There’s no time to play the Neighborhood Guessing Game this week — Swamplot will be off Thursday and Friday — but there is time to do a little bit of thinking about changing the rules of the game.
What should change? Well, here are a couple of ideas: First, to encourage better comments, we’d like to alter the way the winner is determined. Under the new rules being considered, the winner will be the player who names the correct neighborhood and backs it up with the best explanation.
Here’s an example:
If the property shown is in . . . say, Meyerland, and only one player guesses Meyerland — with a comment that reads in full something like this:
My guess is Meyerland.
. . . then that player would win the game. If after that first Meyerland guess, however, someone else came along and added a second Meyerland guess — but backed it up with some brilliant explanation, such as
My guess is Meyerland, because I’ve never guessed Meyerland before, and something inside me tells me it’s time to do so.
. . . then that player would win, because that explanation is, truly, better than nothing. If, however, a third player entered a Meyerland guess — and added something like this:
You can tell it’s Meyerland because the street sign visible through the Living Room window says “Imogene St.”
. . . then that third player would win.
The other rule change under consideration is rule 3 of the current game guidelines, which now reads:
3. If you already know the home in the photos, please don’t post a comment like “I know that home because I saw it last week. It’s in Wiggaboo Acres” — because it just ruins the game for everyone else. Instead, you can add a comment like “My guess is Wiggaboo Acres” — and then explain clues in the photos that help support your vote. Or, you can play a trickier version of the game, as described in item 4 below.
Rule 4 spells out the double-cross, double-fun way of playing the game, which still has the potential to spice things up a bit:
4. If you already know the home in the photos and can send us an email with a link to the actual listing, go ahead and do that. Then make a wrong guess in the comments, but give a convincing explanation for it . . . just to throw your competitors off the scent. If you do this well, you’ll get special recognition for your obfuscatory talents!
Rule 4 should stay, because it makes the game a little more exciting. But we’re thinking about changing rule 3 so that it’s more difficult for someone who knows the property already to swoop in and win the contest. The game is supposed to reward sleuthing skills. So here’s a proposal: Players who know the house already will be welcome to play by rule 4 — or just gloat to themselves.
So whaddy’all think of these proposed changes? Any opinions? Any better ideas? It’s your game!