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Pictionary

Posted on Feb 21, 2007 by Chung-hong Chan

Although I love to violate rules, I like playing board/Card games as much as playing [good] computer games.
I owned a box of Pictionary for maybe 3 years. I have to admit that I have never play this game seriously till yesterday. I nearly always lent this game to my family members. Back to the day when I worked for CUHK, the colleagues there also like to play Pictionary.
Yesterday was a family gathering day. We had played some some silly games such as Pig (a.k.a Solomon in Japan, 七級豬 or 摸鼻哥 in Hong Kong)、Mafia (a.k.a. Killer in Hong Kong) and a variant of sevens. Somebody suggested to play Pictionary. So that I read the rules for the first time. The basic rule of this game is, you need to draw a concept on paper and your teammates guess what you are drawing. If the teammates can guess the phrase from the drawing, that team can throw the dice. The rest is similar to other ordinary board games.
I think this game is not blended into the Chinese Language very well because Chinese Language somehow decreased the difficulty of the game. This game prohibited writing numbers, words or signs. Therefore, you cannot writing 4 to indicate the phrase your teammates going to guess have 4 characters. However, the clever Chinese developed a way to crack this rule: by drawing number of tokens to imply number of Chinese characters.
People also tend to develop a "pictorial language" as the game progress. For example, in one round a drawer draw a horn to indicate the character 角 in 摔角. In the other round, the drawer will also draw a horn to indicate 角 in 旺角, and maybe 國 in 聯合國. I think it can't be done when the same game is played in non-logogram settings.


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