SimplyFun’s game “Qualities” is a natural language catalyst and a creative way to get to know and be known by friends. Claiming a Platonic heritage, they quote the philosopher’s influence on this game – “you can learn more about a man in one hour of play than in one year of conversation.” Up to seven players take turns identifying and rating certain qualities in themselves, while game-mates offer up their own perceptions. “Qualities” runs off of a Preference Board which is the dashboard to this adventure in self and others’ assessments. Players accumulate points as they demonstrate the best knowledge of their own personalities, and as they excel at accurately perceiving others’ qualities. Those qualities fall in three categories of ascending indicators of one’s character. Most simply, you are mind-reading what “activities” are of the greatest interest or most desirable, such as camping, watching TV, or taking a class. Next come “traits,” the habits, dispositions and approaches by which we are known such as aspiring, balanced, or commanding. Then, at the core, is what we “value” most, tied to our beliefs and deep convictions such as peace, self-reliance, or safety. The spark in “Qualities” is the confluence of personalities, self-examination and discernment. Choosing the strongest quality to define us, accurately assessing the degree to which it is important and combining players’ perspectives, creates a winner. In a world that has come alive to emotional IQ and being self aware, this game invites lots of conversation defending one’s strongest character traits, what gives them energy or what they value in dealing with others. Lively dialogue ensued as players discussed why they felt their friend was more cheerful than forgiving or empathic rather than sympathetic. The trait and value cards were a vocabulary lesson in themselves.
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