Critical Play: Bluffing, Judging, and Getting Vulnerable – Ji Hong Ni

We’re Not Really Strangers was created by ​​Koreen Odiney as a card game that has also expanded into the online world as well. This game is good for people who know each other to continue to grow their relationships with each other, hitting hard questions, funny questions, and everything in between. However, this game could also be played by strangers! As a way to first meet each other and learn more about the other person–discovering the commonalities and differences. 

There are three levels to this game: perception, connection, and reflection–with a final addition of the option of writing a handwritten note to the other person. Each level gets progressively deeper in content and how much the players reveal about themselves. Ideally, the game is played between two players, and they both take turns answering the prompt drawn and the round ends after both parties finish their thoughts. These questions help cultivate a bond between the strangers and the biggest takeaway is to create one more connection. This makes We’re Not Really Strangers a fellowship game where the main source of fun is the interactions between the two people. This game works because of its intentionality meaning that those who play the game come in with the willingness to learn about another person. 

Now on improvements to the game, I think this question can be taken in different ways and what the game wants to achieve. As it is right now, the game is trying to fortify the relationship between people and it’s meant to be more serious. However, if the game wants to be more casual, they could incorporate simpler or fun prompts that don’t dig deep into a person’s morals or life beliefs. This game also is played if people are dedicating time to sit down and do it. It might not be something that is convenient to pick up and go. Although I’m not too caught up with any new editions they’ve made. 

This game makes the players really think and think of an honest answer and honesty brings vulnerability. The higher the levels you go, the more vulnerable one gets. Compared to the game Truth or Dare, this game is purely about being truthful to yourself and your core beliefs whereas the other one has the dare element. Overall, this game builds a beautiful connection between souls that haven’t crossed paths before in hopes to spark something new.

About the author

Junior studying CS with an Art Minor :)

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