Play this game, if you’re bad with names

Last month saw the first ever Global Game Jam event in Kuwait. And while I didn’t have the time to participate in it, I managed to attend the first night of the jam, and be amazed by the enthusiastic turn up.

One problem with these type of events is, you are expected to meet and socialize with a lot of people you’ve never met before, and one of the main goals of the event is to form connections with them. For that ofcourse, you will need to know their names.

Have you ever met someone who says he’s good with names?

That’s the dilemma. And the problem is, it’s not like asking for directions. After the second time you ask, it starts to feel offensive. As if you don’t care, or not paying attention.

That night however, at GGJ, a friend of mine called Ahmad Al-Mosawi started a weird game (I should mention, Ahmad is an extremely nice guy, full of weird stuff). With a big smile on his face, everytime he approached someone, or someone approached, or randomly at different intervals, he’d start pointing at each guy in the group and say his name. Not only that, but sometimes he’d ask that person to participate as well.

There were some confused reactions at first, but Ahmad has a nice friendly way of doing it, that we end up laughing at his attempts. While I still felt it was kind of weird of him, I later realized, this was actually breaking the ice, and it didn’t come as offensive for a reason.

He genuinely showed how much he cares to remember each individual’s name.

The net result is, extra laugh, and better name recollection for everyone involved. I still remember the few I spoke to, from Right to Left:

Mohammad, Jaber, Saud, Ahmad (wearing white holding a pen), Jaffar, and me. Gosh I hope I got it right! Maybe I’ll share this article with him and see if he still does.

So next time you’re in such a conference or a workshop… Try the Ahmad Names Game.