Graveyard Games

or How to Have Fun at A Funeral

Last November, game designer Jane McGonigal came to Hollywood Forever Cemetery to assemble the Graveyard Games.

Thats right. Games. In a graveyard. (and you thought watching movies above the buried remains of fomer Angelenos was creepy).

You can read accounts of last years activities here, and some pics here, but unfortunately Jane has no plans to bring the games back to Los Angeles this year.

However, she directed me to instructions on how to run your own game of Tombstone Hold ‘Em that can be played at any cemetery in Los Angeles.

Tombstone Hold ‘Em turns every gravestone into its own card – the shape of the stone determines its suit, and the last number of the year determines the card value. (if you find a stone that shares your birthday, you can claim it as a wildcard) Four or more live bodies can play. The game works by first flipping five real face cards, and then players seeking out gravestones as their own “pocket cards” to make the best hand… with a Twister like twist that teammates must be able to touch their respective stones and each other (see pic above) for the hand to work…

Summarizing gaming directions is worse than writing stereo instructions, so I’ll steer you directly to full instructions.

After the jump, some additional “favors” (ie more ways to have fun at a graveyard) from Jane and friends…

The Small Favors page provides links to scavenger hunt type challenges anyone can play. Some are cute – others inspired. All invite participants to send it pictorial proof off meeting the “challenges”, which include simply spending a few night hours inside a cememtery (to keep the dead from feeling lonely). Here’s a few more:

  • Bring a bunch of flowers to the cemetery–they don’t have to be the most expensive flowers, any flowers will do. Find the section of the cemetery with the oldest graves and leave a single flower on each grave. Like a boutonni√®re on a suit, I promise you, the whole section will change.
  • Find a grave at least 50 years old. Confess a secret about yourself to the person buried there. Leave your secret in a note on the grave.
  • Maybe he had a tough childhood. Maybe life never dealt him any cards. I don’t give a good god damn. Find the grave of someone whose full name can be anagrammed into a curse on the bastard who killed my son. I’ll see him in Hell.
  • Find a tombstone for someone named Maurice. Use leaves, flowers or other small objects to spell his first name on the grave, and leave it as an offering.

By the way… if anyone wants to put together a game of Tombstone Hold ‘Em, count me in!

2 Replies to “Graveyard Games”

  1. Wow, too bad this didn’t get posted sooner. I had just visited Hollywood Forever two Saturdays ago (and for fun!).

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