Breeder reactor

2003-08-17 23:52

Jesse and I like to play word games, and one of my favorites was invented spontaneously at Perkins one night. It’s a word-association game, called Breeder Reactor. Here’s how to play.

Someone writes a word at the top of a piece of paper. Word, concept, person’s name, just about anything. So, it looks roughly like this:


Pass the piece of paper to the next player. That person now writes two words under the first one, one on the left, one on the right. These words should be words suggested by the first word. There’s no rules, no limits; just whatever comes to mind.

foodLot’s wife

Now pass the paper to the next player. If there’s only two people, maybe that’s the first player again. This player writes three words. One inspired by the left word, one inspired by the right word, and one, and here’s the fun part, which in some way reflects both of the words above it.

foodLot’s wife

Keep doing this until you reach about the width of the page. Then, you do one of two things:

  1. You can start folding back in – do only the terms which are combinations of the two terms above them.
  2. You can just not add terms to the edges, or alternate lines which shift right and left from the lines above them, or alternate wide lines and thin lines, or otherwise keep going.

Do this until, say, you’ve filled a page. You can have additional fun by trying to think of themes to use for a whole line of items, although you will only sometimes have any chance to do so.

Here’s a snippet of an actual game we played:

math dress
father darts down
angel archery jacket goose
sword cherub glove feathers ass
swashbuckler Desert Eagle sentiment shapeshifter tail Bottom
Cyrano anachronism nostalgia rage fox pin wall’s hole
Roxanne classical Republican Collin thief poster window
Sting Mozart Lincoln Powell ninja Lupin Pink Floyd
music dead war black Japanese weird pig
drums disco casualties racism quotas YES guinea

You get the idea. Well, maybe you do. A lot of the references are things that only the player writing them down understood. For instane, there’s a character in Metanoia named Jane, who is an angel – technically a Cherub – who favors a Desert Eagle handgun as her weapon. So, “cherub + sword” gets us to “Desert Eagle”. A few of my other favorites from that game:

  • “fanfic” + “Hunter S. Thompson” = “Ranma in Los Vegas”
  • “canned” + “pants” = emergency pants
  • “tentaporn” + “eww!” = “redundant”
  • “riot” + “bipartisan” = “football”
Peter Seebach