- Any Size
This is a simple game and a great icebreaker to get the energy up in the room. (If you have an event with a photographer, this is also fantastic for getting great pictures!) It has people greet each other in creative and often hilarious ways.
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This game typically does not need a debrief. It’s just a great way to get energy in the room to a crescendo, and also to get people to feel like they belong to a community. Once they have had everyone hugging them and treating them like best friends, people tend to feel close and connected – even though they were strangers mere moments before!
The key to this game is that it helps people feel like they belong. Neuroscientists Naomi Eisenberger and Matt Lieberman at UCLA did a famous study where they found that the pain of social rejection is processed by the same parts of the brain as physical pain. In other words, it hurts to be excluded. This game makes everyone feel welcomed and part of the group.
Transformative Action Institute, adapted from popular improv activity
Eisenberger, N. I., Lieberman, M. D., & Williams, K. D. (2003). Does rejection hurt: An fMRI study of social exclusion. Science, 302, 290–292.