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For this warm-up you need a ball, a plastic bottle or something similar. The player who has this item is the virus. The virus can move and infect other players by touching them. The virus then passes on the item. The already infected players now chase the healthy players, but only the player with the item can infect healthy players. The infected players must therefore pass the item on quickly in order to infect healthy players.

Hi, It's interesting how games are changed over time as people share them and change small points. I first started introducing this game about 15 years ago and it has some great theory for improvisation. But there are some alterations in this description that change it from the original.

To start the game, pick two players. They will be the original virus team.

Their goal is to infect everyone by touching them with the ball which the virus team passes to each other.

WHEN THE PERSON PLAYER HAS THE BALL HE/SHE CAN NOT TAKE A STEP. His/Her partner(s) can move and get close to their targets.

The free people can run away so they don't get tagged by the ball. If they are tagged, they become part of the virus team.

Theory for teaching... After a while, discuss how this is like improvisation. Improvisers will note things such as the game is collaborative, that awareness is necessary, etc.

Finer observations are often missed.

Observe that the virus will often run around randomly trying to get close to random 'free' people but in reality, it's like a scene on stage. If Jill is reaching out to touch Chris with the ball, then that is her offer and her focus. If her virus partners are seeing what she wants, they will move towards her intended target and help her achieve her goal instead of just thinking about their own ideas/targets. They support their partner. They support her narrative.

Observe how some of the 'free' people stay so far away from the person with the ball. They are playing safe. They are more focussed on winning than playing. The risk takers step close to the danger. They know the person with the ball can't move so they get close and are rewarded with more fun by the risk that they take knowing that there is a larger chance of failure. This is like improvisation on stage. The goal is not to win. The goal is to play and take risks.

This game is filled with great lessons. Good warm up games have good lessons as well as being fun and aren't always just filler games without purpose.

  • avatar improwiki
  • avatar shawnkinley
last update: 2017-08-30
by Shawn Kinley

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