World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Counting-out game

Article Id: WHEBN0000005743
Reproduction Date:

Title: Counting-out game  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Singing game, Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, Children's song, Josephus problem, Tag (game)
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Counting-out game

A counting-out game is a simple game intended to select a person to be "it", often for the purpose of playing another game. These games usually require no materials, and are played with spoken words or hand gestures.

Many such games involve one person pointing at each participant in a circle of players while reciting a rhyme. A new person is pointed at as each word is said. The player who is selected at the conclusion of the rhyme is "it" or "out". In an alternate version, the circle of players may each put two feet in and at the conclusion of the rhyme, that player removes one foot and the rhyme starts over with the next person. In this case, the first player that has both feet removed is "it" or "out". These are often accepted as random selections because the number of words has not been calculated beforehand, so the result is unknown right up until someone is selected.

A variant of counting-out game, known as Josephus problem, represents a famous theoretical problem in mathematics and computer science.

Contents

  • Counting-out games 1
  • Common rhymes 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • External links 4
  • References 5

Counting-out games

Several simple games can be played to select one person from a group, either as a straightforward winner, or as someone who is eliminated. Rock, Paper, Scissors, Odd or Even and Blue Shoe require no materials and are played using hand gestures, although with the former it is possible for a player to win or lose through skill rather than luck. Coin flipping and drawing straws are fair methods of randomly determining a player. Bizz Buzz is a spoken word game where if a player slips up and speaks a word out of sequence, they are eliminated.

Common rhymes

(These rhymes may have many local or regional variants.)

In popular culture

A scene in the Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup plays on the fact that counting-out games are not really random. Faced with selecting someone to go on a dangerous mission, the character Chicolini (Chico Marx) chants:

Rrringspot, vonza, twoza, zig-zag-zav, popti, vinaga, harem, scarem, merchan, tarem, teir, tore...

only to stop as he realizes he is about to select himself. He then says, "I did it wrong. Wait, wait, I start here", and repeats the chant—with the same result. After that, he says, "That's no good too. I got it!" and reduces the chant to

Rrringspot, buck!

And with this version he finally manages to "randomly" select someone else.[1]

External links

  • Videos of "choosing songs" a.k.a. Counting rhymes
  • h2g2Counting rhymes at the BBC's project
  • Counting rhymes and other songs for counting in traditional music from county of Nice, France.

References

  1. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.