MASH is a two-player paper-and-pencil game, commonly played by preteens intended to predict one's future. The name is an abbreviation of "Mansion, Apartment, Shack/Street/Shed/Sewers, and House". The game can be expanded to "DMASH" (the D standing for Dome) or "MASHO" (O standing for outhouse).
The game revolves around a set of headings or categories, such as, who player 1 is married to, how many kids they have, the car they drive, what pets they have, player 1's job, and yearly income.
- The game starts by either player writing out the title MASH at the top of a piece of paper.
- Both players contribute to writing a list of categories in a row below the title.
- Each player thinks of three answers for each category, and writes them in a column under the category title.
- Player 2 then begins to draw a swirl or a zig zag on a separate piece of paper.
- Player 1 says "Stop", at a time he/she chooses after waiting at least 3 seconds, and player 2 stops and draws a line through the swirl from the endpoint to the starting point. They then count how many times the swirl intercepts the line drawn.
- Sometimes, player 2 will make tally marks instead of drawing a swirl. When player 1 says 'Stop', player 2 stops drawing marks and counts them.
- Player 1 or 2 counts each item down the page (starting with the MASH),and crosses off the answer that they land on. For instance, if four lines were counted in the swirl, every fourth answer is crossed off the list. This continues until there is only one item in each category. Each letter in the title is considered an answer and should be crossed off accordingly.
- The remaining items are considered to define the Player 1's future.
The answers in each category may be negative. For example, marrying someone player 1 does not like, or having something like a Yugo or a CBWW (Cardboard Box With Wheels) as a car. However some may be positive. For instance marrying someone the person does like or driving a Ferrari as a car.
- Goodwin, Majorie Harness (2008). The Hidden Life of Girls: Games of Stance, Status, and Exclusion. John Wiley & Sons. p. 260. ISBN 9781405178297. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
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