I've had these games for year and sometimes I take them to small, informal writing groups.
Roger von Oech’s "Creative Wack Pack" are great cards to stimulate creative thinking. There are blue Exporer cards (a man with binoculars) that cover aspects of how we go looking for inspiration. The orange Artist cards (a head with its hair exploding) cover idea generation. The green Judge cards (an old man with a gavel) deal with evaluating our ideas. And finally, the red warrior cards (a warrior helmet) give tips for inventive ways to implement ideas.
Included is a book of ideas on how to use the cards, either as individual exercises, in group workshops, or as an oracle.
Each card tells a story with a final lesson learned.
Here’s a sample of one from each group:
Explorer card, Get out of Your Box: the story is about cutting across disciplinary boundaries and borrowing for ideas.
Artist card, Reverse: reverse how you look at something to dislodge assumptions, the example being when everyone else looks one way at a sunset, look behind you into the darkness. How can you reverse the way you look at an idea?
Judge card, Conform: the story is about St. Augustine being told "When in Rome…," the question being to what standards should you be conforming?
Warrior card, Do the Unexpected: the story is from 1334. Hochosterwitz castle was being besieged and a commander did the opposite of what was expected by the enemy, the lesson being use a surprising tactic to reach your objective.
I also have a game called Stones from the Muse, Runes for the Creative Journey. There are 10 double-sided rune stones in a bag and a book. You can draw one stone a day. Yesterday, I drew the Tool rune (a crude pick axe) which is about taking action. Or you can draw three or four stone configurations. I drew two more to do a reading called "immediate picture, big picture, action required." My second rune looked like a tadpole (the transformation rune) and the third looked like a swirl (the seed rune) which dealt with idea composting and fertility. The booklet has long descriptions of each rune and ideas for action steps.
The first creative oracle I purchased in college were these phoenix cards. The idea behind them is that you will draw the card that most represents your past life culture and its influences on your current life. For years, I have always been drawn immediately to the Zen Buddhist card. For years I researched Zen to figure out what that meant.
The cards each have radically different cultural aesthetics and most people only gravitate toward one or two of them. Strangely, when I used the cards to read everyone in my Bronxville, NY writing group years ago, the writers did claim the readings were pretty good. One friend said her reading was more like her than any of us could ever know.
I’ve ever only gravitated to the Zen card. Eliminating that card today, I picked the Medieval Illumination. And I have to say, its description of me wasn’t too far off either.
Anyway, fun games for creative types.