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Jackie Chan vs Bruce Lee

"Walrus" is one of the family of conversation games that requires only two players and conversational ability. The game revolves around one player's statement of a noun and his/her opponent's statement of a noun that "beats" the previous noun i.e. cow beats grass because a cow eats grass. The definition of beat is intentionally nonexistent because, while players may win when their opponents take too long to respond or state nouns that do not beat the previous nouns, the true purpose in playing is to get into ridiculous arguments over whether certain nouns beat other nouns.


One player begins by stating a noun of his/her choosing. Nouns stated are allowed to consist of multiple words, be plural, and not exist in reality i.e. the aliens from the movie Signs. In addition, the player may use a physical motion to accompany the noun in order to specify how the noun should be used i.e. for the noun foot, making a kicking motion would signal that the foot is kicking while a stomping motion would signal that the foot is stomping. The next player states a noun with or without an accompanying physical motion that beats the previous noun. Play continues back and forth in this manner until one player takes too long to respond (where "how long is too long" is decided informally among the players) or until one player states a noun that does not beat the previous noun (usually settled by an argument) which both result in the other player's victory. Stating a noun that has already been said (known as "repeating") by one of the players is not allowed. The effects of a player repeating vary from player to player and should be settled prior to commencing (see Variations.) Players may interpret their opponents' nouns any way they so choose if their opponents are ambiguous in the nature of their noun (see Ambiguity Rule).


The entire game of walrus revolves around stating nouns that beat other nouns. There is purposefully no definition for the term beat as it is up to the players themselves to decide what constitutes one noun beating another. However, there are several accepted ways that one noun can beat another noun.

1. By killing the previous noun i.e. Kryptonite beats Superman

2. By making the previous noun nonexistent i.e. Digestive System beats Hamburger

3. By rendering the previous noun useless i.e. Shield beats Sword

4. By being a noun that would outlast the destructive nature of the previous noun i.e. Cockroach beats Nuclear Missile (cockroaches are not affected by the radiation that results from nuclear missiles)

Whether one noun beats another noun is usually evident allowing the game to continue. If ever a player feels that his/her opponent's response does not beat his/her own noun then that player may start an argument. If the result of the argument is that the most recent noun does not beat the previous noun then the game is over and he/she who stated the previous noun is the winner. Otherwise the game continues as usual.


Arguments in Walrus are meant to resolve whether the most recently stated noun beats the noun previous to it. The player who has stated the most recent noun argues that said noun beats the previous noun. The other player argues that the most recent noun does not beat the previous noun but is not obliged to argue that the previous noun beats the most recent noun i.e. player 1 says Ares and player 2 says Alfred Hitchcock. Player 2 sets out to prove that Alfred Hitchcock beats Ares. Player 1 sets out to prove that Alfred Hitchcock does not in fact beat Ares but doesn't have to prove that Ares beats Alfred Hitchcock.

There is no particular way to resolve arguments in Walrus and players are free to resolve arguments in whatever manner they wish. Players have been known to spend hours debating what would to others appear nonsensical (i.e. whether Jack Bauer beats Chuck Norris or visa versa). Typically arguments end when one player gives in to the other's case, but arguments aren't limited to ending in this way. Players may also agree to ask a third party whether the most recent noun beats the previous noun or whether it does not.

Ambiguity Rule

If a player is ambiguous in how their noun is to be used or what their noun, in fact, is, his/her opponent is allowed to interpret the noun however he/she so chooses. This rule is only to apply when deciding if the ambiguous noun is beaten by another noun, never when deciding whether the ambiguous noun beats another object. An example of this is if player 1 states Human Being and player 2 states AK-47 without an accompanying physical motion player 1 may not use the ambiguity rule to say that an AK-47 does not beat a Human Being because it was not specified whether or not the AK-47 is shooting, but player 1 may use the ambiguity rule to state baseball bat because a baseball bat would undoubtedly crush a non-firing AK-47. Players may stretch this rule even further by interpreting the noun in a completely different manner. An example of this is if a player 1 states Big Bang and player 2 retorts with Big Crunch without any accompanying physical action then player 1 is allowed to use the ambiguity rule to respond with Glutton interpreting Big Crunch as a large Crunch Bar.

Example of a Game

Player 1: Walrus

Player 2: Spear (kills Walrus)

Player 1: Fire (burns Spear)

Player 2: Fire Extinguisher (extinguishes Fire)

Player 1: Ice Pick (pierces Fire Extinguisher)

Player 2: Shield (blocks Ice Pick)

Player 1: Nuclear Explosion (blows up Shield)

Player 2: Cockroach (survives the radiation of a Nuclear Explosion)

Player 1: Foot (squishes Cockroach)

Player 2: Frostbite (damages Foot)

Player 1: Modern Medical Technology (can limit the effects of Frostbite)

Player 2: Economic Recession (results in lack of funding for Modern Medical Technology)

Player 1: World War (puts people to work ending Economic Recession)

Player 2: Woodrow Wilson's Ideal League of Nations (ends World War)

Player 1: Reality (in reality, Woodrow Wilson's Ideal League of Nations does not exist)

Player 2: Monty Python (whose sketches often transcend Reality)

Player 1: British Police (in the end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail the British Police arrest Sir Lancelot who is played by John Cleese, a member of Monty Python)

Player 2 argues that as the British police as they appear in the film are played by some of the members of Monty Python and, as such, cannot beat Monty Python. The players agree to ask a third party. The third party agrees with player 2 resulting in player 2's victory.

Source: Wikipedia

Flags: Very Short (0-60 mins), Short (1-3 hours), With a Friend, With a Group, Teens, Adults, Indoors, Outdoors, At Home, Morning, Day, Night, Sunny, Snowy, Rainy
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