participants the theme they should be looking for, but it won’t be half as fun! 16 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 17
  11. 11. How To Play TicTacToe Determine the categories (on the opposite page) to fill up the 9 squares. Think of interesting and unusual categories Participants fill in the necessary details of each stipulated category that is spelt out in the squares of a typical TicTacToe grid. This game Participants are then told to mingle and ask others for their attributes that will be listed in the appropriate box. The name of can be quite a drawn out affair – getting participants’ details and the respondents should also be included. For example, under matching them accordingly – but it’s an exercise that melts shyness ‘Hobbies’, the participant may write ‘Shopping’ and the name of and guarantees lots of fun and interaction. the person who likes to shop Set a time limit to the game. A tip for participants would be to get as many names as possible under one category to increase their chances of a ‘hit’ later on Game Gear • Sheets of paper with The organiser then reads out random attributes, e.g. ‘Shopping’ TicTacToe grid and and those who have this listed as one of the attributes under categories spelt out within ‘Hobbies’ will cross that box out. A tip for the organiser would • Writing materials be to call out an attribute that is less common or unique, to lessen • Prizes (optional) the chances of a ‘hit’ The first one who has crossed out 3 boxes, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally (as in TicTacToe) will be called upon to identify the respondents from the list he has. For example, if Paul has crossed out Lucy’s name, for ‘Shopping’ under ‘Hobbies’, he Sleep Favourite Favourite will be asked to identify her. This is to make sure that participants patterns Foods make an effort to get to know each other and at least recognise Movies each other on a first name basis The one who can identify all the persons named in the boxes will Hobbie Pet be the winner s Hero Peeves Game Variations You can make it a rule that participants can only select those who are not of the same gender. This will ensure better interaction. Life Life Star Sign To inject more fun, you can also choose a few winners during the t Momen Goals first round. There will be more excitement when they are asked to identify the other partners they have listed down. 18 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 19
  12. 12. TicTacToeToo Based on the rules of TicTacToe, participants cross out the names on their cards as they go along and win when they have 3-in-a-row. A quick introductory game to get people warmed up by remembering names. How To Play Pre-determine random names to fill up the 9 squares Participants gather and meet each other They will then be handed the TicTacToe sheet containing the names Participants start to cross out names as they go round meeting other participants. No shouting, please The one who crosses out three names in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally, is declared the winner Game Variations Inject more challenge into the game by getting the winner to come forward to identify and say something about the individuals whose names he has crossed out in his TicTacToe squares. The participants can also be divided into 2 groups – girls and guys – so that they will have to mingle with participants of the opposite sex. You can then have 2 separate TicTacToe sheets with names of guys in one and girls in the other. The sheets with the guys’ names will be given to the girls and vice versa. Game Gear • Indoor/Outdoor Venue You can add spice by adding forfeits. Those who are not able to • Sheets of paper with identify or answer simple questions about a participant will be asked TicTacToe grid with some to do a forfeit. participants’ names written on • Writing materials 20 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 21
  13. 13. Game Gear • Indoor/Outdoor venue Game Variations • Bingo score sheets (you can make some or duplicate the ones shown here) • Writing materials Bingo! If you’d rather not use numbers on scorecards, you can substitute these items with common objects like articles of clothing, physical The gambler instinct in some of us will traits, personal items, etc. – morphing the game into a kind of Bingo- • Prizes definitely find this game appealing! Scavenger hunt! Here’s how: The sense of chance and risk may stoke some hidden romantic embers. It is Bingo with a little twist: instead of the individual winning with a set of matching numbers, the winner is declared when Treasure Hunt Bingo! Way 2 22 68 85 This is a team event. Team members are required to collect the items the first couple with the same set of 26 42 53 73 88 (either vertical, horizontal or diagonal – three in a row) and bring matching numbers finds each other. them to the organiser. First three teams to come up with the 8 19 27 37 43 58 completed list of items win attractive prizes! 1 10 32 40 59 71 11 24 52 78 One cash Two pairs of register receipt Four belts sunglasses How To Play 16 25 57 60 83 One pair of One lottery One watch ticket ear-rings without hands Individuals are grouped based on 4 33 41 55 74 Two sweets their gender and each is given Three bunches One credit card 5 18 34 44 59 of keys a Bingo score sheet. A sample is available on this page 6 20 38 47 79 One watch with One shampoo The organiser then informs leather strap One lipstick bottle 21 43 56 75 participants of the number of One phone card Five different One packet matches they need to have to shout 7 10 28 46 80 name cards of tissue Bingo! For example, if the 8 14 22 48 65 88 One handkerchief One bottle cap One $1.00 coin organiser says 3 (corresponding in the year 1995 numbers), the participant must 11 12 30 54 61 then find another who has any 2 47 66 89 Six one-cent corresponding 3 numbers in his/her One key chain One coins 9 29 32 52 72 90 membership card Bingo sheet. No shouting, please One strand Two name tags One safety pin of long hair Once the 2 participants have found 13 23 62 84 One black each other, they have to shout wallet One hair pin Five movie 3 17 49 59 64 ticket stubs Bingo! and they win 6 20 27 33 77 87 22 M ix N Match - The dating game s guid e 23
  14. 14. 1,001 Questions? Game Gear • Open venue preferred • Prizes (optional) • A rich imagination How To Play A person (preferably the organiser) who has been chosen to start the game will introduce himself by prefixing his name with a character trait that starts with the same letter as his name. For example, Angelic Anna or Meticulous Mike The one sitting next to ‘Angelic Anna’ will ask her why the character trait is chosen There is no winner to this game but as the organiser, you might want to give out prizes for the most imaginative names. Also, a small gift can be given to the most sporting participant, i.e. one Probably the simplest game used to warm up a group of strangers. who answers all questions readily. For penalties, try to get a Each participant introduces himself to the group. The group is then couple, so that they can either sing or dance together expected to ask a thousand and one questions of the person. Of course, the number of questions is an exaggeration, but the name Game Variations of the game is really to get participants to ask as many questions It’s up to you to decide how the participants can describe themselves. as possible. To make it more interesting, the introduction must To make it more interesting, you can even ask the participants to include peculiar traits of the participant. Participants are motivated use animal sounds or actions to describe themselves. to learn more about each other if this game adopts a system of rewards and penalties. The game ends after every participant has introduced himself. 24 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid 25 e
  15. 15. Secret Pal Think Cluedo – but no one’s looking for a murderer here. Instead, Secret Pal challenges participants to engage one another in an anonymous dialogue, if you like, and the cover of anonymity adds to the sense of mystery and excitement. This game is similar to Cluedo insofar as the identities of individuals are kept secret for as long as possible. So, Michael may think that he is writing and communicating with Patricia, who may think that she’s “talking” to George! In reality, Michael could be writing to Anna, and Patricia’s actually communicating with Tim! The game ends when participants, through hints and clues culled from various forms of correspondence – long letters, little secret notes, body language – successfully identify their secret pal. Getting To Know All About You The games and activities in this section are more intricate and progressive than those of the previous section. If the first section is for beginners, then this section is definitely meant for intermediate or even advanced participants! They require the participants to know each other and to be comfortable with one another. Some overnight games may engage individuals at a more personal and physical level and, in some cases, may be on the provocative side of things. As the organiser, you should exercise care and caution to maintain civility and ensure that no one feels awkward or uncomfortable in any way. 26 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid 27 e
  16. 16. Game Gear Secret Pal is best played over a period of time, say on a holiday or at a camp when the organiser • Paper pads and pens for letter writing He Said, She Said What’s your name again? Players of this game may find themselves pre-assigns secret pals to everyone (note: secret pals need not necessarily be asking this question very often, even as they trip their tongues in mutually exclusive – Jon could be a secret pal to Jane but Jane could their struggle to pronounce a string of colourful names. The name be Mark’s secret pal as well). The game ends when the holiday ends. of the game is to have participants remember one another’s names The clandestine nature of the game adds to the suspense and thrill. and the creative adjectives attached to each. The game may be a Besides, the anonymous nature of the game may just encourage lot of fun but can get a little rowdy and raunchy as participants may some latent Romeos to express their feelings in an unbridled fashion! mix up those colourful prefixes. Keep a sharp lookout and prevent the game from crossing the boundaries of good taste. How To Play This game is best played at the start of a getaway trip (for singles). Organisers assign each participant a secret pal, preferably of the Game Gear opposite sex • Indoor/Outdoor venue (with lots of space) Organisers should find out about each participant in the group • Ball so as to try and match secret pals according to an individual’s • Good memory personality. Better yet, if early signals are evident between a • Nimble tongues couple, Secret Pal is an excellent platform to stoke those embers (Wow!) The pair of secret pals can give tokens or write short notes to each other, preferably one each day, the contents of which are left to their own discretion. Secret pals can also carry out secret favours for their partners. Creative liberty encourages boldness and gives rise to better things (hopefully) At the end of the holiday, the organiser will conclude the game. Here the organiser can easily reveal the identities of the secret pals, or make the participants guess if he wants to lengthen the suspense One rule though: all participants must be reminded to observe rules of civility in content and use of language 28 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid 29 e
  17. 17. Dating Games This section is definitely for individuals looking for a life partner, as How To Play the games featured here are aimed at getting a couple closer to Sit in a circle. The bigger the circle, the merrier. The organiser each other in a short period of time and at a more intense level. first introduces himself, “Hi, I’m Funny Fred…” As the facilitator, you have to be mindful that some participants may The introductions go round and everyone introduces himself not be as open or enthusiastic when it comes to dating games. with an adjective of his choice. The adjective will help name Therefore, it is important to ensure that the game is played in an recall and retention appropriate setting. For example, if you are doing it for colleagues, Once the introductions are done, the organiser literally starts you can organise it in an informal setting. In any case, ensure that the ball rolling, “Hi, I’m Funny Fred and I’m going to pass the venue is not distracting and is private enough to put participants the ball to Joker Jon.” He then rolls or throws the tennis at ease and encourage them to open up. ball/beach ball to Joker Jon, who then says, “Thanks Funny Fred. Hi, I’m Joker Jon and I’m going to pass the ball to Silly Sally…” The person that forgets a name or adjective will have to perform a forfeit Game Variations It gets a lot more interesting as the adjectives get more colourful, and penalties more creative. To make things more fun, the organiser can have the names sequentially compounded – Silly Sally will have to say, “Thanks Joker Jon who got the ball from Funny Fred, I’m going to pass the ball to Bouncy Betty.” And she would have to add, “Thanks Silly Sally who got the ball from Joker Jon who got the ball from Funny Fred, I’m going to pass the ball to…” Well, you get the idea… 30 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 31
  18. 18. Game Gear Speed • A cosy indoor venue • A bell (or some other similar device) to inform participants How To Play Split the entire group into two groups based on gender Dating Play this game if you want of the timing • Chairs Each participant is assigned a number Participants are seated at tables for two. If you don’t have tables, • Tables (optional) participants to get to know just two seats facing each other will do nicely everybody else within the shortest time possible. The guys and gals are paired off according to the numbers they are each assigned and seated, for example, Guy 1 sits in front of Girl 1 The facilitator then announces the start of the game and the pair starts talking After a certain period, between a minimum of 7 minutes and maximum of 15 minutes (depending on group size and time constraints), the facilitator rings a bell and the guys will move to the next seat. For example, Guy 1 now gets to chat with Girl 2, and Guy 2 dates Girl 3, and so forth Game Variations This game can still be played even if the two groups are not evenly distributed based on gender. It simply means that some participants may have to wait out certain rounds, as they do not have a partner. There is no hard and fast rule about the timing. You may give 7 minutes each round if you want a short game or 15 minutes if there are fewer people. You might also want to suggest that participants exchange contact numbers as they go around – you could be opening doors for those who are shy to ask for numbers. You can even turn this into a game where the pair who can answer the most correct questions about each other wins. There are many variations you might want to try…. just use your imagination! 32 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 33
  19. 19. Blind Date This is best played in the dark. The game is so called because participants are not allowed to see each other during the first few minutes of the meeting. Indeed the name of the game here is the thrill and excitement induced by a sense of mystery and the unknown. How To Play The facilitator will have to arrange the seating arrangement before the event (see page 13 for suggested seating) The ladies and men are separated into 2 groups and brought to a holding area. Like soon-to-be-wed couples, they are not supposed to see each other before the actual date All participants will be blindfolded as they wait their turn to be brought into a dark room with little or no light Facilitators are to bring the participants individually into the room, which may be lit dimly only by candlelight When participants are seated, the blindfolds will be taken off As the event progresses, the lights will be turned up gradually, so that at the end of the event, participants will be able to see each other clearly Game Variations Game Gear You can conduct Blind Date in an exclusive restaurant where • A cosy restaurant, preferably participants are able to see more of their partners – and what they with a romantic ambience are eating – as the meal progresses. However, Blind Date need • Blindfolds not necessarily be held in a restaurant. But it is advisable to conduct • Candles the game in a place where you can control the lighting, and where it’s enclosed. Although this game might seem strange at first, don’t be surprised when you find participants talking more when the lights are dim. It seems that in darkness, tongues begin to loosen up as there is less superficial judgement and discrimination. 34 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 35
  20. 20. Games For Charades This is a game with universal appeal and many ways of playing. Using a pre-agreed set of codes and signals, a player will mime a word or phrase without speaking. All Occasions As the name of the category suggests, the activities and games here How To Play Firstly, the organiser must prepare can be used in a number of situations – as an icebreaker, on a road phrases for the Game Gear trip, as a filler between events… or just to pass time. As far as general participants, and Scraps of paper or cards purpose games go, the nature of such activities are multi-dimensional to write the phrases on. write them down on If you are interested in the and can be easily modified or adapted to suit different situations. pieces of card or “Pictionary©” version, an easel paper. Each team stand equipped with markers and a flip chart will be ideal. then takes turns to A chalkboard in a classroom select one written phrase will work just as well. at random to act out The team then chooses its own actor to mime the selected phrase within a stipulated time limit, usually 30 seconds No verbal exchanges or intonations must be used or a penalty will be imposed The team that racks up a pre-determined number of successful guesses wins Game Variations The game of Charades can be modified in a number of ways. The ever-popular “Pictionary©” is a graphical rendition of the “body- language” type of charades – instead of miming a phrase, participants draw it out. As an organiser, you need to be careful when choosing the phrases. Always observe decorum and avoid phrases that are tasteless, too obvious or obtuse. 36 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 37
  21. 21. Director’s Chair This is a game that hones communication skills. One player has to use only words to guide another to draw a picture that the latter cannot see. The end result can be a masterpiece in more ways than one! How To Play Players are divided into two groups, preferably with an equal number of guys and gals in each Each team alternately fields a couple (one guy and one gal) to play each round One of the pair (the artist) faces the drawing board and stays that way, while the other (the director) looks at a picture that the organiser has drawn. The picture could be of an object or an abstract drawing Within a time limit, the director has to guide the artist to replicate the drawing with clear verbal instructions, and only that. No reference may be made to the name of the object and no hand gestures may be used. Questions can be asked. After all, effective communication involves lots of listening and asking questions for clarification The team that comes up with a drawing that best resembles the original wins the game As with any game, it is good to Game Gear give incentives to invoke the • Big pieces of paper competitive spirit (preferably mounted for other players to see) • Drawing materials • Prizes (optional) 38 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 39
  22. 22. Blind Voice Land Mine This is the human version of “Battleship” played with “human- Recognition pieces” and a life-sized board. A couple is blindfolded and randomly positioned in a large area, surrounded by the other team members. Team members try to guide How To Play the sightless pair to find each other by shouting out instructions on This is a game Game Gear general location and direction. Opposing team members are free to where one tries A drawn out map/grid with landmines clearly stipulated for the interfere in this process using mis-information or mis-direction to to locate and map organiser to refer to. Ensure that the further blind the couple with confusion. out the position grid markings tally to facilitate easy of mines on a cross-reference between the organiser’s copy and the actual grid grid to destroy them (either drawn out on the ground or A grid is either on a sheet) Game Gear drawn on the • A large open area, ground or on a sheet to preferably outdoors represent the minefield • 2 blindfolds Players have to navigate through the grid one square at a time. • A loudhailer may prove Players take turns making a move each within 3-5 seconds useful to cut through the din! The organiser will place ‘invisible mines’ on the grid and players get ‘killed’ or ‘eliminated’ if they step on a mine How To Play This game tests players’ ability to remember the locations of the deadly squares on which other less fortunate souls have stepped Divide the individuals into evenly numbered – and died! The ‘dead’ player is out of the game. The winner(s) groups, with a balanced representation of may have the privilege to suggest the ‘penalty’ both sexes if possible. During each turn, both groups respectively field a male and female each. The individual or group who crosses the land mine first wins The pair will be separated and blindfolded Game Variations Using only their voices, the team members try to guide the blindfolded couple back to each other The entire group can play as a whole to determine a winner. Alternatively, if space and resources permit, you can have a race The opposing team will attempt to mislead the couple by giving between 2 or more teams to determine who can cross the minefield wrong directions or simply yelling to add confusion and stress to fastest. the situation 40 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 41
  23. 23. hand The Amputator elb ow This is a spin on the old twister game. Instead of a mat with coloured The Amputator circles, simply calls for open space, and physical agility on the part of the participants. Organisers also need to keep a watchful eye to ensure that the modesty of participants is not compromised in any way. How To Play The organiser calls for the first “volunteer” Game Gear Subsequent participants will be called upon for their particular • Big open space, preferably body parts to be ‘stuck’ to another participant’s, all at the organiser’s a field or basketball court discretion. For example, “John’s right elbow to Jane’s knee; Jane’s • Gamesmanship right toe to Mark’s left thumb; Mark’s chest to…” • Deodorant chin The participants will have to prove their physical flexibility and shed their inhibitions to really have fun shoulder Game Variations To increase the range of possibilities and “human-permutations”, articles of clothing may be called upon to be stuck as well! no se ear 42 Mix N Match - The dating game s guid e 43
  24. 24. LAST WORD We hope you will benefit from the games in this book. Only you will know which games are most appropriate for the singles in your charge, your organization or group. In short, the success of these games rests on you. Be imaginative and think of new ways to make the games more fun. However, if you feel that you need further information or help in planning and organising the games, or if you think that you would rather have the singles under your charge benefit from other structured activities with other singles throughout the island, then you can refer them to either of the following: For graduate singles, contact Social Development Unit (SDU) SDU House 8 Stevens Road Singapore 257819 Tel: 6838 9348 • Fax: 6838 9387 Email: For non-graduate singles, contact Social Development Service (SDS) StarDuS Clubhouse 277 River Valley Road Singapore 238318 Tel: 6311 9200 • Fax: 6440 8303 Email: You can also get singles to sign up for a SDU or SDS membership to benefit from a whole array of dating activities and matchmaking services. Or you can go ahead and purchase a Corporate Membership for your company so that your staff can get the best deals for less. So what are you waiting for? Let the games begin – and set the wheels of romance in motion! Remember, you have to get the singles to mix – before they meet their match! 44