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Game Idea A Week: Meaning of Life SissyFight

Week Twenty-Three (13/03/2010)

This week I attended the first day of the Game Design Workshop at GDC. We played a game called SissyFight 3000. We were then asked to adapt the game based on a new theme that we came up with at our table. Our table came up with "Scientists Debate the Meaning of Life". We encountered issues with the seriousness of the topic and the tight deadline, resulting in a game that had much room for improvement. Here is one possible way that game could be adapted...

Pit yourself against your friends as you pretend to be kids arguing over the Meaning of Life. Make alliances or backstab your way to winning the argument.

Cards from the deck


Non-digital card game


Party game

Why it needs to be made:

The game our table came up with in the design workshop needed improvement. The original game, SissyFight 3000, was good, but did not allow people to defend themselves very effectively. It usually didn't have a clear winner.


This is a game for 3-8 players. Players start with 9 Argument cards and a set of Action/Target/Words cards. Every player secretly chooses a type of action (peer pressure or personal attack), a target (one of the other players) and the words they want to say (an attack or a comeback). The players then turn over their choice simultaneously. This results in some players loosing Argument cards. When a player looses all of their Argument cards, they are out of the game. When only two players remain, the other players vote for their favourite remaining player. The player who has the highest combination of votes and remaining Arguments wins.

Players can attack others either on their own (personal attack) or with others (peer pressure), which damages the target more. To defend themselves, players can choose a generic defence which halves the number of cards they will loose. Or players can create a Comeback for their would-be attackers. If the Comeback successfully targets an attacker, the attacker will loose an Argument, not the person being attacked.

The cards are frivolous and childish to match the theme that the players are supposed to be children. This encourages players not to be too serious about their argument and gives them permission to be bitchy and act in a way that would not be socially appropriate in the real-world.

Why it will be a compelling game:

The social interactions between players is the key aspect here. Being able to make and break alliances uses fellowship fun very strongly. The images on the cards help allow players to enter the fantasy that they really are children.

Other thoughts:

I have implemented this game so you can download and print it from the Meaning of Life SissyFight page, or by downloading this Meaning of Life SissyFight zip file.

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