Gotcha! Sincere Competitive Chitchat

Ellen Nickles

Ever wanted to win a conversation? Here’s a game to keep score!


This is a party game in which players try to sneak secret words into a discussion without getting caught. It’s like an icebreaker but with a competitive twist: you win points by hiding specific words in your responses or by catching your fellow opponents in the act.

The game challenges you to productively converse with others–to listen and to contribute–all the while planning how to surreptitiously work in your words. But how can you talk naturally if you’re suspicious of others’ word choices and vice versa? Constant questioning defies the implicit rules of cooperation in a conversation. To win you must manage these opposing goals and conceal your words within the context of constructively moving the dialogue forward.