Pancake or Waffle?


Finding detail through abstract and A-C thinking.

Level of Difficulty:





Stand in a loose circle or go alphabetically based on attendee order for remote groups.

Pick one person to start. They think of an object. Any object at all. For instance they may think of a ball.

Now, the next person asks “Pancake or waffle?”

The first person must think, is my object, in this case a ball, closer to a Pancake or a Waffle. I’m going to arbitrarily say it’s more like a pancake after all they’re round!

Now the next person asks “pancake or ???”. They kept pancake since the person with focus said pancake previously and the ??? could be anything. So “pancake or hat”. We’re still fishing here, it’s pretty early on. But let’s say the person with focus decides a hat is closer since baseball is played often wearing baseball hats and baseball is played with a ball.

The next person keeps “hat” and asks “hat or ???“. Maybe they ask “hat or bat“?

They choose Bat, as bats are used to hit balls

The next person now asks “Bat or ???” Let’s say they go with ball “bat or ball

BALL! That’s it!” The person who holds the idea exclaims

At this point, everyone cheers. The person who “guessed” the object correctly can think of a new object and the game can continue until the facilitator calls time.

Practical Application:

We often talk about improv as not A to B thinking, but A to C or even A to Z thinking. By this, we mean don’t think of the first, obvious thing but go to or three levels removed and build complexity.

It is easy in teams to think of the first or immediate answer. But what happens when we push ourselves to think a few levels removed from the “obvious”?

See More Pattern-Games

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