The Queer Qualities of “Quelf”

(After a week of absolute busyness, I finally had a free day to sit down and write a post. Sorry for the wait. Thanks for bearing with me.)


Let me preface this post by saying that if you have never before played the game “Quelf,” you should get on that. I was first introduced to the game in my high school theatre department, if that tells you anything. It is crazy, wild, and fun.

But don’t let that deter you if you are shy. My brother (in the above picture) is a textbook introvert and was hesitant to play, but once he got started, he enjoyed it immensely. He had to use his engineering skills to create a snorkel in between his turns. To his surprise, the game catered to his interest as well.

If you are unfamiliar with the rules, I regret to say I cannot explain them to you. They are very random and vary based on which category you are playing in at the time. There are charade-like cards, trivia cards, cards with challenges (like dares) on them, all-play cards, and cards that create ongoing rules for the players to follow. I’m not going to delude myself into thinking everyone who reads this will understand the game, so suffice to say: it is random, it is unpredictable, and I usually die laughing.

Quelf has many qualities:

1) It engages everyone. From the actor to the engineer, no one is left out.

2) It stretches your limits, and your comfort zone. Some of the requirements of the game are absolutely absurd and ridiculous, but calls everyone to just be goofy.

3) It makes you think. As with many games, part of the fun is the challenge. Quelf is challenging on so many different levels.

4) It is unpredictable. You never know how silly or how imaginative you will need to be. You must be flexible to go with what the game requires.

But what more fun way to put yourself out on the line! To practice flexibility and preparedness. To work on being yourself without putting up “appearances.” It is like a rehearsal for life. (Because all my blog posts have to have some sort of life lesson, right?) Sometimes, life throws curve balls. Sometimes, we have to be bold and unreserved. Sometimes, we have to work to involve everyone and make sure no one feels left out. Sometimes, we face worse challenges than a truth or dare.

Most likely, no one who plays Quelf thinks of the game like this. But if someone is too embarrassed to do one of the requirements of the game, how will they be able to step out when it really counts? Call it practice, call it a warm-up, the game Quelf is a good exercise for reality.

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