Game On

ASSSSCAT 10th Anniversary by Rachel LovingerOne of the most discussed and hard to master aspects of improv is the notion of game. What is it? How do you know when it's happening? What's the difference between a game and a pattern? All of these questions and more are answered differently depending on whom you ask and where that person was trained. The other day, Splitsider attempted to get to the bottom of the concept.

We spoke with teachers from the top improv training centers in the country – the Upright Citizens Brigade, the Improv Olympic (iO), the Second City, the Annoyance – in hopes to reconcile these competing views of game. After some deeply inside-baseball conversations, we realized the perceived differences between these different theaters have less to do with style or philosophy than they do with pure semantics.

After reading answers from a variety of improv performers--such as Matt Besser, Joe Bill, and Susan Messing--you'll notice there appears to be a defined way that UCB-trained improvisers understand the concept as opposed to the way Chicago-trained performers understand it.

Please go read the article, and then let us know in the comments your understanding of game. Are you on UBC's side or Chicago's? Or do you have your own definition?

(Image via Flickr: Rachel Lovinger / Creative Commons)