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Playing Psychological Games in a Company of People Who Don't Know Each Other

Updated on March 23, 2014

Psychological games are a fun and entertaining way to get people know each other better, be it at a party, during a trip or while having a barbecue.

Playing card games is a great idea to better socialize at a party. But these people forgot about the game, they just want to socialize!
Playing card games is a great idea to better socialize at a party. But these people forgot about the game, they just want to socialize! | Source

Bring a Sphinx to Life

The meaning of the word sphinx is versatile. There are cats, mythical creatures and statues that all bear the same name. In this game, it means a statue, like an Egyptian one or those found here and there in big cities and parks. To bring a sphinx to life means to make it move.

Make the participants face each other as they stand or sit. One of them must put a match on the eyelashes. The task is to keep the match as long as possible without dropping it. The opponent should try to talk to the sphinx and embarrass it. The goal is to make that person drop the match.

The more often the game is played, the more interesting it gets. While the experienced sphinx is trying to keep the match, the talkative sphinx-provoker will start to bring more and more ticklish topics.

Sphinx by John Nost the elder, at Trent Park House, Enfield.
Sphinx by John Nost the elder, at Trent Park House, Enfield. | Source

The Killer

Cruel as it sounds, this game is actually more thrill and fun and totally non-violent.

The game can be played by a small or a big group of people, but six people in the least. It requires a pack of playing cards. The players sit in a circle and start to draw cards. There are as many cards as there are players. One card, for example, an ace of spades, signifies "the killer". You may place the pack in the middle of the circle back up and ask the players to take cards by turn without showing them. Or you can distribute cards among the players, one card per participant.

As soon as the cards are distributed, the participants should look each other into the eye. It is very important to look straight into the eye. "The killer" begins to "kill" by winking at the victim. The victim must say loudly "killed".

Any of those who stayed "alive" may claim to know who "the killer" is by saying "I suspect". But only two players at a time can indicate "the killer". "The criminal" will be considered caught if two players at once indicate him or her.

This can be exciting because by the time the killer is found, many players can get "killed".

Playing cards are a useful instrument for playing psychological games.
Playing cards are a useful instrument for playing psychological games. | Source

Do you think psychological games help people know each other better and have fun?

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The Mafia

This game also requires playing cards. The players sit in a circle and draw cards. Each card either means a citizen, a mafia member, a mafia tycoon, or a commissioner. For example, you may have diamonds for citizens, spades for the mafia group, an ace of spades for the mafia tycoon and an ace of hearts for the commissioner. The majority of the players are citizens. There are two or three mafia members among which one mafia tycoon, and one commissioner.

The moderator comments the game but doesn't not participate in it.

When the cards have been drawn, the game begins. During "daytime" the players discuss who can be mafia. The vote takes place, and if the person is voted by the majority, he or she reveals the card and leaves the game.

Then the night comes, and the mafia people wake up. The citizens have to stay eyes shut, but the mafia people open their eyes. The moderator sees them, but doesn't name them. The members of the mafia decide who to kill without saying a word. They may point at this or that person or nod or use any other gestures. Their main goal is to find the commissioner.

Then the mafia close their eyes. The commissioner comes into play. He chooses one mafia person and "kills" him. Just like the citizens, he can only guess. If he is wrong, then one of the citizens gets killed.

After that the day begins. The moderator announces who was killed during last night. The game continues till either mafia or citizens win. The commissioner is a citizen, and can be killed by the mafia or removed by the vote of the citizens.

The game gets intriguing if it lasts longer because the tension grows as everyone wants to "survive" and stay in the game as long as possible. The mafia only wins when no citizens are left alive. Vice versa, citizens are winners when all mafia members are removed.

The game requires some kind of strategy thinking, too.


This game may reveal some traits of character that people did not suspect in themselves. In a way it resembles the well-known game "Cities", where each player needs to name a city that begins with the last letter of the city named by the previous one.

The difference is the next player may say any word that comes to their mind. The players hear a word, and they just take turns saying words that they associate with the previous word. The words may mean something personal, and any player may be asked to explain why they chose that word. Even though they they don't have to explain, this may be an interesting personality test.

For the shy this game can be a great way to open up and start to talk. For those who are less timid, it can be quite revealing as far as their own character is concerned.

Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity

The idea of the game is simple. People give awkward answers to normal questions while picking cards. Primitive but so much fun.


© 2014 Anna Sidorova


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