MYOS - Make your own story
MYOS is a collaborative story building card game that allows a group of players to create an imaginative story every time they play the game. In this low tech, face paced card game players invest their imagination, forces to think creatively and express themselves playfully to create an imaginary world together. Each player gets a fair chance to contribute, raise dissent and negotiate with others in deciding the direction the story will take, and eventually a collective narrative emerges out of play.
All players get a handful of five cards, and keep rest of the cards face down. The game goes turn wise, and in every turn, players take two cards from the deck and play one card on the playing area. At the start of the game, one card is drawn from the deck and kept face up, this becomes the starting point of the story on which everyone one by one builds and contributes to throughout the game. The game ends when all the cards from the deck are finished.
There are three type of cards in the deck, action cards , take it back and power card. All action cards either have a word or a visual in it, which consists of a set of noun, verb, adjective, and adverb that are used to make a sentence. These cards can be interpreted in many different ways depending on the player, and this creates a conflict between players as they make different interpretations of the same card to contribute to the collective story. Players can express their dissent using a take it back card and raise their disagreement with the said sentence. If other players also have a take it back card, they can play it either to counter or support the said sentence. Players may use more than one take it back in a turn. However, the take it back card can not be played continuously for more than three times in a turn. In this situation, the result is decided by the roll a of dice and players loses future chances to raise a dissent in the game. There are a few power cards in the game, which players can use to force any action they want and other players can't raise any dissent, the take is back doesn't work on top of power card.
The game was created as a part of the research in understanding young children's imagination, what abstract connections they make, how they interpret the given theme in their environment, and deal with conflicts. Different versions of the game with a few modifications has been used as a participatory research tool by teachers, educators, designers and researchers for different projects.
If anyone is interested in using the game for educational or research purpose, please write to me, I'll be happy to provide design files for print and play (PnP) version which you can modify and use in different contexts. The content of the game can be changed according to what themes/subjects you want to explore, or also can just let the players create their own content, shuffle it and play for a fun story building session for 45-60mins, works well as a ice breaker also.
Game Design: Swapnesh Samaiya
Images: Kirti Shah