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Gesture Race

Gesture Race is a lifestyle game for 2 or more players, one that you play during your regular routine. You don’t schedule time for this game, or sit down around a table to play. Instead, you just play as you live. Gesture Race is particularly fun in public settings, where no one else knows what’s going on.


At the beginning of the day, the group of players needs to decide three things:

  1. What the gesture is going to be. It can be something simple (like clapping, touching your nose, elbow, or forehead), something subtle (standing on one leg, or giving a thumbs up), or something complex (a pirouette, dropping to all fours, or touching your nose with your tongue). Whatever you pick, make sure it’s something that every player can do without causing injury.
  2. What the “trigger” is going to be. The easiest trigger is a word. Some good examples are “hi”, “blue”, or “sky”. You want something that is going to happen fairly frequently, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s also fun to pick something that no one can control – like hearing a phone ring. My kids and I use a lot of outside events as our triggers, like driving past a cow, or seeing a boat from the car.
  3. How long the game will last. Is it just a single day (my recommendation), a weekend, or even an entire week? If you’re taking a vacation, you might want to play the game throughout the vacation.


The goal of the game is to end up with the least points. You get one point every time the “trigger” occurs and you are the last person to make the gesture. For example, if your “trigger” is a dog barking, and your “gesture” is people barking, when a dog barks the last person who barked would get a point. It’s up to each person to keep track of their own points, but feel free to help each other out.

Optional Rules

A good optional rule is that when there are only two players present, the trigger doesn’t “count” if it is created by one of the players. This prevents the situation of two people simply saying the trigger word as often as possible.

This game can also be enhanced by adding gestures as you play. If you’re playing over a span of days, each evening whoever is leading gets to pick a new gesture and a new trigger. After only a couple days, it will start getting difficult remembering which gesture goes with which trigger.

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Posted August 26, 2015 in Games