If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember the Finger of Doom. If not, here’s a quick refresher.
In the beginning, the game was called Slow Poke. It was something I started, and it was a really bad idea. You can read about it here. Some time after that, the combination of Slow Poke and an angry wife inspired the creation of Finger of Doom. You can read about that here.
Now, almost two years after Slow Poke first sprang into existence, we’ve finally hit on a version of the game that works. Here are the rules:
- Prior to poking someone, you must hold up your finger and say “Finger of Doom”. You can’t poke before finishing the word “Doom”. This gives the target a chance to run away or parry.
- When poked, you must make the “dead face”. To make the dead face, close your eyes, tilt your head sideways, and let your tongue loll out of your mouth – so you look like you’re dead. This is your acknowledgement that you’ve been doomed.
- Poking arms doesn’t count. Bellies are best.
- Once poked, you are free of doom from that person. Once you’ve been doomed by someone, you can’t be doomed again. This means that in a three person game, each person can only be doomed twice and then the game is over.
- The game can be started at any time anywhere by anyone, with two exceptions. First, it cannot be started within thirty minutes of the previous game. Second, it cannot be started when momma is looking.
Why am I telling you all this? What does this have to do with the kids? Well, it depends on who you are.
- If you’re a mom, this is a cautionary tale. Avoid poking games at all costs. There’s no way to get rid of them once they start.
- If you’re a dad, this is an instructional memo. Give this game a try. It’s actually pretty fun.
- If you’re into game design, it’s an interesting little tale of how a game can evolve, particularly when there are a group of people involved. Had I sat down to create a poking game, I probably would not have come up with something as effective as this. It’s fair, funny, quick, and it has safeguards built in to prevent people from ganging up on each other.
- If you actually know my kids, this is a warning. If you hear the words “Finger of Doom” look around. You are probably about to be poked. If you get poked, make a dead face. That way you won’t be poked again.