Say Almost Anything

September 12, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

I have been looking (desperately) for card and board games to use with my students. The toy stores carry the usual suspects – Monopoly, Scrabble, and Uno – but these don’t fit what I need. I’m looking for games that will make reading fun, so that the students won’t realize that they are learning. The games have to be simple enough to learn in one sitting without being boring once learned. It’s a tall order in a country that doesn’t (yet) have a real game store. [Hint to any budding entrepreneurs reading this, there are many potential customers for a REAL game store here. We do not need more cupcakes or t-shirts. Bring us card and board games, please.]

I have to resort to shopping while out of country. In Singapore, I found a small game store and purchased two items. One is a board game called Say Anything.

In case you are not familiar with this game, it involves prompt questions to which the players write answers. This is golden, because it involves reading and writing. Once I cracked it open and read the questions, however, I discovered it to be very American and in need of some adjustment for my target audience.

So, to make this game culturally/age appropriate, here are the questions I deleted. (My students are Muslim, male, age 13-18.)

  • What’s the best thing about being a woman? What’s the worst thing about being a woman? and What’s the most annoying thing about being a woman?
  • What’s the worst place for a date? What is the best date movie? What would be the most inappropriate thing to say on a first date? If you could go on a date with anyone, who would it be? What’s the best activity for a first date? What’s the most underrated place for a date? What’s the ideal romantic evening? What’s the most romantic movie of all time? What’s the cheesiest pickup line ever? (Dating, in the western sense is not done. Marriages are arranged as a family affair.)
  • What was the best 60’s band? 70’s band? 80’s band? (These boys were born in the late 90’s and I doubt that their parents grew up listening to the Beatles.)
  • What should my gravestone say? (Muslim Arab graves are marked only to indicate that it is grave. There are no gravestones engraved with names, dates, and tributes. Visiting graves is rare, usually only at the time of burial.)
  • What’s the best song for a wedding dance? What song is most likely to pack the dance floor? What dance would you most want to be good at? (Weddings and dances are very different from Western culture. Both weddings and dancing are done separating the sexes.)
  • If you could be the opposite gender for a day, what would you do?
  • What would be the worst thing to scream during church? (They don’t attend church.)
  • What would be the weirdest secret to hear about your mother?
  • What’s the best beer? What’s the best drinking game? (Alcohol is forbidden.)
  • What’s the grossest thing to kiss? (First, I’m not even sure why this is in the game to begin with. Kissing is not to be done casually or out of wedlock.)
  • What’s the worst thing to say to a cop after getting pulled over? (This rarely happens here. Most traffic monitoring and ticketing is done by camera.)
  • Your parents are out of town. What happens at the party? (This is definitely an American thing. I doubt parents travel and leave their teens at home.)
  • What’s the most romantic place for a honeymoon? (Honeymoon is a Western tradition, but it is sometimes done. However, this is not an age appropriate topic.)
  • What’s the best way to impress a woman?
  • What would Jesus do? (This is my personal favorite.)

The following I left in.

  • What’s the best way to pamper yourself? (I’m not sure the word “pamper” is in their vocabulary.)
  • What’s the best musical of all time?
  • What’s the tastiest pie flavor? (Pies are not common here.)
  • Who’s the best R&B musical group? (Will they know R&B? If it said Rap or Hip-Hop, they would have an opinion.)
  • Who’s the best character on The Simpsons? (Simpsons actually airs here.)
  • What’s the best way to spend a day off when playing hooky? (They know the concept of hooky, but I’m not sure they know that word.)
  • Who should just shut up? (This could be interesting or chaotic.)
  • Who’s the best character from Sesame Street or the Muppets? (I don’t know if Sesame Street is known here, but the Muppets should be.)
  • I just got to Las Vegas. What’s first thing I do? (This one might be tricky.)

Some needed modification.

  • What’s the sexiest personality trait for a woman/man? – changed that to “best”
  • What’s the best present to get for a significant other? – changed that to “loved one” (mother, father, sister, brother, etc.)


  1. Maybe you can enlist the community and taylor-make your own based on this game. Add more questions

    • I know it may seem like I deleted most of the questions and gutted the game, but there are a couple of hundred cards with at least 6 questions per card, so there is still plenty of game to be played.

  2. some of these things would need modified in MY house. It sounds like a game we were given once and neither Steve or Jon was interested in it at all. It only had a reg deck sized deck of cards with it. Tailor made games are much more efficient. We have one, North to Alaska, that consists of traveling from the states to ANC. All along the way you run into road blocks (broken rig problems and running out of cash). The cards you get can either be MORE problems or ‘cash’ from the bank for awards. If you get to ANC without being broke (under 200$) and you are first, you win! The ‘vehicle’ you take is also worth 200, so you can break even. In your spare time, you need to make a UAE game! (I know, I’m helpful!)

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