Cruel 2b Kind Playtest

I moderated Cruel2bKind with 6 players, most of whom knew each other but some of which were strangers. Note that even though there are 5 people in the following photos, there were 6 players total. We all sat down as I first started by explaining the purpose of coming together, the premise of the original Cruel2bKind game, and the modified version we would be playing.

The basic template of the game was the teaching team’s version of the game. In the modified version, the goal was still to win all the battles and assassinate the targets. However, everyone was now a target as there were no strangers. The idea of team versus team remained. Instead of explicitly issuing a compliment right off of the bat, players played rock, paper, scissors, each corresponding to a weapon/task. The rock, paper, scissors would determine who won, but at the end of it all, they would both have to issue the compliments. The compliments remained the same as the teaching teams with the exception of Weapon C which changed from Mistake Someone as a Celebrity to “Give an Inspirational Quote based on the person”. After starting out with 1 v 1 battles, everybody in a team had to work together to pick a weapon and use that weapon on everybody else on the other team. We played until there was one group left and at the end debriefed.

As gameplay began, teams began standing up. When it was 1 v 1, ties were easier to manage and it was very scalable. The two players looking at the camera have both played SCISSORS- Say something inspirational.


As teams conjoined and gameplay continued, much laughter could be heard. As rivals turned into teammates, competitive chatter turned into collaborative conversation.

Eventually, everyone was up and discussing. Since the teams collaboratively had to decide on a move, each “round” took more and more time as the game went on, becoming more “entropic” as someone noted. One caveat here was that it was more chaotic; one benefit was that it kept the momentum and interactivity up, as someone noted. Some things that worked were since it was a small group, it was very easy to issue compliments. As it got bigger, it was more chaotic but nonetheless manageable. Afterward, people reported that the game would serve as a nice icebreaker, potentially in frosh dorms. Forced compliments felt a bit awkward to the players, however, especially with those that were complete strangers. One potential fix to this might be tailoring the compliments to be more genuine but also superficial. Someone also suggested having questions that the other team would answer, e.g. “What is something intriguing about our team?” rather than “Note something intriguing about the other team.” or to share more information about the self. Another potential improvement would be engaging players who lost a bit more, or splitting each mega-team into mini-teams facing other rival teams. Overall a nice time as energy was high and personal discussions continued following the end of the game.



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