This “creatures game” is played on Valentine’s day, or whenever. The description is from a blog post authored by Paxus Calta at East Wind, with some updates by Raven, here edited for brevity. “Players” means those who opted into the game.
This game allows you to ask someone if they want to hang out and play with you (in a number of different ways), without ever having to hear a rejection. It is basically a matching game in which each player says what they would like with other players and everyone gets told just what matches they have. There is a digitally anonymized trusted 3rd party intermediary who communicates the matches to all the players on the night of the big Validation Day party.
Instructions: Everyone who wants to play gets a card with all the players names on it, with creatures representing different types of dates you might have with each other. [You can write the creature(s) next to the person’s name.]
- Capybara: I like you, and I’m happy the way things are.
- Parrots: I’d like to talk sometime and get to know each other better.
- Ant: I’d like a work date.
- Puppy: I’d like a play date.
- Kitten: I’d like a cuddle date.
- Fish: I’d like a kissing date.
- Rabbit: I’d like a hot sex date.
- Dove: I’d like to discuss a long term committed relationship.
Let’s say I am attracted to Fuliana. I write that I am interested in a work date, a play date, and cuddle date. When I get my results back I find out that she is just interested in a play date (or perhaps she was interested in a hot sex date, but since I was not interested, I don’t find out). We are just informed of our matching desires. No rejection, no fear.
The overall result is for many people is that they have at least some information about various different levels of social contact people want to have with then. It is a collection of invitations, which come with no obligation.
You of course need someone who you trust to read the ballots and make the matches and then never tell anyone about these combinations. We have Kathryn who plays this role which is affectionately referred to as “iron lips.” [You might hire a trusted outsider for this role, so that no one in the community has to be either the moderator or choose to not participate in the game.]
But as clever as this game is, there are some minor problems. There is one person at least who plays the game with the intention of finding out where everyone else is in their desires for them, without the intention of having almost all the dates which come out of the game. The way they play is that they choose all options for all players, even though they are not looking for the vast majority of these dates at all. Complicating this bad behavior is the fact that this player is both attractive and in a committed romantic relationship, which does not give room for much beyond work dates with other people. The organizers have instructed Iron Lips to bounce requests back to their original players if they appear to be in this type of fishing expedition.
[A related post notes the following]: This year the person of Iron Lips was replaced by an app. The six creature ballots were never seen by anyone other than the people who wrote them, their shared matches were spit out and given to members who were excited to see what shared possibilities exist. [It’s not yet at the Apple app store unfortunately, but the paragraph above illustrates the benefit of trusted humans doing the sorting.]