Draw What Now?

I have a delightful new pastime: an iPhone game called Draw Something, which is functionally a shiny, digital version of the older word game Pictionary. I was initially skeptical, since it has had a meteoric rise in popularity and I am unnecessarily wary of popular things. However, as soon as I’d played a few rounds with my housemates and friends, I embraced it with glee.

Here’s what it does: you pair yourself up with friends and/or strangers, and the game gives you three choices of word to draw. Then, you illustrate the word by tracing your wobbly fingers (or a stylus) across the touchscreen, in such a way that your companion will (hopefully) guess it. You can do anything from stick figures to elaborately colored masterpieces.

As adults, it is rare that we have spontaneous drawing parties with our friends — we do not tend to flop down together onto the kitchen floor with pads of paper and colored pencils, awash with the enthusiasm of creation (alas!). I wouldn’t be able to pick my friends’ handwriting out of a lineup, as all of our written interactions are virtual. I think that’s why the game appeals to many people: it gives us a chance to see the creativity and minds-at-work of our friends. In addition, it’s just plain silly.

Last week, my mother and her iPhone visited my little ol’ grandmother. The three of us got to play several rounds of Draw Something together, laughing on video chat as we made noble attempts to convey the key elements of antlers and sinks. Two of my close Davis friends just moved to the Bay Area; I see them far less often, but at least I can smile at the notes they write in the margins of their art. My housemates also play, and we frequently bellow across the house at each other: “What on earth did you draw for me? Is that a person or a boat?”

Here are a few things I’ve enjoyed drawing. If you have any fabulous drawings of your own, it would be wondrous if you shared them. (To take a screenshot on your iDevice, press the Home button and the Power button at the same time, for no more than one second. The screen will flash white.)

I get really excited whenever I get to draw plants or trees.
You earn new colors by playing. Look at all my greens.
It's a cowgirl. You can tell from the somber cow.


6 thoughts on “Draw What Now?

  1. One of my favorite games is Sentence–Picture–Sentence. It’s like Telephone, except the mode of expression toggles each round.

    It works like this: three or more people sit around a table. The first writes a sentence on a piece of paper, then passes it to the second. The second person tries to render the sentence intelligibly as a drawing, then folds the paper so the sentence is no longer visible, and passes it along to the third. The third renders the drawing as a sentence, hides the drawing, and passes… and so on. As Eden notes, it works best if you have one person who is good at drawing and one person who is bad at drawing (too many good artists yield too little hilarious distortion; too many bad ones yield chaos).

    It’s one of those games I pull out when I badly need 30 minutes of uncontrollable laughter — you know, those games that makes the people at Coquelet stare at you. Somehow it’s way funnier and less rage-inducing than Pictionary. And it’s not competitive; everyone wins. Maybe that’s the reason.

  2. So, anyone up for Long-Distance Sentence–Picture–Sentence? I think we could do it with email plus each player’s choice of drawing app (or, if you want to be all fancy and iPhoney, Messages plus Draw Something plus Notes plus screenshots).

  3. Please buy me an iPhone so I can play with yous guys. That is the funniest thing I’ve seen all day. Besides Ember pooping on the floor.

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