The Imitation Therapy Party Game

by phil on Saturday Jul 21, 2007 11:52 AM

The Game:

You are with a group of people who know each other, and everybody takes turns doing their best imitation of themselves. Better yet, do an imitation of other people imitating yourself. The result is hilarious, and the process becomes infectious and addictive, until late into the night, you've laughed yourself to death, and it's time to go home.

The Rules:

1. You can only imitate yourself, not other people in the group
2. You can imitate people outside of the group
3. Nothing leaves the party

The Therapy:

Imitation Therapy does wonders for both the imitator and the observers. For the imitators it is a way of releasing built up tension from hiding one's unwanted characteristics. It's also a way to acknowledge suppressed self-esteem issues in front of others. For the observers, it's a way of building sympathy for others. I find that once you recognize that other people are aware of their annoying traits, and even somewhat embarrassed by them, then you will feel less malice toward them. Even if the imitator is not exactly embarrassed by their trait, the party game provides a safe way in which everybody can laugh off their issues with everybody's personalities.

Game's History:

The game started when someone walked up to a group of me and my friends and started walking funny and speaking in a weird voice, doing an imitation of me. Everybody else in the group looked at me, to see if I would get mad at the imitator. To break the awkward tension, I just then did an imitation of this guy imitating me. I said, "Look at me, I'm Phil, I like to make people feel dumb." And everybody just died laughing. They were laughing at me, and I couldn't get mad at them for laughing at me in secret, because it was like I was in on the secret too. It was a bit of a nervous laughter, but I feel better about myself and everybody I think became a little more at ease with me.

My friend and I started polling other people to do their best imitation of themselves, mainly as a test to see how conscious people are of their social personality. Most people were off-put by the question, but eventually they'd come up with a funny sketch of themselves. I think with a bit more alcohol, we could get people doing rip-roaring imitations of themselves.

Last night, we turned it into a party game, and we couldn't stop ourselves from going on and on and on with it.

I admit, we haven't tried the game enough to know it's effectiveness. We suspect, though, that it may not really be feasible, as people are really uncomfortable about the thought of other people harboring secretly negative opinions about themselves, and don't want to create any form of public introspection. It may not work for introverted people for example.

Anyway, I got a kick out of it, hopefully you will too.

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