A Challenge for Creative Minds

Scientific research is very rewarding. You are on a quest for that little bit of knowledge that has, to date, evaded others. Your hard work and investigations could potentially lead to advancements in your field. Notoriety. Articles in Science AND Nature! Fame. Nobel Peace Prize!

Even so, there is only so long that you can count algae cells under a microscope before needing a break.

Crew-members of the Hi-SEAS study need to be prepared to provide their own fun and frivolity during their time spent in the habitat. Space and resource limitations could put a damper on options, but once more we’ll just have to accept the challenge and get creative!

Here are just a few of my favorite games:

Liars Dice
A great bonding game that requires only dice and a piece of paper. Since this was a pirate game, it’s not surprising that the objective is to out sneak, lie, and trick the other players to be the last one standing. Each player starts with 5 dice and a cup, after an initial roll, they takes turns ‘bidding’ on the number of a certain die value that exists in all hands. (e.g. “I believe there are six 2’s”) The next player can either change the bid (“I believe there are seven 2’s/I believe there are six [other value]”) or CHALLENGE. Then all dice are uncovered and the true liar is revealed. The game becomes trickier when “1’s” are considered wild. More rules and explanations can be found here.

Paper Rock Scissors
Perhaps the greatest of all games. Ever. You never know when a challenger may approach. I am a firm believe in the skill involved in PRS. Play often enough with an opponent and you start to pick up on some of their tricks and patterns. Watch out though, I can play with my left OR right hand! I challenge you! Best 2 outta 3, 2 outta 3, one-two-three-SHOOT!

Photo Booth Music Videos
Perhaps one of the sillier of my creative fun and frivolity suggestions, Photo Booth Music Videos may also be one of the more hilarious things you will ever do. All you need is an Apple computer or iPad with Photo Booth and danceable music. I recommend turning on the mirror effect. Then put your dance hats on and record an extra special home video to your favorite songs.

I’ll add a video later, so come back for my own ridiculous example!

Popcorn Reading
With the rise of the e-reader, it’s never been easier to cart around a small library of good reads. I don’t know if you were the type to be overjoyed to be chosen to read aloud to the class as a youngster, but I’ve found that it has gotten more and more amusing as I age. Road trips with my friends often includes at least a few chapters read by all.

I’ve been saving a few books on my e-reader apps for a time when I can read without worrying about what grad student responsibilities I’m supposed to be focusing on. Any strike your fancy?

The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
You are NOT so Smart – David McRaney
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved
     the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time – Dave Sobel
A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos – Dava Sobel

Young Adult Sci-Fi books would also be perfect. Who else enjoys creating lots of different voices for the characters?

This may not be the most mind-blowing activity, but it certainly can relax and sooth. I picked up this craft in college and have phased in and out since then. Currently I’m in. I even have a special treat planned to create for all fellow crew-members and associated people should I be selected to participate. I could also teach others how to knit and follow a pattern, or create their own. 

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This game may require a bit more room than available, but I’m sure we can create a similar game for when we are space suited up and traveling out of the habitat. Any ideas for the rules for ‘Astronauts’?

It could be anything.

Card Games
With the vast number of games possible with simply a deck of cards, this section could probably fill its own blog post! In fact, I think I’ll just make this our…

Question of the Day:
What is your favorite card game? (And if it’s unique, how do you play?)
Any other game suggestions that meet our space and resource limitations?


6 thoughts on “A Challenge for Creative Minds

  1. The monologue game! All it requires is a pencil, paper, and your creativity. One person thinks of a theme, then everyone write for a set amount of time. Switch, and perform!


  2. I am unsure of any official title although I bet there are numerous ones… It's essentially the whispering train game but with paper. Everyone sits in a circle with pen and paper. Everyone writes down a phrase or word. You pass it left. That person then draws the best representation of the phrase they received after folding it to hide. Pass it left to the next person who guesses the phrase from the drawing… on and on until it circles around. No one wins… or should I say no one loses. I once played this with a couple of Germans including one whose English was spotty at best. Hilarity ensued.


  3. Gin Rummy is my all time fav. Hearts is pretty cool too.

    As for scrap paper, if I'm accepted, you'll have a lot. Under supplies, I asked for ten notebooks (in the event of power failure and I can't use my laptop to write). So, plenty of paper. Although, now I'm wondering… Would ten be enough? That's one for every twelve days, but if internet is limited and w/ power going out… hmmm… maybe I can bring twenty and they won't notice 🙂


  4. I was not even considering lack of paper, how clever of you! Though, I'm assuming in the super awesome future when we go to Mars everyone will have an iPad. Right? 🙂


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