What’s the Deal with The Sheep Game?

I’ve been a member of a Duke message board, The Devil’s Den, for, wow, twelve years now. On site is an of-topic board where all kinds of non-sports things are discussed. There’s a game that’s been played there now and then called The Sheep Game.

The way it works is you get a number of questions. Everyone who plays answers the questions, and you get points based off of how many people have the same answer. So for example, if the question was “Name a primary color” and 20 people were playing, it might break down like this:

10 people said blue
7 people said red
3 people said yellow

The 10 people who answered blue get ten points, the seven people who said red get seven points and the three people who said yellow get three points. You carry that on for ten questions, and the person with the most points wins the round, then you have several rounds to make up one game.

Some of the questions can have just a few possible answers like the example above, and some can be pretty wide open.

The point, then, is not to put our favorite answer, but to put the answer you think will be the most popular. Follow the herd. Hence: sheep.

I’ve thought it would be fun to create a website to do that, and I started on it many months ago when I had some spare time. I’ve had less spare time of late, but I was thinking about it again recently and decided to put some bandaids on it and go ahead and toss it out into the world.

Over the months I’ve kept a list of potential questions and now have close to 2,000. Now, some of them are the same questions but with a minor change, such as “A name that starts with A.” As you can see, you can get 26 questions out of just that one. Then you can do it with men’s names and again with women’s names. I might have some repeat questions too, but I’m pretty sure most of them are original.

To choose which questions will go into each round I’ll tell a website to randomly choose ten numbers between 1 and however many I’ve got. I’ll them bold the ones I use so if they come up again I’ll go on to the next one.

I haven’t totally figured out how I’m going to post the results, and I’m sure there are easier ways for me to do it, but I’ll wing it for now. If I were a better programmer I’m sure I could come up with a better way to automate a lot of it, but we’ll just see how it goes for now.

It may not sound too complicated or terribly fascinating, but it’s actually really fun, especially when you see what other answers people come up with. Anyway, in case you’re wondering what the deal is with it and why I invited a bunch of people to the Facebook page I created for it, now you know the story. So do me a favor and go play. It’ll be fun.

Oh, and sorry if the ads are annoying. I figure I’d try to make a couple bucks to at least pay for the domain and make it worth the time it takes to keep the game going as long as there are people who are interested.

If you’ve read this far you may as well go check it out, so go sign up now and play!