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The Moth: Presents a Game of Storytelling
NPR’s The Moth is all about true stories told live, and this game is designed to prompt a volley of sharing and listening between players. Created by the program’s storytelling experts, this interactive card game encourages lively conversations, sparks creativity, and improves public speaking abilities.
This game adheres to two basic Moth principles: the story should be true and should feature the storyteller, his/her experience, and perspective (resist the urge to tell stories about others). When playing the game, don’t overthink it. Share what comes to mind, detail a scene, see how it resonates with other players and, perhaps, ricochets back. One story begets the next.
Players draw a card and share their own true story based on themes including Love Hurts, Mama Rules, Busted, Hot Mess, Chemistry, Duped, and dozens more. Animals, Beginnings, Blunders, Backfired, Deadlines, Enthusiasm, Envy, Food, Landmarks...and on and on.
There are four ways to use the cards to find and share stories, but players should feel free to use the themes and prompts casually.
-Playing Style 1: All In
Pull a card, read both sides aloud, and ask everyone seated at the table to share a story or a memory related to the same theme.
-Playing Style 2: Getting to Know You
Deal one card to each player. Give everyone a few minutes to ruminate on their theme and prompts. Each player takes a turn reading their card aloud before sharing a personal story. Encourage people to swap cards or take a new card if the first one doesn’t conjure memory.
-Playing Style 3: Best in Show
Break into pairs. Give each team a card and have them swap stories for 10 minutes, then asked them to decide which person will share with the larger group.
-Playing Style 4: Competitive Story Slam
A story card is chosen from the deck at random; players hear the story line and prompts.
The prompts are thought starters; players can use one or none at all and interpret the theme any way. Players share three keywords from the story they plan to tell (for example, recess/revenge/ambulance), and after everyone is heard, other players vote on the story they’d most like to hear. And the storytelling commences.
The game also includes storytelling tips (good for writers and public speakers, too). If you had a lot of fun playing this game and told a story everyone else is still talking about, why not pitch it to The Moth? Contact information included. As they say, “We’re listening.”
Deck of 100 cards, each with multiple prompts; plus instructions for multiple ways to play; in presentation box.