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Games To Play When Bored In The Office: Foreign Exchange

Updated on July 1, 2012
Have Fun At Work
Have Fun At Work

Another recruitment drive at work?

It's a dreadful feeling isn't it:

You just feel you've got the office pecking order established, the boss knows his or her place, you've built a circle of friends... and suddenly the company is recruiting again.

Now you are faced with:

  • Showing the newbies who is boss
  • Having fun at the same time

Bored at work: Try this game

This is a game which is simple to play and can be played alone or with multiple players.

This game is designed to not only beat boredom at work, but as a way of having fun with any new starters who have just joined the company.


I hereby declare that all information provided within this article is for entertainment purposes only. Any negative consequences which may come as a result of following the instructions contained in this document cannot be attributed to the author of the article. Negative consequences include without limitation causing offence, getting into fights and becoming permanently stuck with a foreign accent.

Foreign Exchange: The rules

Please note that if you are playing alone, you cannot win or lose - it is just for fun. For the purposes of explaining the rules I am going to assume a minimum of 2 colleagues have decided to play along.

So you've got a fresh new wave of recruits joining your workplace's ranks..?

Here's what to do:

  1. Each player must write down the name of a country/region/nationality on a scrap of paper and fold it up
  2. Each piece of paper is then collected and redistributed at random (using a hat is good for this)
  3. Each player opens his or her newly assigned nationality, and the game begins.

From this point onward, each player must now assume the identity given on the piece of paper, proceeding to pull such identity off in the most convincing way possible. As an example, if a player's new nationality is 'German', the player should adopt a German accent with everyone he or she comes into contact with.

How to win: A winner is declared when only one person remains in the game.

A player is declared as 'out' of the game if:

  1. Significant suspicion or rumour is circulated regarding nature of such player's faux-identity
  2. They are directly accused of maintaining a nationality which is not their own
  3. They 'rat-out' another player (this also bars them from any future game)

Alternative Variations

There are alternative versions and variations you can apply to this game. Here are some of the most common:

  1. Limb Exchange: Instead of taking on a new identity, players each take on a new disability involving losing the use of a single limb.
  2. Boss Exchange: Each player attempts to assume the role of the boss. Any player managing to convince a new recruit that he or she is the boss (variable measurements may apply) wins.

The longest game of Foreign Exchange was said to have lasted around 6 months.

The shortest game of Foreign Exchange lasted 4 minutes when an 'Irish' man, 'English' man and a 'Scottish' man got into an argument 3 minutes in which resulted in the reversion back to their original accents.

Other Office Games


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