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Who will run the game (including setting up the food stations)?
What gear do you need for this game?
Play in a forested area with clear boundaries.
Divide yourselves into groups of herbivores (plant eaters, like deer and moose), omnivores (plant and meat eaters, like bears and raccoons), and carnivores (meat eaters, like wolves and cougars). 60% of the players should be herbivores, 30% should be omnivores, and 10% should be carnivores. Each group will wear a different colour of bib or necker.
A variation of the game can allow for a few players to play the roles of natural disaster, disease and the Human. There should only be one of each of these players, and they should be clearly indicated with their own bibs or neckers.
Herbivores are issued nine “lives” (chips), omnivores get six lives and carnivores get three lives. Herbivores get to run and hide first, then omnivores get to start and finally carnivores. Allow a few minutes between each group.
Omnivores can tag herbivores to take one life chip, and carnivores can tag both herbivores and omnivores to take life chips (one chip per tag).
Herbivores and omnivores must seek out “food” stations (food, shelter and water) and collect one life chip per visit.
Disease and natural disaster can tag anybody (including carnivores) to claim one life chip (disease) or two (natural disaster). These roles should be introduced later in the game. These players may be herbivores who have been eliminated.
The Human is introduced last. This person can “hunt” with a balled sock, and can take all the lives of any prey he or she hits.
Play for a predetermined period of time. There are many variations on these rules.
Remember to review the game to make it even better the next time you play!
What do you know now that you did not know before?
How did the game go?
What signs were there that people were or were not having fun?
What were some of the highlights?
How did you feel during the game?
What would you do differently in the future?
Keep it Simple
Start with fewer variations to the game – just start with carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. When people have gotten the hang of the game, you can play a new game with natural disasters, disease and humans.
Take it Further
What else impacts the animals in our world? Add your own twists to the game, like polluted water stations that can no longer be used, or reduced food stations.