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Mindmade Debatable - A hilarious party game for people who love to argue

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Had an impact on many areas of life – for example: politics, economics, society, religion…it is a good idea to define these in discussion with students.

This debate strategy centres on listening to the views of others and responding to them. It is a very good pre-writing debate strategy. At the end of their speech, invite questions from the audience. These can be answered directly, OR the student concerned can nominate a ‘researcher’ to make a note of these questions and start finding the answers to them. If they had homework time before the lesson, they will hopefully have made a mask ready for the debate. Rearrange the classroom so that the opposing groups face one another and the observers are seated at one side.

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Round 2: Dish the Dirt – possible search terms for students to use when using the web to research negative points about the rival finalists! Our method proposes a specific debate format for such a game played between two dueling AI agents. The two agents can be trained by self play, similar to AlphaGo Zero or Dota 2. Our hope is that, properly trained, such agents can produce value-aligned behavior far beyond the capabilities of the human judge. If the two agents disagree on the truth but the full reasoning is too large to show the humans, the debate can focus in on simpler and simpler factual disputes, eventually reaching a claim that is simple enough for direct judging. Their task is to gather evidence AGAINST the other finalists, for example suggesting that they were insignificant, unheroic, and so on. Present a reading selection that states one of the positions on the debate topic. Assign one group to argue for the selection; the other group argues against.

While they don’t need to compare with every other proposal, they should be comparative with at least some. You may wish to begin by making a mind-map of possible ‘trump’ categories on the board. Each member of the audience then has to vote for just one character to be thrown OUT of the balloon. That’s a lot of thought given to a simple statement. In any of those cases, we would’ve kind of played the game, but haven’t accomplished anything. So, what should we say instead? How about something we truly believe in. Something we’ve already given a lot of thought to. The good news is that this helps us to choose our words more carefully, too. We want our suggestion to be as well-received as possible, so being able to tailor our wording accordingly will have a positive impact on our audience. Similarly, this activity can be done individually by putting statements on index cards and responding to them as you draw them out of a hat. The audience then has to vote who should be thrown out. It is important that they don’t vote for who should stay in – because there is too much of a tendency for students to vote in favour of the finalist whose team they belong to.You can immediately decide a winner by a vote after Round 2. If you prefer, you can select the top two proposals and have a final round where they must argue directly against each other in a final pair of speeches. 7) Sales Game It’s a bit of a silly practice of course. This is one of the debate games that encourages us to justify ourselves until we run out of sensible things to say by running into the so-called Münchhausen Trilemma. From my experience, people usually start by giving thoughtful and complex explanations until they feel the pressure mounting. Soon they’re forced into nitty-gritty terrain where they simply run out of things to say. They grow more and more defensive by the mere fact of having to justify themselves until their mind shuts down. Even though the rules don’t say, you have to reply in a heartbeat. Conscious Choices Not everyone is as argumentative as the late Hitch himself. But everyone has to make a convincing case at some point in their lives. As useful as mastering the skills of the debate are, as much there’s often not the time, place, let alone motivation to practice something so seemingly basic as talking. Not to mention the image that comes with debate clubs and all the rest of it. That makes debating perhaps one of the most overused and undertrained skills. What better way to practice these skills than with debate games? When each group has a winner, you can have a further round in front of the class to find an overall winning object. 8) Balloon Debate

Obviously, it doesn’t have to be the world. We can start small with a continent, a country, our company or school, department, or team. Sounds too easy? It is. As long as we’re all absolutely sure we can stand up straight in front of a group, introduce ourselves and take a clear position on an issue; regardless of what the crowd may reply let alone think of us.One person says that a certain statement is true (they don’t have to believe it), such as “Gorillas would make great pets.” The other person has to respond by saying why this statement is true, such as “Totally! Gorillas can help you reach things up high and they always have bananas, which are a great source of potassium.” Switch roles with new statements each time. On the board, put up a debate topic or a resolution. Students must raise their hand and cash in the appropriate card to make a comment or question. Set the scene: The government has announced that there is a million pounds of extra money available to be spent in the local region. Students will represent different advocacy groups with proposals on how to spend this money.

But perhaps they’re the type of person who’d claim to prevent Russia from acquiring SS-20 ICBMs in accordance with the START II treaty. Now they may come across as pretentious experts who know enough to clarify the ICBM acronym, but not enough to know that SS-20 missiles have long been out of service. Give students a statement and ask them to give all the reasons why they disagree with it. Make sure that the statements are absolute but difficult to disagree with. Students in the outer circle take notes about points those students bring up; notes are used in a follow-up classroom discussion and/or for writing an editorial opinion expressing a point of view on the issue at hand. The beauty of these kinds of debate games lies in the realisation that we’re entirely in control of where the argument goes and what we’re going to say next. We always know what the other side is going to reply to. As Mill’s Trident suggests, in an argument, we can only be wrong, partially correct or 100% accurate. But at this point, nobody is even contradicting us, let alone attempting to refute our arguments. So in a way, we can only defeat ourselves.Time spent arguing is, oddly enough, almost never wasted. Christopher Hitchens, inventor of the Hitchslap Apart from knowing how to run the activities and what we can achieve with them, there’s one last point to consider. The eternal trade-off between content and delivery. Depending on the group and context, the mere goal of improving reasoning or communication skills may not capture the undivided attention of the whole group. We may need the right content or context as motivational drivers. Because like any skill, the art of debate requires practice. Practice requires an understanding of the underlying structure and one way to explore those structures is through playful activities. The great thing about them is that we can fail without any negative consequences — other than to our ego. Here to crush and then rebuild our self-esteem are three underrated debate games that can teach us how to argue effectively. Table of Contents Balloon debates are a great way of promoting research and presentational skills, and invariably make for a very lively lesson! Lesson 1: Students research a character and prepare their presentations

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