Critical Play: Competitive Analysis

Two Truths and a Lie is a social game where players take turns stating two factual and one false statement about themselves and letting the other players guess which statement was the lie. I don’t think the creator of the game is properly documented because it is so commonly played using no materials. The game is unilateral because one player is working against the group to create the most ambiguous set of statements so the other players can’t guess correctly what the lie is. The outcome is zero-sum, because the group correctly guessing the lie (winning) comes at the expense of the individual failing to outwit the group (losing).

The boundaries of the game typically fall within the confines of a group circle between which the conversation occurs, but again, there are no materials needed so the boundaries are not defined in that sense. The game has very few rules other than that the individual must think of two truths and one lie and that the individual making the statements must rotate. When I played the game for my competitive analysis, we played with a 1 minute discussion and guessing period per round, but this is another rule that is not well-defined.

There are a few types of fun involved, including fellowship, discovery, and challenge. The fellowship comes from working with the group to determine which one of the individual’s statements was the lie. The discovery comes from learning something new about the individual. The challenge comes from the obstacle of figuring out the truth about the individual.

There are no graphic design decisions involved, because it is not a physically-instantiated game.

Compared to other games in the social genre, this game is much slower paced — it often is played seated with not much energy because the individual needs time to think of their statements and the group needs time to guess. This is compared to other games in the genre that are faster paced or games like truth or dare, for instance, in which often physical movement is required to complete a turn.

Handling of abuse is not typically necessary because the individual player is in control of the information revealed about them. However, this is again, an aspect of the game that is not documented.

One thing I might change is make better-established rules for turns, but the flexibility of the game is one thing that makes it so easy to play ad-hoc in social environments.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.