Show Biz

Annahid Dashtgard wasn’t at CSI long before she initiated Games Lunch where tenants get together to play games. An expert in community-building and leadership it was evident that there was method to her madness. Playing cards sounds like such a simple thing, perhaps cause we all did it as kids, teens and young adults. I remember playing Euchre tournaments to win pizza. But nowadays, we have to be marshaled into it, usually on a Friday night with beer and poker chips.

In a lot of environments, games in the workplace would be blasphemy, even when it is on your lunch break. In a lot of environments, they don’t get it: the positive morale, the rapport, the networking that inadvertently happens when you interact with other people, professional people, in a professional environment. Games lunch is a nice way to remind ourselves that we are all just people even if we do have to sell something.

That being said, I couldn’t help imagining what it would be like if people everywhere carried a deck of cards around with them, sort of the way people used to carry a pack of cigarettes. And then instead of going outside for a smoke break, they could go outside for a card break. That’s when it hit me! Most professionals do carry a pack of cards around with them – business cards! And lo! Show Biz was created.

A tribute to open-source fun, this Bring-Your-Own-Businesscard game is one that anyone can learn and anyone can teach. It is fun to play, involves luck and strategy and is a great tool for getting-to-know-the-people-at-the-table situations. I would love you to play-test this at your own office and please send feedback so that we can update the rules of play as needed. Show Biz: Show me your Business card… Enjoy!

SET UP

Each player contributes a stack of business cards to the deck equal to the number of players, ie: 4 players = 4 business cards each = 16 cards in the deck. Each player introduces himself with his name and the name of the business or organization. You will need at least 4 players, more is better.

OBJECT

To win a complete set of business cards with no duplicates and none of your own.

START

Deck is shuffled and each player is dealt two (2) cards. Remainder stay in deck which is left face down.

PLAY

Pick up: Choose a card from either the deck or the discard

Ask: Choose another player and ask for a specific card. If player has it he must surrender it to the asking player.

Discard: Player must discard face up to the discard pile to complete turn, even during final turn to go out.

SCORING

1 point for each unique card

0 for each duplicate

-1 for your each of your own

CHALLENGE

You must ask for a specific card by the person’s name or the business name. This is where it pays to remember at the introductions – No writing it down!

VARIATION

For faster games or large groups deal out 1/2 of deck.

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4 thoughts on “Show Biz

  1. awesome!!

    ask orenzo about the game he made for art class in high school called Crack City Whores (based on monopoly). he actually made a huge board game (the size of a big canvas) that you could hang on your wall and then all the cards by hand, etc.

    i recently played a board game called The Last Straw, which was designed to help people better understand and appreciate homelessness and poverty.

    gets me thinking how cool it would be to have a board game for each profession — hmm…what would i call something about midwifery….baby boom? baby catcher?

  2. I don’t think I’d do well at this game…..”My Business card?…..uhm……I’m sorry…..They’re at home in my tea towel drawer….”

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