Keep those games alive!

Children are inventive, original and very messy. As they get older they start losing these nice qualities. Some manage to hold on. This is what I am trying to do with this blog. My brother - a great inventor of games - kept most of my childhood happily occupied with his original games. This blog started out as a way to keep those games alive. Do read the first few posts to enter his wonderful world. Reader contributions welcome :)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

101 ways to play cricket - Part 2

This one is all about Innovation.

Have badminton racket, but in the mood for cricket? No problem. Just play "French Cricket", as suggested by Arun Iyer, of Iyer Education. (Why French, Iyer?) To score runs, just rotate the racket around you. This is all Iyer Ed has to say, woefully short of the details. But does that faze me? Not a chance. Years of cooking up stuff for my exam papers comes back to me - time to see if the old skill still remains.
I assume even the bowler has a badminton racket with which to launch the shuttlecock - merely tossing it is no fun at all. So the batsman hits it, and furiously starts rotating the racket till the shuttlecock comes back. If he can't hit it, he's OUT! (Is that the way it goes, Iyer?)

Have a football, a cricket bat and no one to play with except a baby who can't quite throw? No problem. Get baby to kick the football, and hit with bat :)

Have nothing, but still want to play cricket? Adi, of delhidreams to the rescue. Crumple up newspapers, squeeze them very tightly with the help of rubber bands and you have a cricket ball! He says it comes to shape after a few beatings. For water-proof version, just wrap some polythene over it.

Now for the bat. Just use - anything!!! (Long notebook, table tennis or badminton racquet, bare hands) But the best one, he says was his mother's cloth-beating wooden 'thapi' - Perfect shape, size and necessary solidity.

And here's something a kid I know used to do - Having outgrown the hollow plastic bat bought off a roadside vendor, but not possessing a proper bat yet, this is what the kid did: Sliced the top off the handle of the bat, stuffed it with shredded paper, poured water in and left it in the sun for a day to let the paper harden. I am assured that great results were obtained.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Paper Video Game

The Inventor: Bharath, who is Bored out of his mind.

This is pure genius - read it in his own words and pictures (I merely lifted it from his blog)

Something original for a change. My very own game! I'm sure there must be plenty of other ppl that have made something similar to this, but until they come and pull me up on this, I am the proud and sole creator of the PAPER VIDEO GAME!

This was something that I had created sometime in 5th or 6th standard, when hand held video games were a craze in India. I wasn't able to get my hands on one, so well I created one with whatever resources I had plenty at the time - namely paper and pencils.

First how to create one. You need:
  • A piece of paper (ruled or otherwise)
  • Pencil and Eraser
  • A fertile imagination
  • Another tiny piece of folded paper/aluminium foil tightly curled into a small ball with a flat bottom.


First fold the sheet of paper as illustrated. There are two folds required. This gives it a kind of springy effect. Don't press too hard to make Fold 2. Otherwise the paper loses it's springiness.Repeat for all 4 edges of the sheet of paper.


Now draw your beautiful game on it. I generally created courses that my little paper/foil ball had to make across, with alternate courses and bonuses etc. Draw your controls on the paper and voila... You have your paper game like so!


Now place the little ball at the start and navigate it through the meandering courses with your controls. Like I mentioned earlier, making your paper/foil ball flat at the bottom gives you better control. Otherwise you tend to lose control if it is completely round.

Practice makes perfect. It is quite difficult to master this game, so a little patience is required in the beginning. But once you master the art of moving your little ball, you can never get bored at airports :).

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Word Version of Cows and Bulls

As a teenager strapped for cash, but with an insatiable appetite for books, my only resource was a small second-hand bookshop in Bangalore. It occupied a dingy little stall, sandwiched between a condiments store and photocopy place. I have gone ice-cream-less for weeks, to invest my little all in its treasures.

So what, my dear readers ask, has this to do with games? I will tell you.

Among the treasures this place contained was - 'The Complete Works of Lewis Carrol'. The attraction was twofold - it was 3 inches thick, ensuring the summer vacation would be well spent, and it cost less than a hundred. Brought it home, and discovered that it not only contained stories and poems, but also ORIGINAL GAMES by Carrol himself.

One of those games is the Word Version of Cows and Bulls. A comment on the previous post by Bharat brought to mind this great game. (Let me know Bharat, if this is the one you are talking about) You can play it with a friend, or all by yourself.

Let's start with a 3 letter challenge that goes:

Put the PIG in the STY

You write 'PIG' on a paper, and change one letter at a time, till you arrive at 'STY'. All words in between have to make sense. Like this:


There you go! :)