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Debate in a Box (Party Game Edition) | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Debate in a Box (Party Game Edition)

What will we do now that the Presidential debates have ended for the next four years?

If you are unsure what to do for entertainment, create your own Debate in a Box, Party Game Edition. Host mock debates with your family and friends. Here’s what to include:

  • Rules. Just make some rules up. It doesn’t matter what rules you decide upon because they will all be ignored once the debate begins. One choice is to write the rules on paper and toss the paper once the debate begins. Another is to just write them all on a Magnadoodle and erase them once the debate begins.
  • Broken timer. It’s better for this game to have a broken timer than it is to have one that actually works. If it did work, you would ignore it. So this is the chance to repurpose that broken timer from Aunt Sally’s estate.
  • Rock’em Sock’em Kit. If you have an old Rock’em Sock’em, you could just have the 2 candidates fight it out to see which one wins. If you can’t find an old Rock’em Sock’em, then substitute with arm wrestling. Or, if you’re bored during a debate, drag out a Rock’em Sock’em, choose who will play which candidate, and go for it with a trusted friend.

Variations. We all know debates aren’t meant to be boring. So change it. Have one seated, another standing, and a third walking around arguing while the audience members are dying to see violence break out so they can shout “Fight! Fight!” like in Bridget Jones.

Variations to Add More Fun

If you get tired of a plain old debate, take heart. You can add variations to spice the debate. For example:

  • Pin the Transcript on the Moderator. Before the debate actually begins, the debaters chase around the moderator and attempt to pin a transcript onto the moderator’s clothing. A moderator can only hold a transcript for one debater. But the one who gets the pin wins a fresh advantage. At any point during the debate, the debater who pins the transcript can proclaim, “Check the transcript,” at which point the moderator agrees with that debater’s assertion, and that debater automatically wins not just that debate but all future debates.
  • Honey Boo Boo Lookalike Contest. During the debate, challenge your debaters to act like they are Honey Boo Boo. A Honey Boo Boo debater has many choices for behavior: pretending to fall asleep, making dirty faces, giving death glares, laughing inappropriately, and making inappropriate comments whenever possible. Regardless of who wins the debate, the better of the Honey Boo Boo impersonators wins an all you can eat Red Herring Feast, complete with deep fried hot dogs topped with nacho cheese, sketti from the family’s special recipe, and deep fried cookie dough served on top of deep fried oreos. And if few enough table manners are shown in the eating of the Red Herring Feast, the debater might just win the next Honey Boo Boo spin-off.
  • Smile You’re on Debaters’ Camera Contest. During the debate, the debaters compete to see who can give the kindest, most congenial smiles, no matter what the other person says.  The debater who most maintains composure wins the debate.
Audience variations:
  • For a family friendly guide to watching debates with children, I recommend the Pass the Popcorn variation. With this, select a “tell” or quirk from one of the candidates which occurs on a regular basis. Each time that quirk happens in the debate, pass the popcorn. Yes, this is a bland version of a drinking game. It’s also child-friendly. I considered making popcorn shots but was told on Twitter that could become a choking hazard.

Obviously, with game day variations, not all can be done the same day. It’s up to you to decide how you want your debate game played.

Which will you choose?


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