#2. Future Me
Short and Sweet:
Find your future self; tell a story.
This game is similar to "Find the Spy" because it involves looking at strangers and forming a narrative in your head. "Future Me" involves picking someone older out on the street and deciding "OK, that's me in the future."
The more random your pick, the better, because step two involves determining, step by step, what exactly you had to do in order to get from point A to point B. Is Future You a well-dressed businessman? A street musician? Two assassins? If so, what moves do you need to make to get there in the next 10 years, lest you upset the space-time continuum?
Some choices will require more outside thinking than others.
It's a fun, dumb game, but it's also a really useful tool for any writers out there, because when you're writing a story, you don't always have the whole thing in your head. You have a beginning, or maybe only an ending, or maybe just a few symbols or ideas that are important to you, and the actual writing involves filling in all of those blanks and connecting those symbols to each other in a way that is meaningful or, failing that, logical. In "Future Me," you have your beginning (you), and your ending (the street clown smoking a cigarette). Write that story.
#1. "Mr. President ..."
I first learned about this game in some Reddit thread that, for the life of me, I can't find now. I think the original poster called it "Mr. President." It's the best, but only if your friends are as dumb as me.
So, you're at a party, standing around in a circle with your friends, talking and laughing and sporting and doing whatever else people do at parties. Then one of your friends, without announcing it, puts a finger to her ear, as if she's listening to one of those Secret Service radios. If you see her doing it, you do it too while drawing as little attention do yourself as possible. Then one of your other friends will catch on and also do it. And another friend. When there is only one person left who doesn't have his hand to his ear, that's when you know: He is the President. You are the Secret Service. And his life is in grave danger.
"Mr. President get down!"
Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images
We cannot stress enough to never play this game anywhere near the actual President.
Whoever screams that first gets to tackle "the President," and then everyone else piles on (or, if you're me, you put on invisible sunglasses, make a little gun with your hand and secure the perimeter, to lend some authenticity to the whole affair).
I can't say that this will help you be a more attentive and present person, or if it help strengthen your reflexes because, in all likelihood, this game will not make you better at life in any way. But, when someone else at the party sees a bunch of strangers yel,l "Mr. President get down" simultaneously, for a few minutes, life is a movie for them. And that's kind of neat.
Daniel O'Brien is Cracked.com's Senior Writer (ladies), and he has lots of fun and hopes you do, too (you).