Facilitation:Strong Wind Blows
â€œStrong Wind Blowsâ€ is a game that allows individuals to assert their identity in a group discovery model. Playing one at a time, participants make statements which are true about themselves and learn how many others share the same characteristic.
The game rules are simple; the dynamic resembles â€œmusical chairsâ€, where â€œnâ€ players compete to sit in â€œn-1â€ chairs. To set up the game, get all participants sitting in a circle with no empty chairs. The facilitator, who is standing and has no chair, is the first to â€œplayâ€.
The person standing makes a statement that begins with the phrase â€œStrong wind blows forâ€, followed by a statement that is true about themself. For example:
- A guitarist might say â€œStrong wind blows for anyone who plays guitarâ€
- A parent might say â€œStrong wind blows for anyone with childrenâ€
- A connoisseur of adult beverages might say â€œStrong wind blows for anyone who loves beerâ€
Statements might also be tailored to the topics of the event at hand; for Penguin Day, which focuses on open source software for nonprofits, these might include:
- â€œStrong wind blows for anyone who uses Open Officeâ€
- â€œStrong wind blows for anyone who loves Linuxâ€
- â€œStrong wind blows for anyone who has been to sourceforge.netâ€
As soon as the statement has been made, every person for whom the statement is true must jump out of their seat and find a new available seat. The person who made the statement is almost always able to grab a seat, which leaves a new person standing once all seats are filled. That person must then make a â€œstrong wind blowsâ€ statement to continue the game.
An additional rule is provided for amusement and chaos, as well as for anyone unable to fashion a â€œstrong windâ€ statement: the person standing may yell â€œHurricane!â€, which compels all participants to scramble for a new seat.
When the session facilitator is ready to bring the game to a close (after perhaps 5 or 10 minutes), they simply stand and refrain from grabbing a seat when other participants are changing positions.
This game receives high praise from most participants, and some spend the rest of the day proposing â€œStrong windâ€ statements they would have liked to make. The exercise allows people to find kindred souls and like minds, while giving everyone a better idea of â€œwho's in the roomâ€.