Personally, the most exciting part of any workshop is the point at which the storycubes come out.
I tend to suggest that participants can use their own IP, an existing and familiar storyworld or conjure something up via the dice. When offering the choice, I'll admit that my emphasis is most certainly stressed on the last option.The reason is simple - Storycubes are hugely fun and entertaining.
The instructions in the box suggest that players should roll all nine dice together and concoct a narrative based on the symbols top side. This is a fine game, but not the one I like to play.
I have collected hundreds of dice over the years. Every generic and limited edition set has been purchased in bulk and dropped into a drawstring bag, meaning that the variety of stories that can be told has become exponentially limitless.
My adapted method is to gather the entire group, or create smaller working groups and have them form a circle/s. We then play the game as the surrealists played 'The Exquisite Corpse', with each participant in turn contributing a part of the narrative.
Unlike the surrealists, the random element doesn't come from hiding our contribution by folding a piece of paper but by the roll of a storycube drawn blind from the drawstring bag.
The first narrator will start the story, "Once upon a time..." roll the die and then kickstart our adventure based on the topside symbol. They can embellish as much or as little as they like before handing the bag on clockwise around the circle.
I try to wrap the story up once everyone has added something or after the narrative seems to organically reach it's conclusion and then voila, we have a collaborative work that everyone hopefully feels equally invested in. No proprietary feelings, no sense or working on someone else's vision, but a democratically created (albeit often entirely insane) story.
An added benefit, is that you also get to sense the dynamic and personalities of the group. Often you'll find a saboteur lurking in the midst, as well as someone who likes to summarize and keep the story on a conventional track.
The cubes areremendous fun and always provide a fascinating story to base project work from.
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