Not so long ago, someone said something rather provocative to me: “Finding the game is some BS they teach at Second City in Toronto.”
In short-form improv, we often call the scenes games. For instance, speak-in-one-voice is a game in which two players speak at the same time.
In improv, we often talk about “finding the game”, that is, creating a pattern out of something interesting or funny that we discover, and then repeating the pattern in different ways according to the rules we’ve made up. In long-from improv, the game can often become a sort of universal theme that we can wrap in different specifics. In shorter scenes, the game might just be a playful pattern. For instance, in a scene, you might have long-lost twins reunited who discover that they… speak in one voice.
If “finding the game” seems like a nebulous concept, just peruse any list of short-form games. All those familiar games are just examples of the types of games you might find on your own in a scene. Sit-Stand-Kneel? That’s a game! Old Job/New Job? Such a game!
If you grew up on short-form games, the game is under your nose! If you’ve played and enjoyed short-form games, then clearly, finding a new game can’t be BS!