Chinese whispers

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Chinese whispers
Type: communication game
Number of players: five or more
Location: everywhere
Equipment: none
Duration: 1-2 minutes per round
Preparation: none

Chinese whispers is a simple but amazing (and funny) game.


No equipment is required to play that game.


The participants are standing in a cirle. One player may select a (real-world) term (or sentence). He whispers this term to his neighbor (silently enough, so the other players can't hear what he says). Doing so, the term has to be passed on from player to player until finally reaching the last player. He has to speak out loudly the term as he understood it. Often, the term has changed quite a bit, which can be quite amusing.


  • Usually, everybody has to pass on whatever he understood on the first try. If very long and complicated words or terms are used, one repetition might be allowed by each player.

Similar games

  • Writing and drawing is a variation where a term is alternately written and drawn to be passed on from player to player
  • In chinese whispers in images here, a term has to be passed on from player to player by alternative writing and verbal explanation
  • Epidemic uses a similar concept with grimaces
  • Telefax uses a similar concept, but approaches the touching sense of the participants