This week’s game is “Keep it off the floor” also known as “Keep it in the air” or “Don’t let it hit the ground”.

We’ve all been there, standing in the living room with a balloon and wondering what to do with it. Five minutes later you’re flinging yourself all over the room trying to keep the balloon aloft with nothing more than the occasional smack to it. I’m sure that if you asked most people, the last time they would say that they played this particular game was when they were a kid. However, a lot of us wouldn’t readily admit that we’ve played this game more recently in some form or another.

Really, all you need for this game is an object that is reasonably light and not too big. The rules of the game are simple: the object isn’t allowed to hit the ground and you’re only allowed to keep it up in the air by striking it. No catching or carrying the object allowed. If the object hits the ground the game is over and you have to start over. For my part, I use one of my son’s blue rubber balls to play the game; generally while he looks on, laughs, and tries to tackle my legs.

If you stop to think about it though, several games share this simple rule set at some level or another. For instance, hacky sack.

The very idea of hacky sack is identical to the game we played as children. You have an object (a hacky sack) and you want to keep it off the ground by striking it (in this case with your feet). This theme continues to appear in numerous other places, such as volley ball, juggling, baseball, football (a bit anyway), catch, and so on. They all share one theme, not letting the object hit the ground. All these activities achieve this goal in different ways, but the primary aim is the same: keeping it off the ground.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?