Just had an odd little idea.
Imagine you go off to a conference — one of the ones where you wander around and look at stuff and talk to people in corridors and so on, not one of the ones where you sit in the same seat for the whole day and then go home. And when you pick up your lanyard and badge, there’s an extra little stack of cards and you can take one, if you want. A card has on it, say, ten empty boxes with “Deaths” written above them, and it’s a little bit taller than your conference badge so when you put it in the badge case it pokes up above the badge a bit. What this means is that taking one of the cards means you’re playing the conference game, and other people can see that you are (because the card pokes up a bit). So, when you’re walking around and you see someone else playing the game… you Roshambo them. (That’s Scissors-Paper-Stone, or Rock-Paper-Scissors, for those who don’t know the term “Roshambo”.) The loser takes out their little card and puts an X in one of their “Deaths” boxes, in sight of the winner. Then each goes their separate ways. If all your Deaths boxes have been Xed then you’re dead and no longer playing; put your card in your pocket.
No idea if this’d actually work, but I think it’d be cool. Fun little thing to be doing while you’re enjoying the conference. I can imagine it would have worked well at LugRadio Live, for example.
On the back of the card, have a special move, and a number of “hour” boxes, one per hour in the conference day. A special move would be something like, say, “Dynamite” — if your opponent plays rock, you automatically win, regardless of what you yourself played. If you use a special move to win, visibly put a tick in the corresponding hour box (so you can only use a special move once per hour, or five times in total, or something).
If it gets close to the end of the day, how do still-alive players find one another in order to do battle? Haven’t quite worked this out yet.
Printing up a stack of the cards would be cool, but I suppose it’s not strictly necessary — someone can just draw themselves a card if they want.
There are a bunch of sensibleness rules — you can’t fight the same person twice in succession, for example — in order to stop two people fighting until one of them is eliminated from the game entirely. Of course, given the rules lawyers, probably you need to stop three people standing in a triangle and fighting until one is eliminated, but that’s basically covered by the generalised “don’t be a dick” rule :)
It should be possible to tweak the cards for the particular conference… if you’ve got a zillion attendees and they all want to play, maybe you need more than ten deaths, or you get more special moves, or whatever. That seems easy enough.
Let me know if you try it out.