The Blinking Game

The Blinking Game by Kathleen Shannon and Daniel Solis.

Here's a new game that my friend Kathleen taught me a while back. Because I couldn't help myself, I hacked it a bit to add some points and a simple endgame mechanic. See the video above for a demonstration. The rules are below!

Getting Started
You and your opponent face each other. A third player will sit aside to be the timekeeper. You and your opponent will take turns being chased and being the chaser. The game begins with you and your opponent keeping your eyes closed. To begin, the timekeeper repeats the phrase "Blinking Game" over and over again at a steady, consistent rhythm. Yes, it is unnerving.

How to Play
You and your opponent will open your eyes at random intervals. When you open your eyes, you must keep them open long enough for the timekeeper to say "Blinking Game" once.

When you are being chased, the object of the game is to open your eyes as many times as you can before being caught. Each time you open your eyes without being caught, you earn one point. It's easiest to keep track of your points with your fingers.

If the chaser's eyes are open at the same time yours are, you are caught. After you're caught, switch roles with your opponent so that you are now the chaser and she is being chased.

Whoever reaches five points without being caught wins the game.


  1. But … if I'm the chaser, it's to my advantage to keep my eyes open all the time, or at least most of the time. What's keeping me from doing that?

  2. Clarification: You must keep your eyes open long enough for the timekeeper to say "Blinking Game" and close your eyes thereafter. The timekeeper keeps everyone on the same rhythm.

  3. What stops the chaser from opening their eyes again right away, preventing the chased from having any safe moment to open their eyes?

  4. The way Kathleen and I were playing, we kept our eyes closed long enough for Jeremy to say "Blinking Game" at least once. So once they're closed, they have to stay closed.

  5. Oh! And I was considering an additional hack in which the chaser lost one point every time he opens his eyes. If he reached zero, the chased won. (Plus the standard victory condition of reaching five points.)

  6. I see what they're saying. As the chaser: (Blinking game) Open (Blinking game) Close (Blinking game) Open (Blinking game) Close. Repeat.

    This way you have your eyes open 50% of the time, sometimes mixing it up by keeping your eyes closed for two counts.


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