I can safely say that I expect everyone I know has heard of the game Twister. Originally released in 1966, the game’s producers were accused by their competitors of selling "sex in a box." This can likely be attributed in some part to sour grapes and jealousy, but also to the fact that it was the first popular game to use human bodies as playing pieces.
The game rode the crest of the wave of the 20th century’s toy fad phenomena and owes a debt of gratitude to Johnny Carson, host of The Tonight Show on US television, who was intrigued by the Twister mat and played a game of it on his show with actress Eva Gabor. The following morning people were queuing for the game and three million copies were sold in the following year as the phenomenon went global.
Twister - The Game
Designate a person as the referee/spinner person. The rest of the participants take off their shoes. The referee spins the spinner, then calls out the body part and the colour that the arrow points to. For example, the referee may call out: "Right hand, red." All players, at the same time, must then try to follow the referee's directions as explained below:
- Each player must try to place the called-out body part on a vacant circle of the called-out colour. For example, if the referee calls out "Right hand, red," each player must try to place a right hand on any vacant red circle.
- If your called-out hand or foot is already on a circle of the called-out colour, you must try to move it to another circle of the same colour.
- There can never be more than one hand or foot on any one circle. If two or more players reach for the same circle, the referee must decide which player got there first. The other player(s) must find another vacant circle of the same colour.
- Never remove your hand or foot from a circle unless you are directed to by the referee after a spin. Exception: You may lift a hand or foot to allow another hand or foot to pass by, as long as you announce it to the referee beforehand, and replace it on its circle immediately afterwards.
- If all six circles of a colour are already covered, the referee must spin again until a different colour can be called out.
Any player who falls, or touches the mat with an elbow or knee, is immediately out of the game. (If you feel that a new position is impossible, or will cause you to fall, you may eliminate yourself.) The last player left in the game is the winner of Twister!
Final Thoughts on Twister
Twister (published by Hasbro) is a game that is able to bring all age groups together, whether young or old. The longer reach of an adult is often levelled by a child’s flexibility. Even Grandparents can get involved as referees. It makes a great spectator sport and is always fun, until someone twists an ankle!