North Star Games’ ‘Say Anything’ was probably one of my worst ever gaming experiences. It is similar to “Wits and Wagers”(also by North Star and a lot of fun, actually), only the ‘correct’ answers to any of the questions are subjective to decision of the asker. Players write in their ‘best answer’, the person who asked the question chooses their favorite or whatever is true about them, people place their bets on the best answer, and the ‘judge’ reveals their choice.
Maybe this game has the potential to be fun, and some people seem to really enjoy it. But it’s not a good game to play with strangers or mixed company, particular with people who don’t know how to tone down the brocious behavior. The problems with the game were exacerbated by the fact that the only other girl at the table besides my girlfriend took it upon herself to be dedicated judge and question-asker (it’s supposed to go around the table). All the questions were about her, what she would like, what she thinks, etc. etc. This put the people who know her at an advantage and puts the people who are uncomfortable and unwilling to put down truly outrageous and suggestive things about this person they know nothing about at a HUGE disadvantage. Considering that I’m with my girlfriend and I don’t want to make an ass out of myself or be too presumptuous about this person I know nothing about, I’m half-assing answers or just putting stuff randomly. With questions like “Most of all, I would like a BIG -what-?”, I’m putting out “Teddy Bear” while three other players are racing to be the first to put down “Black Dick”(the guy who managed to play this answer first was black, not that that makes it any better).
The previous games of Resistance we’d played with these same people were MUCH less raunchy and a lot of fun, despite the fact that my inability to maintain a poker-face when accused of anything meant everyone thought I was a spy both games even though I wasn’t. It’s not that I don’t like these people, I do. It’s just that I’m very much not comfortable playing a game that relies heavily on having intimate knowledge of the players with strangers. And when everyone else appears comfortable with what is going on, it’s difficult, as the outsider in the group, to say “I think this is inappropriate”.
Even though I will probably play games again with most of these people, I will never play ‘Say Anything’ again with anyone.