The name of the game is learning the names of everyone in your class. Teachers and college professors have been using a variation of the name game for years. I believe that there are a few books on the market as well that use the same techniques of creating a game name the names, but have come up with some cosmic-sounding new age name that makes a $25.00 dollar book seem important. Others call the name game a 'group mind" exercise and others still call it a mind meld. Hell, I just want to remember the name of the girl sitting next to me!
Generally, during the first day of class, teachers are urged to give everyone in the class two weeks or two class periods to learn everyone else's name! A daunting challenge to be sure! But there is a sense to playing a game name the names and increase your memory. Consider how many cultures exist without the written word -- even today there still exist several dozen. The only way a culture's history can be shared is by being remembered. Now, I don't know if this exercise is employed by some tribe living in the Amazon, but it should work well enough with a group of students in English 101.
Anyway, start by having eight to ten students introduce themselves, and then ask each individual in the group to game name another person. "Billy Bob, which of these people is Mary Jo?" "Mary Jo, who is that sitting next to Mickey?" If Mary Jo doesn't remember the name, the teacher must be prepared to interject. It's important to keep the flow going. If you keep the pace a quick one, there won't be time for anyone to feel embarrassed or silly. Ultimately it becomes a group effort, and believe me, more than one guy or girl will be keeping tabs on names so they can meet that special someone.
The name of the game is to repeat this process at the beginning and end of each class for several class periods until it becomes second nature. The game name will name the names of the entire class. Shew! What a mouthful!
Having established that as the traditional name game, it's important to point out that there are dozens of game name the names "out there". There are name games that involve the names of presidents, the names of rock bands, the names of states and countries and scientific principals. Come to think of it there are few ways to play that are as spontaneous and fun as the name game. One of my favorite name games has to do with the names of famous people. Let's give it a try:
You start off by getting everyone together sitting in a circle or around a table. You begin playing by naming a famous person - for example, Brad Pitt. Now continue on to the next person sitting on your right and have them think of the name of a famous person whose first name starts with the letter that begins the prior famous person's last name! Aaak! It's not as confusing as it sounds. In this case it's the letter P. So the person might say Paul. Paul Newman. Continue to the next person on the right. Now the next player needs to come up with a name that begins with N. They might say...hey I'm not sure what they might say because I can't think of any name that begins with N! That means I get dumped from the group. The next person needs to pick up where I left off. The last person standing wins the round.