"Liberal Risk" is an icebreaker game that is intended to help introduce unfamiliar people to one another while teaching the importance of peace and cooperation.
The game is divided into two alternating phases: peace and war.
During peace phases, participants must introduce themselves to one another. The goal is to accumulate points by collecting signatures from other participants who meet certain criteria listed on the worksheet, like a scavenger hunt. For example, participants should look for someone “born in another state” or “who speaks another language.” Participants must solicit as many signatures as possible during peacetime. There are no limits on the number of signatures one person can provide or solicit. Each signature is worth one point.
During war phases, participants play rock-paper-scissors with their neighbor(s). The winner of each match gets to cross off one signature from their opponent’s list. Continue fighting until the end of the wartime, even if you have zero points. Keep a tally of “negative” points that you will need to deduct from your total at the end. Three person battles are acceptable, if necessary, and there are no limits on the number of signatures one person can destroy.
The game requires a conductor to keep time and announce the change from peace to war. Each phase should last approximately 90 seconds, however, it takes much longer to build than to destroy and the conductor should feel free to adjust the timing of each phase as necessary. This game is best accompanied by music. See below for a suggested playlist.
Continue this game as long as you see fit, though 15-20 minutes or about 10 peace phases and 10 war phases is likely more than enough. If given equal time for peace and war, everyone will end up with negative points and so there should be no winner.
You will need:
A dedicated conductor
One paper worksheet per participant
One pen per participant
The game alternates between two phases, peace and war, starting with peace.
During peace phases, participants must cooperate to complete their scavenger hunt worksheets and to collect signatures.
During war phases, participants must compete via rock-paper-scissors and the winner must cross off one signature from the losers sheet. The winner may do so indiscriminately.
Continue collecting signatures or playing rock-paper-scissors until the phase changes.
There are no limits on the number of signatures one person can give, receive, or destroy.
You must continue participating even if you have zero or negative points.
Each signature is worth one point.
Sample Scavenger Hunt Worksheets:
Peace — “Give Peace a Chance” — John Lennon, Yoko Ono
War — “War” — Edwin Starr
Peace — “One Love / People Get Ready (Melody)” - Bob Marley & The Wailers
War — “Holiday” — Green Day
Peace — “Let’s Work Together” — Canned Heat
War — “Run To The Hills” — Iron Maiden
Peace — “A Chance for Peace” Lonnie Liston Smith, The Cosmic Echoes
War — “Bulls On Parade” — Rage Against The Machine
Peace — “Imagine” — John Lennon
War — “Another One Bites the Dust” — Queen
Peace — “Let Love Rule” — Lenny Kravitz
War — “Masters of War” — Bob Dylan
Peace — “Peace Train” - Cat Stevens
War — “War Pigs” — Black Sabbath
Peace — “Peace Treaty” — Peter Tosh
War — “Sunday Bloody Sunday” — U2
Peace — “Come Together” — The Beatles
War — “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Bagdad)” — Outkast
Peace — “We Got to Have Peace” — Curtis Mayfield
War — “Eve Of Destruction” — Barry McGuire