Here I have a game: Paper, pens, and three players. It's simple to play. First Player writes a haiku That describes a character. Inspire love or hate. Make us laugh. Or nod, silent. Good haiku delights. Player Two writes a waki, (Two lines, both of seven beats). Describe there events That befall the character. Tragic? Exciting? Hide the haiku from our sight. Fold it back or cover it. The third player's turn? Haiku of a character, Waki-affected. Now hide the waki from view. It's player one's turn again. On each turn, you write. First respond to what you see, Then hide what you saw. Alternate. Haiku. Waki. Maintain silence as you write. Or else, talk of things Unrelated to the game TV shows, your day. Haikus invent the people: Lives impacted by events. Wakis are events That change everything for Our small poem-folk. When you’ve written five times each, Reveal all and read aloud. Whoever read then Sits in silence. And so Must the other two. The silence can be broken By laughter- or a lit flame.
I have long wished there were more games based on Renga. I kind of perverted the terminology a bit here and I feel bad about it. But it’s an unexplored space in my mind. This one is basically Renga meets Telestrations (aka Eat Poop You Cat).
The mechanic – composing haiku and waku to create and describe characters – felt unnecessarily esoteric until you think about what those short poems do: evoke much in minimal space. It’s a brilliant way to generate ideas and twists, while remaining constrained. And, of course, points for composing the game itself in haiku and waku. - Brent Newhall