Everyone accepts that there can be only one winner and each player strives to be the winner on their own without support.
This subtly promotes the success/failure, approval/disapproval syndrome.
These are all good things, but playing the game simply as an elimination game keeps the game from reaching its full potential as I see it.
By far the most popular Build-a-Story game used for performance is called Story, Story – Die!
Our goal was to create spontaneous Story Theater, the theatrical form Paul Sills developed as a result of his work with his mother’s (Viola Spolin) games.
Not winning can be seen as a failure and that is part of it too.
Place four chairs on stage to represent four seats in a car. The hitchhiker has a very strong characteristic, such as enormous sneezes, extremely old age, annoyed business person, etc. One of the passengers will say “look, hitchhiker” and they will pull over to pick the hitchhiker up. The hitchhiker enters the front passenger seat and the other students rotate around clockwise.
Four students start in the car and they are going somewhere.
We practice spontaneity, pacing and flow with a game I call Build-a-Story King of the Hill.
Two players do one-word story until one hesitates, laughs or stops making sense. We also play one-word-at-a-time, two-words-at-a-time, three-words, four words, five words and then reverse it, getting back down to one word.