Before You Play M@NDAYS...

M@NDAYS is an experiment in fostering relationships between people. It’s designed to challenge social boundaries to encourage deeper, more personal conversation. Our hope is that as people explore the fundamental similarities that make us human, they’ll become closer and more connected. That said, M@NDAYS is not suitable for everyone, nor is it appropriate for play everywhere. Here’s some advice that will optimize your gaming experience:

  • Choose your location wisely - M@NDAYS is delightfully inappropriate, so it’s best played where inappropriate people are are looking to have fun. Bring it to work, and you might get fired...or promoted. We don’t know how high-strung your HR manager is, so this choice is on you.
  • Choose participants wisely - We’ve been very surprised by how much strangers are willing to share while playing and how far they’re willing to push social boundaries. Some have even told us that the Starter Pack is too tame. That’s why we’ve started drafting a version that is MUCH more personal. If you encounter someone who seems uneasy or doesn’t want to play, don’t sweat it. Some people are easily offended. Ask someone else.
  • Introduce the Mandates - After playing at our first Manday, we saw the need to develop some ground rules to ensure fun for all. We were new to the experiment, so we weren’t able to set anyone’s expectations before playing. Though it was extremely successful and an absolute blast, there were a few things that we wished we had established before the night began. I’ll go into more detail in a separate blog post, but communicating expectations up front will help make your experience more memorable.
  • Disclose the details and ask for participation - This is such an important part of the process that it made the list of M@NDAYS Mandates. Social gaming isn’t something you do about someone. It’s something you do with someone. Give a person the chance to be a willing participant before you start. Strangers usually don’t like to be the object of conversation, but many people you meet do enjoy playing games. Let them know up front that the game involves asking and answering some very personal questions, and give them a chance to opt out. If you’ve chosen your participants well, they’re likely to be on board, especially if you start throwing dollars their direction.
  • Determine whether you're playing for points, money, or both - Before you start, everyone playing must agree to the stakes. We make an exception when playing M@NDAYS with people in the service industry because we won’t accept any money from them. We prefer to keep the cash flowing their way, so we don’t ask. We enjoy offering the incentive for their correct predictions. It makes the game more interesting. Everyone we’ve played with has confirmed that they’d still play for points, but we think it’s more fun this way. Whatever you choose, get a consensus before the first card is played.
If you have any additional advice from your experience that you think others should hear, share it below. We want to hear how participants have responded to your group dynamic.

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