THE LUNCH CONSTITUTION
Never argue about where to go to lunch ever again (Well, still argue but in a different way)
What is It?
The Lunch Constitution is a social game developed in order to make the exhaustive task of choosing where to eat lunch with your co-workers fun! And it’s really easy to play.
What You Need
- An office with co-workers and/or friends you like going to lunch with.
- A way to keep track of restaurants in the area and votes (Google Docs is your friend)
- An appetite for lunch
This game works best with less than 10 people, but can be modified accordingly by altering the vote count rules.
- At the beginning of each lunch week decide who is participating in The Lunch Constitution that week. These are the players.
- From the players, elect an Arbiter. The Arbiter settles ties. How you decide who to elect Arbiter is up to the group. Rotating arbiters weekly is generally a good technique. You could also play rock-paper-scissors or single-elimination Ping Pong. The choice is yours.
- Set-up your Lunch List. Make a list of restaurants with your crew. Google docs is a good idea. Save this for later so in future weeks you can use it again and add to it. Remember to let everyone add restaurants to the list, even Steve.
How to Play
- Cast Your Weekly Votes. At the beginning of each lunch week, each lunch player gets to play three votes on any combination of restaurants he or she chooses. Players may stack all their votes on one restaurant, put two on one and one on another, or distribute all three across multiple restaurants. This should be done before lunch selection on the first day (step 2).
- Cast Your Daily Vote. Each day, before lunch, the Arbiter calls for who is participating in the game that day. Those that elect to play may cast one vote for the restaurant of their choice. Players should do their best to vote blind.
- Tally the votes. The restaurant with the most votes is chosen. In the event of a tie, the Arbiter decides which restaurant is selected. If the arbiter isn’t participating in lunch that day, they choose a person who is to break the tie.
- Go to that restaurant. The selected restaurant is struck from the week’s options. It cannot be chosen (or voted for) again.
- Repeat 2-4 each day until the end of the week. At the start of a new lunch week, clear the votes, unstrike the restaurants, and start from the top.
Yeah, it’s that simple. So why is this fun? The fun of The Lunch Constitution comes from the meta-gaming aspect of it all.
At the beginning, each player only has three votes. Obviously, each player has their favorite restaurants. So what’s their move? Do they stack all votes on that one restaurant to assure victory at least one day? Do they distribute across multiple restaurants to have a spread of likable possibilities? Maybe they conspire with other teammates to mutually try to swing the week towards a subset of restaurants? Or Maybe they piggyback on another player’s choices they like to up their chances? There are many possibilities.
Next, each day, right before lunch, each participant gets a single extra vote to throw in. Now one vote may not seem like a whole lot, but a single vote can change a restaurant’s fate, especially if multiple players band together. In The Lunch Constitution, alliances are broken as quickly as they are formed, and your ally today could be your enemy tomorrow. Making deals, bribing your fellow player for their vote, and double-crossing each other is encouraged; it’s what makes The Lunch Constitution so much fun.
Here’s some general wisdom I’ve learned from playing this game for a while.
- Use a Google Docs sheet as a list of restaurants and a vote tally. It makes keeping track of everything easier. You can even color-code it by the person!
- Whining will always happen. If a restaurant is chosen and someone whines about it and doesn’t want to go, let them sit it out. Just be sure to make fun of them for it a lot. Way to be a team player, Steve!
- Form alliances, and then break them. If you really, really, really want to go to Chipotle this week, promise Joe you’ll vote for his favorite place the next day if he throws you a bone today. Remember that promises are just words.
- Plan ahead. Always be thinking about your next play and your opponents’ next play. The Lunch Constitution is a lot like Chess in this way. Actually, it's exactly like Chess.
- Vote-Stacking (throwing all your votes on one place at the beginning of the week) is a great way to push your favorite restaurant to the top of the pack, but be careful, it can backfire. You won’t have as much leverage later in the week with your one measly vote per day and you may have to co-operate with others to get what you want. Or worse...compromise.
- The Arbiter can be a powerful ally or a terrible enemy. Always account for their tie-breaker power, and see if you can convince them to join your cause.
Designed and Developed by Chris Durel, Shawn Nicholson, and Marco Marchesano