The blog where I rant about things that should be obvious to everyone

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kaufman Game

For those of you who don't know, Andy Kaufman was a comedian who was famous for doing comedy that he found funny, often at the expense of his audience. This included such things as tricking his audience into thinking that their TV was broken during his show by broadcasting static, or during his stand up telling audiences that he was going to read them The Great Gatsby, followed by him actually doing it until many audience members had left. While this is not all he did, and it certainly was not his intent, the behaviour translates pretty well to game.

I was over at Ishmael's house, when he showed me a text that he had received from a girl he was gaming at work.  She had sent him the following image.

He asked for what a good game response would be and what resulted (with both of us collaborating) is the following text exchange (to the best of my memory).

Him: Aww, don't feel bad [presuming that the cat statement applies to her and not him]. I'll tell you what. Come into work tomorrow and I'll roll you in pancakes.

Her: huh...

Her: was that text meant for me?

Him: Yes. About the cats.

Her: Ishmael you're not making any sense.

Her: What's roll you in pancakes mean?

Him: If I'm not making sense it's only because of kung fu lazers and starvation.

Her: hahaha... huh.

Her: I still don't get what your saying. Are you going to feed me pancakes?

Him: Kate! This is serious business. They make you take an animal wife!

Her: What?

Her: Are you trying to tell me that you married your cat?

Him: No. I rolled her in pancakes.


It went on ending with some more normal conversation such as “how was work?” At the time I was not sure of how well it had gone. I admit that I had largely given texting ideas that I found funny more so then what I found gamish. None of it had seemed overtly beta, but it was hardly optimised either. And some basic texting rules had been broken, such as the 3:2 ratio. But the next day report was glowing. At work she had been all over him asking “What does 'roll you in pancakes' mean?” And by denying her that bit of information he was making her pursue him.

So the end verdict is that though Kaufman game might not be the most optimised form of game, it's still effective. It also has the benefit of wrapping up a bunch of game concepts into one simple rule: do I find this funny or do I see this making for a funny story to be told to those not involved. If the answer is yes and you have the courage to then act on your impulse, then off the top of my head you're:
  • Making yourself stand out.
  • Outcome independent (if your action's don't incite attraction, well it's still going to be kind of funny).
  • Exhibiting bemused mastery.
For another example of Kaufman game: accidental alpha.