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Alphabet Game

Updated: 12 July 2022

When Sara and I can't sleep, we will sometimes play the game described below.

We've also played the game in small transitional moments [i] with friends, colleagues, and younger cousins.[ii]

In our experiences, the game produces shared moments of delight, surprise, pride, anticipation, and accomplishment.


As a group, your objective is to name three “things” that begin with each letter of the alphabet that fit within the category the group defines before the game begins.

Before the group can move on to the next letter, you all need to agree that you have identified three "things" that begin with the letter that is currently in play.


  1. As a group, pick a {category} for which you will come up with things that belong to it. E.g. "Things people are afraid of"

  2. For each letter of the alphabet, the group needs to generate {3} "things" that they agree fit within the cateogry.iii All games start with the letter A.

  3. Once the group finds three items that begin with the letter they’re on, they move on to the next letter and repeat the process until they make it through all 26 letters in the alphabet.

  4. ✅ That's it!

If play the game and use a category that you had fun with, please send me a message or add it directly to this are.na board.


  • There is no order. As soon as you have an idea, say it! The game is about generating lots of ideas and reaching a consensus about inclusion quickly.

  • Use your voice. If at any point, you are uncertain that what someone is proposing belongs to the category that is in play, challenge it! When this happens, the player who proposed the idea has two options:

  • A) Pitch the group on why they think the idea they are proposing belongs. If the player chooses this route, the group then decides whether the rationale the proposing player offered is strong enough for the proposal to be accepted into the category.


  • B) Retract the proposal and keep thinking of other ideas.
  • Find the boundaries. If you think of an idea that could fit, try it out and see how people react! Defining the possibility space together is part of the gameplay.

i. E.g. waiting for food to arrive, lounging around after a big meal, waiting for transporation to rarrivearetc.

ii. Ages 5, 8, 10, 14, and 15 years old

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