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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Deaf games

I love games. Just about any kind of game, board, card, sports, video, even mental games that make you think and reason things out logically. If I had to pick a single game that I could probably play for the rest of my life, I'd be hard pressed to pick something other than chess. It's hard to think of something that has more variation over a lifetime, and it's vastly complicated - can you believe most games are done in 50 moves or less? Feels like more....

One embarrassment I'm willing to share about my game playing is that when I was in 6th grade, I was pretty much addicted to video games. I'd come home from school, ignore my schoolwork,turn on the Nintendo or Super Nintendo, play games as long as I could, and generally my grades suffered because of it. It came to a head when my report card came home and my step-dad raised holy hell - nearly destroyed my precious game systems in his ferocity. I was banned from video games for 6 months. SIX MONTHS?!!! I was so gonna die. My lifeline, my safe world where I can be victorious at a push of a button... gone.

Looking back, it wasn't so bad. I got back into reading books - after finishing schoolwork, of course. I was doing pre-algebra math, greek mythology (one project was to literally create a board game of the Cretan Labyrinth, where the Minotaur resided and eventually slain by Theseus, who was a butt-kickin' hero), and a whole lot of geography and earth science. So, I somewhat credit the whole getting weaned off video games to have helped me get better at some school subjects. I just could have done without the overreaction from my step-dad....

Now, the one kind of games I absolutely disliked playing were social games. Games where you basically have to hear and interact with people to win. Phone tree. Marco Polo. Sometimes even hide n' seek. I still remember the time I screwed up some game at a county fair when I was like 8 because I didn't hear the shouted instructions and I watched everyone else - the clown in charge came up to me and told me to leave, and he looked angry. :-(

It's not often anymore that I play with hearing people. I should, though - at least just to continue improving what I do use out of my cochlear implant. Even when I remember the "bad ol' days" I need to remind myself that things are different and better now. This one time, before getting my cochlear implant, I was at my grandmother's place and it was a fairly large party. We played Mafia - everyone being hearing, I had to sit close to the narrator and had a real hard time taking part in the debate who was the Mafia. This was with 20+ people playing, so there were two Mafia, two detectives, and two nurses to keep things rolling along, for those of you who know the game.

Earlier this week, though, I was able to hang with my friends and play a couple of rousing games that didn't rely on hearing - a game I've quaintly named "Hands" and then Mafia, modified to better fit the deaf.

1) Hands is somewhat difficult to explain. You have a group of people in a circle sitting at a table, and you put your hands on the table, overlapping each of your neighbor's on both side's hand. Then the game is a series of slaps and double slaps (variations includes adding fists and double fists, and the next variation I'm gonna introduce will be the palm up and double palm up... :-D)

-A slap means the next person will slap
-A double slap means reverse; the person who just slapped before you, now has to slap again. Keep in mind they can double slap right back!
-A fist means "skip" - in a situation where a slap would mean you have to slap, your hand will be skipped and now the hand after you must slap.
-A double fist means "back skip" - and the person who slapped BEFORE the double fist is skipped and now the person behind them must slap

-Palm up is going to be my new experimental move. Palm up means now the person who is next must FIRST slap your palm, like giving you a "five" THEN they can slap. So it'd be like *palm up* *slap five* then *slap*
-Gotta have the double! Double palm up means the person BEFORE you has to *slap five* then they must slap.

Tricky! This is gonna be so funnnnn!

2) Mafia for the deaf

Mafia is really fun. Especially so for the narrator, who gets to tell the most fabulous and gruesome ways people get "hit." The main thing to do here is instead of calling out "Mafia wakes up" - you slap the table or ground once. When the Mafia goes back to sleep, the narrator gives two slaps for "Nurse wakes up." Then after the nurse sleeps, 3 slaps will wake up the Detective. When all is said and done, a rapid series of many slaps wakes up everyone, then the real fun begins. ;-)

When I played with hearing people before I got my CI, I could only hear the narrator if I was right next to them - there was a party going on in the background, people would talk in ways that made it sound like the narrator was talking - made me nervous as heck I was missing out on something important! But now I really like social games - my friends really make it easy and fun. Thanks, you guys!

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