Truth or Dare?
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|Players||3 or more|
|Skill(s) required||Creativity, embarrassment tolerance|
Truth or Dare? is a party game requiring at least three players. Players are given the choice between answering a question truthfully, or performing a "dare", both of which are set by the other players. The game is particularly popular among adolescents and children, and is sometimes used as a forfeit when gambling.
The game has existed for centuries, with at least one variant, Questions and Commands, being attested as early as 1712:
- A Christmas game, in which the commander bids his subjects to answer a question which is asked. If the subject refuses, or fails to satisfy the commander, he must pay a forfeit [follow a command] or have his face smutted [dirtied].
Truth or Dare style games may ultimately derive from command games such as the ancient Greek Βασιλινδα (Basilinda) described by Julius Pollux, "in which we are told a king, elected by lot, commanded his comrades what they should perform".
One player starts the game by asking another to choose "Truth or Dare?" If the player chooses "truth", then the first player poses a question, usually an embarrassing one, which the second player must answer truthfully. If the player instead chooses "dare", then the first player sets him a task, often an embarrassing or dangerous one, which player two must perform. After answering the question or performing the dare, that player asks "Truth or Dare?" to another player, and the game continues.
A player cannot choose truth more than twice in a row, and dares cannot be repeated. Also, a player's dare can be to take back a previous dare. In some games players use a random method such as in Spin the Bottle to select a player to question, or cue cards marked "truth" and "dare" to choose which question to ask. Should a player refuse to answer a question or fail to complete a dare, they may be given an even more challenging dare or question. In one variant of the game, players must always start by asking a "Truth" question - if the other player refuses to answer, only then can they be given a "Dare".
Other options are commonly included. A variation frequently used by Australian teenagers asks: "Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Kiss, Love, or Torture?", the definitions of the options varying between communities. "Double Dare" often requires the group to pose a dare that will be carried out by both the player asking and the player receiving the question. "Kiss" requires the player to kiss (or hug) someone; the person to be kissed could be part of the command or left up to choice. "Torture" often varies but might include the respondent having to choose between "tickle torture" (getting tickled by the group) and "truth torture" (having to answer a truth from every player).