Posted by: Jamie Stamm | August 20, 2008

Game time

I love “Guess Who?”

It’s my favorite game to play with Cera for a number of reasons:

  • It’s not completely based on luck (ala “Candy Land,” where the winner is determined by the draw – or in the case of my childhood, how my mom stacked the cards. She preferred a fairly quick game.). Instead, you have to ask yes or no questions like “Do you have glasses?” or “Are you bald?” as you try to guess which character your opposing player has chosen to be.
  • You can’t go backwards (ala “Chutes and Ladders” and “Hi-Ho Cherry-0,” games that can come so close to being over in just 10 minutes, but start landing on chutes or overturned cherry baskets and they can last for hours. It’s maddening.).
  • Based on these first two factors, “Guess Who?” always is finished in a matter of moments, so it’s a great “yes, we can play a game before bedtime” option.

Anthony has watched his big sister and I play “Guess Who?” on numerous occasions and has decided it’s his favorite game, too. So try as I might to talk him into an activity that I feel is better suited to a 2-year-old, we end up “playing” “Guess Who?” on a near daily basis.

The game goes something like this:

Anthony asks his first question, typically “Do you have a beard?” (rather than “Are you a boy?” or “Are you a girl?” which are the logical queries to start with). Regardless of the answer, he puts down the entire first row of character tiles.

Then I ask my first question, and Anthony takes his second turn by repeating back to me the question I’ve just asked. This is followed by him putting down the second row of tiles. Do you see where this is going?

Sometimes on his third turn, Anthony will formulate a new question (today, he asked if my character had toes, which is pretty funny since they are just floating heads. Who knows? Maybe they don’t have toes …), but usually he reverts to “Do you have a beard?”, then drops the third and fourth rows of tiles – because at this point, the game is becoming too long for him. Then, with fist pumping in the air, he declares victory.

(If you’ve never played “Guess Who?” the winner is the person who correctly guesses the opposing player’s character, not the one who puts down all his tiles first – but I’m assuming if you can read this, you’ve already figured that out.)

As someone who was taught “follow the rules or don’t play the game” (it wasn’t until I was much older that I found out about the “Candy Land” betrayal), this whole scenario is a bit frustrating. The obedient kid in me feels I should correct Anthony’s game play, while the playful parent enjoys his pure joy over winning and the giggles I dissolve into when he asks silly questions like if my character has toes.

In this case, I think the parent is going to win out.

Game on!



  1. […] next game he chose was Guess Who, which we’ve been working on for several months. Ant’s getting a little better with the questions he asks, but this game is for ages 6 and […]

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