10 Examples of Paradoxical Games

The paradoxical games They are a type of sports activities whose participation rules are characterized by being illogical, ambiguous or ambivalent, such as not having a defined rival side during the game or, in any case, allowing the exchange of roles between allies and opponents. For instance: the stain, burned, the hiding place.

Unlike ordinary games, paradoxical games lack a structured and fixed dynamic throughout their duration, replacing it with a motor interactions network by means of which the participants interrelate according to their whim. Thus, who until recently was our ally can cease to be, or can be simultaneously our opponent.

Types of games

The games are playful situations and generally physical, in which people participate and commonly face an established dynamic, purely for the purpose of recreation. The latter does not mean that games do not fulfill important social or educational roles.

There are numerous classifications of existing games, attending to the formal logic of the game and the rules, precisely, that said logic imposes. Thus, the motor situations that a game involves can be of the following types:

  • Psychomotor. Those in which the performance in the game depends on the thinking capacity of the player, who usually acts alone.
  • Sociomotor. Those in which participants must interact with others simultaneously. They can, in turn, be of the type:
    • Cooperative or communication. Those in which the players have allies with whom to share the effort of being victorious in the game.
    • Oppositive or counter communication. Those in which there is an adversary (or a group of opponents) that opposes the success or advance of the player (and his group).
    • Oppositive-Cooperative. Those in which there are two defined groups of participants, some playing the role of allies and others the role of adversaries. Paradoxical games are part of this type of game, even though their roles are not stable.

Similarly, we can talk about:

  • Dual games. Those in which there are two opposing sides or two opposing players and all the interrelation during the game is binary, that is, based on two functions: advance and stop the opposite.
  • Paradoxical games. Those in which the roles of opposition and collaboration are not rigidly defined, but can fluctuate and interchange.

Examples of paradoxical games

  1. Cycling. This sport, which consists of a race on bicycles involving numerous participants, many of whom can cooperate by giving relays, but they could not reach the goal as a whole: only one will be able to win in the end. But this does not mean that there are clearly defined sides, nor that they cease to be opponents by briefly cooperating.
  2. X2. This game requires a ball or any mobile object, which the players must pass while they count aloud: “one”, “X”, “two”. Whoever has the turn to count the “two” must throw the object to any other teammate of their choice: if it hits them, they will win a point, if instead that teammate saves the ball without dropping it, a point will be deducted from the thrower. Whoever gets the most points will win. If any player drops the object before they can throw it, they will also lose a point and the sequence will be restarted.
  3. Hoops and corners. Four plastic rings are placed making a square on the ground, separated from each other by two or more meters. In each one a player will be located, while another will go in the middle, without a ring. At the signal, each player must try to change to another ring of their choice, so that one remains on the outside again and, logically, now occupies the center position. This will be repeated successively, faster and faster, and no player will be able to stay on the same ring.
  4. The stain. The classic game of chasing, in which there are two positions: the pursuer (only one) and the pursued (as many as they wish), but which will be exchanged as the pursuer touches one of the pursued. Then the “stain” will be transmitted to him and he will become part of the persecuted, thus fluctuating each player between the two sides according to the times he is touched.
  5. Viruses, doctors and patients. There are three teams, as the name suggests, each with a different mission from the others: the viruses will try to infect patients, they will try to get doctors to cure them, and the latter will try to eliminate the viruses. The captured players, of whatever team they are, will go to a “jail” space, until a player from the opposing team enters it: a virus for the doctors, a doctor for the patients and a patient for the viruses. The team that sends all members of the team to chase to jail will win, or failing that, whoever is closest to it when time runs out.
  6. Contact ball. This game will require a ball, which the players will pass through the air, and which will serve to touch (not throw it) any other player, paralyzing him in place with his legs spread, until he can get hold of the ball. Thus, without teams, the paralyzed and the free will alternate between the alliance and the opposition, as the playing time passes. When this is exhausted, the paralyzed will come out and the game will resume until only one remains.
  7. Burned. The players are divided into two opposing teams, each one behind a line on the ground that they will not be able to cross. Between line and line there will be at least two meters of separation and there will be a ball, with which they must try to “burn”, that is, hit a member of the opposing team who will then become part of their own. If the ball misses or is saved, it may be used by the opposing team in the same way. Thus, the team that keeps all the players will win.
  8. Ducks to water. A circle is drawn on the ground and the players stand inside, all facing into the ground. The objective of the game is to push the other players with their body and back until they are removed from the circle, which cannot be done without some kind of temporary pact between the players, which will be destined to be broken, since whoever remains last within the game will win. circle.
  9. The thread cutter. It is a variant of the spot, the game of chase. There will be a persecutor, who will choose a victim to publicly persecute. Then, it will run in a straight line towards it, until someone crosses or “cuts” the thread of said straight line, thus going on to occupy the role of being pursued. This will happen every time someone gets in the way or until the pursuer catches up with someone, who will then become a new pursuer and so on.
  10. Hideout. Another classic childhood game, in which a randomly chosen player must count to 100 looking at the wall, while the others hide. Once the figure has been reached, the lone player must search for and find his companions, and run to the wall first to give them away. On the other hand, if someone touches the wall before him, he will be freed on his own. Thus, the first to be betrayed will assume the role of the accountant in the next round and the game will restart. What’s interesting, in addition, in this game, is to see the temporary alliances that can happen between the freed players and those who are still hiding, or even between them and the counter.