Each player must quickly continue the conversation by using only questions. Hesitation, statements, or non sequiturs are not allowed, and cause players to foul. The game is usually played by two players, although multiplayer variants exist.That game is played in Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead":
Scoring is done by foul. Fouls can be called for:
- statement: player fails to reply with a question
- hesitation: player takes too long to reply or grunts or makes a false start
- repetition: player asks questions identical to or synonymous with one already asked this game (not match)
- rhetoric: player asks a rhetorical question
- non sequitur: player responds with an unrelated question
That's the movie version, which shortens the scene. We saw the live play last night in Spring Green. I had never heard of the game before and assumed it was a game created for the play. I'm only finding out now that apparently it's an old game. The play is from 1966, so it's old one way or the other. Had I known of this game, I'm sure I'd have engaged my sons in playing it, years ago, not that many years ago, but 20 years ago. I'd have believed it was good for the development of a child's mind, the way I believed it was good for them to play a game I invented called "What if you had to argue?" (explained in the old blog post "What if you had to argue that it's good for children to play 'What if you had argue?'").