Socks and Puppets - Game Rules (version the third)

1. Introduction

Socks and Puppets is about making and giving presents to people in the mail. Silly things, artistic things, stuff to make people laugh. It is entirely light-hearted, and not to be taken seriously. If you're playing this game to win, then you're definately doing something wrong.

2. Flow of the game.

This game of Socks and Puppets will run for One Round Only. Signups will run until midday on June 30th 2009 The game opens on the 1st July, and ends on 31st July. During this period, players make presents and send them, and write reports for the website.

With their sign up email, each player emails to the Director a description of some kind of present they would very much like to recieve. (see below for gift ideas.) The Director then sends this wish, along with the intended recipient's details, to three suitors, who have about a month to make and get something vaguely representing the gift to the recipient. Gifts are sent annonymously, and should include a card containing the suitor's pseudonym. Every player in this regard sends three gifts, and recieves three gifts also.

Once the gifts are recieved, each recipient writes a short report describing what they were given. The Director publishes these reports on the website.

3. Signing up for the game:

The game is open to anyone at all, although if you are a minor, check with your parents before signing up. The Director may exclude players at his discretion, although is unlikely to.

Everyone who wishes to play should email the Director at with the following details:

There's no reason to provide false details, so don't. Please don't sign up for this game unless you are willing to spend a couple of hours on the game. It shouldn't take more than that unless you want it to.

4. Gifts.

Gifts will usually need to be something small and easily mailable, otherwise they're kind of hard to get to your target. They also need to be something of artistic value, that could be made by anyone in half an hour or so, with little expense. A sock puppet, for example, is fine. A sock on the other hand is not. Why? - because a lot of people can't make it in half an hour. Similarly not everyone would have the lego to make "A lego Death-Star" but they would be able to make "A model Death-Star". This game isn't about buying gifts, it's about making gifts, if it looks a suitor is spending to impress, they may be disqualified... You can't buy your way into our hearts you know.

Your gift also has to be something that it's reasonable for people to have a stab at. "Compose me some music" is a bit of a weak request, because some people will be great at it, and a lot of people won't have a clue how to do it. "Write me the words for a love song to the tune of the hokey cokey" on the other hand is fine.

Think about what you want, a good gift is one that three people will all manage to make for you, but do in very different ways. It might be fun (if not recommended) to be a bit abstract in making your gifts, so "a dragon" may lead your suitors to be quite inventive in their approach. Try not to be too broad though. It's much harder to write "a poem" than it is to write "a poem about how badgers are more awesome than robots"

Cakes and other foodstuffs are not within the bounds of these rules, as the time spent in the mail could depreciate the quality of the gift. Bribing your suitor with additional gifts such as these is frowned upon by the Director, since it is naughty. There are no rules against bribing the Director, for he is fickle, and often hungry.

The Director, of course, may reject your proposal if he thinks it is against the spirit of the game, or too hard to do, it is a good idea to supply a couple of back-up ideas with your gift request, so as to ensure something gets picked. Also be sure to include relevant information in your bio about what you like.

5. Reporting.

When you send a gift, or when you recieve a gift. Please, please send the director a quick report to say what you did. Your reports are the vehichle through which the world discovers how awesome you are, and without the reports, this is going to be a very boring website in a month's time. You can be as inventive or witty as you like in your reports. Feel free to write extensive stories about how your quest to obtain duct-tape nearly caused your uncle to lose his life to space-aliens, or perhaps you want to explain how you're using your new pirate-ship to entertain your puppies.

Your report can contain pretty much anything you want it to. Pictures, video, mp3s, whatever you want. The director will find a way to host it. It's recommended to send photographs if you have a camera, because we all like pictures, and it's quicker than writing 1000 words.

6. Bonus tasks

For the particularly enthusiastic, there may be some bonus challenges issued during the game. The Director will report on these bonus tasks in the usual fashion. He'll do it this time, honest.

7. Winning the game.

Sorry, you can't win this game, but you do get an opportunity to be awesome. Isn't that enough for you?

8. Conduct and General Stuff.

The Director for this game is David Birch ( He has final say in all matters, and may change the rules at random if he gets cranky. The spirit of the rules is more important than the rules themselves.

It's not really possible to cheat at this game, but if you do somehow manage to and get caught you might get called a poopyhead.

You are expected to be a responsible person when playing this game. Don't do anything stupid like sending someone a bag of sherbet in the post, sure it's tasty, but if the mail is inspected you can bet someone will think it's drugs. Similarly, don't send NSFW presends to someone's workplace.

By signing up to play this game, you are agreeing to give a mailing address to people who might be playing. Your address won't go anywhere puclic, and as a suitor you should keep information like this to yourself.

The primary method of contacting the Director is through email, but he can cope with technological things like IRC or phones. Any queries about the game or the meaning of life can be emailed to the Director, again at

The game operates primarilly through this website and email. Please assume information on this website to be more official than what you were told down the pub.

9. Credits.

This game was invented by David Birch, although it was inspired by Steve Jackson's Killer, and a six hour car journey with too little sugar. You are free to invent and run your own game of Socks and Puppets, and modify the rules as appropriate, but please credit us a little bit, and tell us!.

Older versions of the rules for previous games can be found here Here and Here.

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