Daily Illuminator

April 4, 2014: Gaming While Walking

I frequently find myself on long walks with my wife Nikki Vrtis (who you may recognize as responsible for nearly all the production and some of the editing on the GURPS side of things) and our seven-year-old son. Weather permitting, we've walked four to five times a week as long as we've been together. This means we're really good at talking to each other . . . but it also means that sometimes we get a little bored. (This is especially true with our child, who no doubt wishes sometimes Mom and Dad would just shut up.)

When that happens, we fill the silence by playing games. In fact, "games you can play while walking" probably represents the majority of our game-playing nowadays. We've come up with a pretty good repertoire of amusements that can be whipped out whenever we're on Hour Two of a Saturday walk, or stuck in the cereal section of the grocery store.

One such game is called "Hinky Pinky." I honestly can't remember where I picked this one up, but -- as I was researching this -- I discovered it was also a childhood favorite by recently departed author Aaron Allston.

In this game, the clue giver comes up with a clue phrase that leads to a two-word rhyming phrase; then the other players need to guess what the rhyming phrase is. (These are prefaced with "Hink Pink," "Hinky Pinky," or "Hinkity Pinkity," depending on the number of syllables in the final answer.) For example, "Hink Pink: a gargantuan oinker" will hopefully lead to someone guessing "big pig." Similar clues might be:

  • "Hink Pink: the Grim Reaper's halitosis"
  • "Hinky Pinky: something a bunny does without thinking about it"
  • "Hinkity Pinkity: being assigned to a lesser job because you're angry, sad, or happy."

In recent months, our son has started coming up with his own Hinky Pinkies, and he's actually getting really good. (His Hink Pink of "a tool used to fix a wide, flat seat" stumped us all, but it was totally fair.)

So don't let the lack of a board let your companions be bored; you can play games whenever you have a captive audience! (And if anyone is stumped by any of the above, feel free to post to the forums and I'll help you out.)

-- Steven Marsh

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