Alternative Games for London 2012

I’ve been wondering how best to pass the time during the London 2012 Olympics. With the torch relay in a few days time, followed by a number of Olympic events in the surrounding area, there will be road closures and, potentially, gridlock. We will probably be better off staying indoors than venturing out into the crowded, cordoned off streets. We could always watch the events on television, but I’ve been thinking that it may be more enjoyable to stage an alternative version of the games…

To start off, here’s a novel idea for any number of people: Wat-er Lemon (see above) is essentially a timed water bomb, which is filled up with water and pumped to gain pressure inside an inner chamber. A timer on one end of the device is set and the game begins. Participants throw the lemon to each other until the timer stops, releasing an explosion of water, and soaking the person holding it.

The game was created by young designer, Paul Humphreys, who invented it as part of his degree at the University of Salford, to “encourage physical activity and social interaction between participants.”

Talking of which, inventive folk at Clerkenwell Design Week came up with the idea of 3-way ping-pong. However, when I passed by, I was surprised to see five players using the table. Doubles and a half? I’m not quite sure how this would work?

But I can personally recommend Pucket as a fun game for two:

Handcrafted from ethically sourced sheesham and mango wood in India, Pucket is an elasticated table game based on a traditional French game known as Table a l’elastique or Passe Trappe.

The winner is the person who clears the pucks from their side of the board by catapulting them through a small hole (or gate). Pucks sent through the gate by the opponent must be catapulted back in order to win. Here are some tips on playing techniques, plus a clip from the final of the Pucket World Championships at the Half Moon (that must be why it’s so dimly lit) in Putney:

And if you’re confined to your home alone for the duration of the Olympics, here’s some final food for thought on alternative games for one player only…

My favourite has to be Malteser Solitaire.

Any other suggestions?

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About Author Profile: Susan Muncey

Trend consultant Susan Muncey, is Editor of Visuology Magazine. In 2008, she founded online curiosity shop, She writes on style and trends for several blogs, including, and The Dabbler. She previously owned cult West London boutique, Fashion Gallery, one of the first concept stores in the world. Susan graduated in geography from Cambridge University and is also an Associate Member of the CFA Institute. She lives in London with her husband.

5 thoughts on “Alternative Games for London 2012

    July 21, 2012 at 09:19

    As many will take to their abodes during the forthcoming binge I would suspect that the resulting increase in the birthrate in nine months time will give a clue as to the most popular form of alternative activity. I just want my money back.

      July 21, 2012 at 11:27

      And there was I innocently thinking of alternative games, malty… perhaps that explains my lack of children?

  2. Worm
    July 21, 2012 at 11:15

    The lemon throwing game would be really excellent if the lemon was filled with acid or napalm

    The pucket game actually looks quite fun, sort of a cross between air hockey and shove ha’penny

      July 21, 2012 at 11:29

      Acid? Napalm? Sounds like you’ve been watching too much Batman, Worm

    July 21, 2012 at 13:11

    The Washington Post, a couple of days ago, mentioned the “Chap Olympics”, a recent London event featuring “gentile inactivity”. (Their ‘i’, not mine.) The one activity described was “Not Playing Tennis”, “in which contestants sat in lawn chairs sipping cocktails (and only occasionally) hitting at a ball on the string.”

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