Democracy Is Tested To Its Limits

Submitted by root on Sat, 06/23/2012 - 16:29

The activities in the space look something like a scene from a divine comedy.

In one part of the space two players are frustrated but determined in their attempts to run on the spot in unison.  In another part of the space four players are attempting with good humour to agree on a song which they will sing in unison.  Close by a quartet have almost succeeded in clapping a succession of rhythms in unison.  And in a far corner another quartet are clearly disagreeing with one another as they tackle the problem of declaiming in unison.  A common factor to all these groups is that the players are solving their problems by doing and not by talking.  Meanwhile, two players are sitting together quietly on the floor and watching the other players.

All the players have been given the same six tasks to perform :  run on the spot 25 times ;  sing one verse of a song ;  devise a simple dance step and perform the step 5 times ;  choose a short rhythm and clap the rhythm 11 times ;  breathe deeply in and out 7 times ; speak the words "Playing games is..." and complete this sentence in any manner of your choice.

Players begin the game by completing the six tasks on their own, performing the tasks in any order.  Once individual players have completed the tasks, they then come together in pairs.  Each pair agrees on how they will perform each task.  Each task is then repeated until unison is achieved (running on the spot, for instance, means :  starting and ending in the same position and with the same foot ;  lifting knees to the same relative height ;  performing in rhythm ;  unison of any arm, head, and body movements ;  and a shared quality of movement).  Pairs who complete the tasks then come together to form groups of four.  And when groups of four have completed the tasks they will come together to form groups of eight.  And finally the two groups of eight will come together to form a group of sixteen.  And when the group of sixteen have succeeded in agreeing and performing all the six tasks in unison then there will indeed be grounds for both celebration and reflection.  Discussion, which was eliminated in the game, will then begin.   

Notes :

-  the number of tasks given to the players may be varied.

-  the number of players taking part in the game may well mean that the two, four, eight, sixteen progression is not possible :  mathematics may come into play, with decisions made by the leader/s of the game and/or the players :  for instance a group of 25 players may come together as follows  -  (stage one) 25 individual players, (stage two), seven groups of 3 players and one group of 4 players, (stage 3), three groups of 6 players and one group of 7 players, (stage 4) one group of 12 players and one group of 13 players, (stage five) one group of 25 players.

-  disabled players may be given appropriate tasks ; tasks for visually impaired and blind players may, for example, draw more  upon vocalisation (whispering, shouting, singing, chanting, etc.) ;  with appropriate signals (whistling, for example) bringing individual players and groups together when a set of tasks have been completed.