How useless would you or your friends be in a post-apocalyptic world? The Tribe Game is a great road trip/time-killer game that answers this question.

Are you an SEO expert? Does your résumé brag about things like “results-based management”? Do you excel at Excel? Do you have an in-depth knowledge of branding, social media or database management? If you answered yes to any of these questions, odds are you’re going to be pretty useless in the event of a nuclear, zombie or Mad Maxian-style apocalypse.

Here’s how the Tribe Game works:

  1. Identify a group of people to act as your pool of options. This could be your group of friends, your extended family, co-workers, celebrities, etc. The game works best when you establish the rule that all players must know the people in the pool of choices.
  2. Identify the nature of the post-apocalyptic world you find yourself in. (ex. 99% of the human population has been wiped out, there’s no electricity, zombies are everywhere, there are other tribes out there, etc.)
  3. Each player then takes turns choosing one person they would want to have on their “tribe” in a post-apocalyptic world. Once a person is selected, they are locked in on that person’s tribe and no one else can choose them. Players can give reasons for their selection, highlighting the qualities the individual would bring to the tribe. You cannot choose other players involved in the game (since they are leaders of their own tribes).
  4. The game ends when each player has selected five members of their tribe (or select an appropriate number based on the size of the pool of choices). Afterwards, feel free to debate into the wee hours of the morning the merits of your tribe and the weaknesses of others.
  5. There are no “winners” (although I suppose everybody’s a winner when you’re prepared for a zombie infestation). It’s also a great opportunity to mock those friends of yours who would be particularly useless.

Some qualities you might want to look for when building your tribe:

  • Someone who’s an avid camper/wilderness buff
  • A friend with first aid training or nursing background
  • If you’re interested in reaching out to other tribes, perhaps that diplomatic friend could be useful
  • A big and burly bloke to help keep the wolves and zombies at bay
  • Someone with an engineering or mechanical background to help build your camp/new civilization

Also be sure to consider group dynamics. You may have two friends with great survival skills. But will they get along or just end up killing each other before the zombies do? A well-rounded tribe is important too. Having five gym rats may help you dominate physically, but who will be the hunters, builders and healers?

Tribe game
Hmmm… decisions, decisions. I mean, Meagan knows how to pick out a good Shiraz… but Dave knows how to use the if-then function on Excel… on the other hand, Jared knows a lot about hockey and Sara’s got a keen eye for interior decorating… Shit… we’re all going to die.

Fewer players tends to work better and this game is a great way to kill time on a long road trip, layover or in the doctor’s waiting room. And if you spend most of your days at a desk in front of a computer like I do, it’s also an eye-opener as to how bad you’d be in a survival situation. Realizing that the diploma you spent tens of thousands of dollars on would only be useful as a fire starter is a bit sobering.

If you could choose any celebrities to be on your tribe, who would they be and why? Add your picks in the comments below.

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2 responses to “Play the Tribe Game: Who would you want on your post-apocalyptic team?”

  1. I choose Josh. It’d be like old times. Are there fudgsicles and Boston Legal DVDs in this dystopia?