Giant and Dwarf

  • Regarding human postures and their relation to power, Elias Canetti notes that “Man, who prides himself on standing upright, can also, while remainig in the same place, sit, lie, squat or kneel. All these postures, and particularly the change from one to another, have their own special significance.”
  • Giant and dwarf is a physical game consisting of such transitions: mainly between sitting and standing positions. One specific player seems to hold the power here. But we all know that in a well-played game, the power of playfulness outweighs all other sorts of power – at least we like to wish so. Anyways, the gameplay:
  • Giant and dwarf is a game for at least three players. The more the merrier.
  • One player is chosen as commander. All players stand (or sit) in front of the commander, facing him/her. The commander shouts quickly one of the two commands ‘giant!’ and ‘dwarf!’ in a mixed order. When commanded to be giant, players must stand up (or keep standing) and when dwarf is shouted, they must sit (or keep sitting). Whoever moves contrary to the command, or fails to move accordingly, is out of play. The player playing without fault to the end is the winner.
  • In one variation, the commander also moves while giving the commands. Commander’s moves doesn’t have to be in accordance with the command itself, which makes other players job more difficult and the game more fun.
  • A more complicated version of the game includes two additional commands: flea and tick. When the commander says flea the players must jump, and in response to tick players must curl up in fetus position.