Guess Who?

A worthwhile variant on Guess Who, the venerable board game that involves asking questions to determine which of 24 people’s faces your opponent has in front of him, is the unofficial Prejudicial Guess Who, in which questions must be about personality rather than appearance.

The challenge is to come up with questions that, based solely on players’ prejudices about the characters, allow you to whittle down the field with confidence. For example:

1. Has this person ever rung a sex chatline late at night?

2. When this person sees a plane, does he or she stop and point at it?

3. Does this person use, without irony, the exclamation: “Poppycock”?

The trick is to be sufficiently decisive to eliminate people rapidly without generalising so much that one accidentally excludes the actual candidate.

The other important thing, I discovered today, is not to play with someone who has wildly different prejudices. It was impossible to win against my friend T, for example, because he made judgements that I don’t think anyone else would. To see if I’m right or not, I’d like to conduct a little survey. It won’t be very scientific, I imagine, because unless my fanbase magically increases then the sample size will be too small. Furthermore, T is one of the few people who does read this blog, and so he may try to influence it, but let’s have a go.

Guess Who Charles

Guess Who Albert

Guess Who Sally

I’ll post again in a week or two to say what answers I expected.

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12 Responses to “Guess Who?”

  1. yarb Says:

    What a marvellous variation on an otherwise dull game. I’m not too keen on the new-style portraits though.

  2. pouletnoir Says:

    Thanks for the vote, Yarb. The set cost me £1 in a charity shop, so I don’t begrudge the new-style faces.

  3. Michael S Says:

    Charles is the trickiest one – the moustache suggests RAF-style bravado. But the doleful look in his eyes suggests that the modern world has beaten him into submission and that he would avoid any kind of confrontation.

    On a related note, whenever I’ve played this version someone has always asked the “Is this person a paedophile?” question. Perhaps a new rule should be introduced where anyone who asks that automatically loses.

  4. pouletnoir Says:

    Mike: I thought Charles was absolutely clear cut, although I won’t say which way just yet because I don’t want to influence the vote. Albert and Sally, I thought, were more ambiguous, but it doesn’t seem that way from the poll results so far.
    I’m not sure that the paedophile question should be off-limits, but it is a good rule that you can’t ask the same question more than once a match.

  5. Chris Says:

    Digital music is much better quality and more practical and portable than vinyl. Also the imprint of an iPod headphone is clearly visible in Albert’s left ear.

  6. Tom "T" L Says:

    I see you’re as good as your word in taking this vendetta onto the Net. I have cast my votes in the same way as I did during our match (which was great fun – it’s both difficult and rather revealing). Anyhow, it’s certainly an interesting investigation into the multi-dimensioned nature of bigotry.

  7. pouletnoir Says:

    The voting has not gone as I expected, in the sense that I thought Charles would get a response of 90 per cent or higher in a particular direction. It is a slightly different question out of context of the game where you can see all the other faces, but interesting all the same.
    Incidentally, I wouldn’t say that prejudice and bigotry are the same thing. Prejudice is coming to a conclusion before you have the chance to judge something, whereas bigotry is maintaining your conclusion despite being presented with evidence to the contrary.
    Bigotry Guess Who would involve insisting that one’s opponent was holding a card with Herman’s face on it even when it turned out to be George. A simpler game, I suspect.

  8. Tom "T" L Says:

    True, Guess Who is more about prejudices than bigotry. The only point that can be cleared up a bit by this exercise is whether or not my prejudices are sufficiently in line with the mainstream to make playing Guess Who an enjoyable experience. Let’s leave the polls a few more weeks to simmer on the matter.

  9. GR Says:

    Michael S: I came to exactly the same conclusion re Charles. The eyes have it. Took the words out of my mouth.

    Likewise, the clincher for Albert is the half-moons. A digital fan might well be that bald, but would have rectangular glasses.

    That is scientific fact. There’s no real evidence for it, but it is scientific fact.

    And you are all WRONG about Sally.

  10. Guess Who? (2) « Le Poulet Noir Says:

    […] Who? (2) By pouletnoir The results to the Prejudice Guess Who poll are in, and I’m happy to report that the results vindicate my view in all three cases, […]

  11. rivergirlie Says:

    a whole pound!? steady on now x

  12. pouletnoir Says:

    It was on sale. The cover price was £2.
    And besides, I’ve adopted a policy of buying board games quickly from charity shops ever since I was a student and deferred buying a Neighbours board game for a similarly low price only for someone else to buy it before I could return. This was before eBay, so the prospects of finding another were almost nil. Can you imagine?

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