Hot Potato Camera

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Hot Potato Camera is like Russian roulette with selfies. Not as fatal as the original game — but still pretty embarrassing — the loser will end up getting a naturally terrible photo that will have everyone laughing.

This game will work with a regular camera as well. You just need to know how to use the timer function. You can play with two players up to many, but have a second camera sent around the circle if playing with more than ten.

Set Up:

  • Grab a smartphone and open the camera app, or grab a dedicated camera.
  • All players sit in a circle, or around a table. They just need to be sat close enough together to pass the camera to their neighbor quickly.

Rules:

  1. The player who starts with the camera sets the timer to whatever delay they want, whether a single second to half a minute. A longer timer will build more tension, but don’t set it so long that other players get bored.
  2. The player points the camera at themselves, smiles, then immediately passes the camera to the player on their left. The trick is to be quick about it. You don’t want to let any player look at the camera for more than a second, or they might accidentally get a good photo! If anyone tries it, give them a firm shove on the shoulder, and hope you hear a “click".
  3. The player now with the camera repeats the previous step.
  4. Eventually, and without warning, the camera will go off! This will very rarely happen at an opportune moment, so you can enjoy many photos with your friends with half open mouths, awkward and anxious expressions, and unflatteringly blurred features.

The magic of this game is that it makes use of a smartphone as a tool for having fun and interacting in-person, rather than through a phone network. This makes it equally appealing for smartphone-frustrated parents as it is for internet addicted teenagers. Play it with friends at a party, or with family in a lazy evening, and it is bound to be a laugh either way, and by the end you will have a whole album of horrible photos that everyone will be begging you not to put online.