Whenever I have friends come over, I’’ try to convince them to play Quiplash with me. I think it’s the most fun to play with other people, especially in a party setting, because it allows players to experience two aesthetic components: competition and expression. Quiplash is broken up into three rounds that are all timed, with each consecutive round being worth more points. During the first two rounds, players are asked two questions each via their phones. Players then anonymously type in their responses. After everyone has submitted their responses, those who did not respond vote for their favorite response. The objective is to come up with responses that will receive the most votes. Whoever receives the most points at the end wins.
By having players vote for their favorite response, players are encouraged to leave their mark by creating personalized, humorous, or creative responses. This dynamic leads to expression. Furthermore, the questions can be answered in whatever way the player likes or thinks will be everyone’s favorite. If they think they have a good, literal answer to a question, they can play that. Or, they can take a different approach and give a wacky, funny answer. Playing Quiplash allows users to express themselves by crafting their own answers in a way that they think others will enjoy. Players can express how creative and/or funny they are.
Breaking up each game in rounds and having each round increase in points leads to dramatic tension. Even if someone received zero votes in the first round, they have an opportunity to come back in round 2 and 3. Conversely, someone can receive all the votes in round 1, but they will still need to maintain their lead by continuing to submit responses that are better than their opponent. These dynamics lead to competition because a player cannot expect to win by not trying in any given round. Also, the mechanics of voting and time-limit encourage users to compete against each other for the favorite response in the given time frame. While everyone wants to come up with the best response, no one wants to spend too much time on one question and leave the other blank. The dynamics of opponent play and time pressure also create competition.
As I mentioned, I like to play Quiplash in a social setting. The competition aesthetic keeps everyone engaged, and expression allows everyone to get to know each other better by understanding each other’s senses of humor.