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Press Gang

Press Gang

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Press Gang
Designer: Simon Katan
Players: 6-16
Stuff required: 4 sets of coloured topic cards + pressbadges (optional extras - table/podium, microphones, paparazzi with cameras for continual flash photography).
Crew required: One press secretary to keep score.
Preparation: Ten minutes.
Time required: Thirty minutes
Place required: Anywhere will work, but the more it looks like a press conference room the better.
Activities: Memory, acting.
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This is a playable game - it's finished, tested and ready to play.
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This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

A media conference has been called by a VIP in response to a barrage of unfounded allegations from the gutter press. The VIP has a number of secrets to protect but must nonetheless respond to journalist’s questions truthfully. Through careful fielding of questions and by remembering what questions were asked at the last press conference, the VIP may avoid revealing their secrets, for each journalist has been briefed only to ask questions on particular subjects.

Set Up

Print off and cut up four sets of topic cards. Back each of the sets with different coloured card. Also print off and make press badges.

Handout thumbnail for topic cards.pdf.
Download topic cards.pdf
Topic Cards - create 4 sets backed with different coloured card.


Starting the Game

• Decide on the number of press conferences to be held.

• Each player takes an individual press badge from a hat. The player whose newspaper is alphabetically closest to A is the VIP for the first press conference. They must decide on a celebrity identity (e.g. Madonna) and pick three topic cards from the VIP topic pack. These represent their three secrets.

• The rest of the players are journalists and must be dealt three topic cards each from the other packs being sure not to mix the colours. (Use up all the cards from one coloured pack before moving on to the next one).

How to Play

• The press conference is ready to begin ! The press secretary will remind the journalists of press conference rules, especially that they must say what publication they’re from each time they ask a question, to help him keep score. Finally he will announce the VIP to the journalists.

• The journalists may call out as much as they want to get the VIP’s attention but the VIP will pick who is to ask the next question.

• The journalists must make up a question based around one of the topics on their cards (eg. for the topic Career change "Are the rumours that you're giving up football to pursue a career in mime true ?”)

• If the topic of the question doesn’t match one of the VIPs three topics then the VIP may discreetly deny all knowledge gaining a point. If however, the topic does match then the VIP must admit the truth, losing 4 points in the process and giving the particular journalist 2 points.

• If the VIP is unsure about whether a journalist's question matches one of their topic cards they call for the help of press secretary who will in the first case implore the particular journalist to clarify his question but as a last resort check the journalist's and VIPs topic cards to see if the topics match.

• Once one of the VIP’s secret has been revealed no more points can be won or lost from it. Journalists must try to discover the other secrets instead.

• The press conference ends either after the tenth question or when the third secret has been revealed. The next VIP is the last journalist to have asked a question. They give the outgoing VIP their topic cards. The outgoing VIP may then swap his cards with up to three fellow journalists in any fashion provided that colours of cards aren’t mixed.

• The press conferences continue in this manner until the final press conference when all scores are totalled by the press secretary and the winner is declared.

Handout thumbnail for Press Gang Rule Set.pdf.
Download Press Gang Rule Set.pdf
A tabloid style rule set - if you're into that sort of thing

Videos

A game of Press Gang at the ICA.

Play history

Press Gang was played at Sandpit #8 at the ICA, in February 2009.