Towards A Greater Understanding Of Strip Games

When I posted the rules for Strip Rock Band yesterday, I had many people saying, “Why worry about shy people?  Shy people don’t play strip games.”

This is fundamentally untrue.  If a crowd was composed of all bold people, there would be but one strip game ever, and it would be called “Let’s take our clothes off!”, and it would be played at every opportunity.

No, the bold folks are the ones suggesting Strip Halo…. but they are not the majority, else everyone’s underwear would already be scattered across the rug.  The purpose of a strip game is to encourage a bunch of shy(er) people, who wish they were bold, to doff their clothes one bit at a time.  They wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t that delicious combination of:

a)  Peer pressure;
b)  A slow pace of removal, so they can adjust to their topless status before moving on to a bottomless status;
c)  A feeling of some control, since by playing well they can at least hope to stave off their own nakedness;
d)  A deep, deep desire to see the other people naked.

This is why strip games work.  If you make it fast, then all the shy people get immediately self-conscious, leaving a bunch of bold people running around starkers and the shy ones feeling ashamed, shunned, and stupid.  If you remove the control element, then shy people feel like they’re just doffing clothes at random, at which point they feel like slo-mo strippers.

This is not to say that the strip game necessarily requires deep skill… Just the illusion of skill.  I’ve played Strip Candyland, and I’m pretty sure the most skilled of professional Candyland players don’t have much of an edge on me.  But I felt like rolling the dice was some form of control to stop me from flopping Little Elvis out prematurely, and so I was more comfortable when the King put in his inevitable appearance.

But to think that no shy people play strip games is to misunderstand the whole reason behind Strip Settlers of Catan. The strip game is specifically done to lure in the folks who are reluctant but eager, to allow them to show off the bits that they normally would uncover.

Then the bold ones try to talk them into an orgy. Alas, there’s no camouflage game for that.

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