Pattern Into Game exercises

Understanding the atomic structure of patterns can help a group collaboratively build complex and evolving molecules. Devotion to pattern analysis will foster Pavlovian pattern recognition.

Pattern – a sequence that can be repeated / a structure that can be reused

Game – a sequence of actions, related by rules of cause-and-effect, that heightens with repetition

Elevating pattern work into game play, we focus on two aspects. One, we want a relationship between the nodes of the sequence. And, two, we want a progression of subsequent relationships that heightens the sequence in a concentrated direction.

Patterns that facilitate game play can be defined by three “moves.” A “move” is defined as “a single node of a pattern.” The “move” needn’t be “one line” or “one player’s contribution,” and the “moves” of any given pattern may be redefined in retrospect as new contributions are added. Through analysis and practice, a player learns to recognize and define the distinct moves that define a pattern.

Evolution of the pattern –
• 1st move = Offer (anything is an offer)
• 2nd move = Sets the pattern (of the myriad directions available after the offer the set move begins to define a single trajectory)
• 3rd move = Cements the pattern (clarifies the pattern in a direction that can be repeated and heightened.
E.g. Orange (1); Apple (2); Kiwi (3)
E.g. Orange, Peel (1); Melon, Rind (2); Apple, Skin (3)

Suggested Exercises:

WORD ASSOCIATION – Have Player One say any word. Have Player Two say a word inspired by Player One’s word. Have Player Three say a word that, in relating to the 2nd word, heightens the relationship between the first two words.

TO THE ETHER GAMES – Have Player One take stage and make a Self Contained Emotional Statement. Have Player Two come out and change one thing about Player One’s SCES. Have Player Three give a SCES that, in relating to the 2nd SCES, heightens the progression between the first two SCESs.

Lessons (for Word Association and/or To The Ether):
• The Offer is anything. The Set move seeks to establish a relationship with the Offer move. The Cement move seeks to heighten the relationship between the Set and Offer moves through its own relationship with the Set move. The progression of Offer, Set and Cement moves define the rules to the relationship between nodes in the sequence.
Trust simplicity – stick the same language; don’t allow personally-clever A-to-E connections ground the group in confusion
Serve the groupyou don’t have to be funny for the group to be hilarious; be willing to set the pattern for another to spike; the 2nd move will never be as funny as the 1st or 3rd but it is necessary to facilitate the big payoff.
The sooner a pattern is cemented, the sooner everyone can play – when players feel compelled to continue a pattern you know it has been established with a clear progression.

2 thoughts on “Pattern Into Game exercises

  1. Pingback: To The Ether video example – I Can’t… | Improv As Improv Does Best

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