Original post on Reece Fernandez’s Blog
The tabletop game which I am recounting is Reflex! This game is physically made up from a deck of 48 cards cards, just one deck needed per game and each game can be picked up or dropped at any given time, with any set number of players as long as it’s more than one. This game is not driven by narrative or an end goal and involves the participation of all.
Reflex operates in the space of social communication, there are no rules which the players need to learn before playing, the only obligations players have are to discuss the topics which each card presents. Each time a card is drawn, a new round begins.
Reflex aims to stimulate the critical thinking of each player as the games driving mechanic is asking questions so the players can further discuss them, with themes of love, life, death, politics, religion, purpose career, morality, drugs/alcohol and more.
“What’s one thing you did that you really wish you could go back and undo?”
“Would you rather be sober or intoxicated?”
These are some examples of the questions from the deck, they may ask us to ponder on a previous time or think critically about a hypothetical situation, sharing opinions and thoughts allows you to see what kind of values and morals other players have.
“What’s one thing you did that you really wish you could go back and undo?” Is a question which could trigger someone to share one of their regrets, or a sentimental memories from the past. Though this game has no narrative value the questions stimulate deep and meaningful conversations which add value to the game.
Difficulties could arise if players are uncomfortable sharing information in an open forum but with no obligation to an end goal it makes it perfectly fine for someone to leave the party at any given time.
I played Reflex with three friends, two who I knew very well and one I didn’t, so it was great that introspective conversations were easily accessible and it didn’t feel like we had to ‘warm up’ to reach the point of meaningful dialogue,
Reflex got us discussing the topic and each other’s opinions on said topic in depth, each card had the possibility to veer us into a conversation completely irrelevant but just as important because it usually had significant meaning for the person speaking.
The only downturn of the game is that it is limited to the questions that come printed on the deck, if played through more than once, I could see myself getting bored of partaking over and over again. I could see the possibility of Reflex becoming a subscription based game or an electronic game that is continually updated with new questions so it is not restricted by its physical make up.
I would like to see Reflex make spin offs – Reflex: Drinking Edition. Reflex: Romance. There are plenty ways I could see this game target a more niche audience.