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How to Play Gyft

Gyft is played by exchanging cards, which can mean giving, receiving, finding, or leaving cards for others to find. You play by following the directions on the card. If something isn't crystal clear, improvise...and always apply your own style. The only sense of winning or losing this game comes from the experiences you have with other people and yourself, and what you take away from them.

Right now you can only play with others if you have a physical card in your posession, or by pasting card page URL's into emails or instant messages. And while there are over 10,000 physical cards lurking in the U.S., we know that's hardly enough to go around. But sometime in the future we will all be able to play in person with printed decks and online with an easier web play interface. YAY! If you want to be contacted when we have this ready, please send an e-mail to alerts at gyft dot org and we will put you on the "alerts only" mailing list.

But you CAN participate now! If you're disappointed that you can't play right this second because you are not geeky enough to deal with URLs or you don't have a card, why not direct some of that excitement toward making a new card or two? Players making new cards is an important aspect of Gyft! So prowl around in the card library and get familiar with the tone of the game. Let some ideas simmer in your head for a while, and when they're cooked, send them in.

The "Rules"

Gyft really has no hard and fast rules, but there are guidelines that maintain the integrity of the game. Mostly, if you "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," things will go well. Here are some more specific quidelines:

Keep the cards in play. It's OK to hang on to cards if they do good things for you...just don't let them get buried in a pile of stuff and forgotten!

Use Gyft for good, not evil. The nature of many of these cards is to be (gently) 'disruptive', which is quite different from 'destructive.' Think 'constructive' and use the game to heal, play, and teach.

Invite and encourage, but do not force others to play. Some people just don't get into this game, and that's OK. Avoid the impulse to make them feel bad about it. If a card inspires you to explore someone in a certain way but they don't want to play Gyft, find a less obvious or intrusive way to do it.

Play with people you don't know. This game is a wonderful way to meet people and add a little playfulness to someone else's day. Be sure to approach people in a way that makes them feel at-ease. Otherwise they might feel like you're setting them up for something unpleasant.

When leaving cards for people to find, make them stand out! Put cards in places where people are used to reading things, or where they can't avoid it. Bulletin boards, doors at eye level, and computer screens are all good examples.

If you have other suggestions for guidelines, please send them to ping at gyft dot org Have fun playing!