Erica Marx

Chemical Reaction

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Based on the improv game Convergence. Players choose a word that 'fits' between or combines qualities of 2 random words and then both players rename to the new word. For example, egg + flour = cake (both players rename to cake). Pairs are randomly moved in and out of 2-3 person breakout rooms to repeat the process.

How to run on Zoom

1. Teach how to rename on Zoom

2. Send pairs randomly into breakout rooms for 1 min (groups of 3 okay). Their job is to come up with a one word team name. To make this easier you can give instructions like 'use your backgrounds for inspiration' or prime this part by having them already changed their screen names to a prompt (your favorite month, the last thing you ate, etc.) 

Instruct them to rename themselves before they come back or if renaming is going to be a technical challenge, do the renaming step in the main session. 

3. Demo how to play in the main session. Make sure people understand they are picking a new word (or 2), not simply renaming to both words. 

4. Host creates new random breakout rooms of 2 (3 if needed) and sends people in for 1 min. In that 1 min they have to come up with a word that combines their 2 words/qualities and both rename themselves to that word. 

5. Return to main session, keep repeating as many times as is fun. 

6. To close there are many options...

  • Send back to the same breakout room and have the players create a 'secret handshake' (2-3 moves using the full Zoom screen) that they do whenever they find themselves in the same zoom room for the duration of the call. 

  • You can debrief the game play itself. What was fun? What was challenging? What did your partner do that helped? What changed over the course of the game? What skill did you use to play this? Where does that skill show up in your work? What could you learn from this experience? 

  • They could be sent into rooms to discuss how whatever name they ended with relates to X topic that you're working with (ala perfect metaphor)

When we first created this game we did it where people moved themselves between breakout rooms. People would end up in small groups which slowed down game play so we introduced the rule that if more than 3 people showed up in a room the room 'blew up' and everyone had to leave. Another version was having 1 or 2 'sharks' (players with a shark snapchat filter) who would run around between rooms and if you ended up in a room with the shark then everyone had to flee the room. The way it is described above is a much more controlled version of this activity and probably works better for most groups because there are less variables & tech to navigate for participants. 


Inspired by the improv game Convergence where 2 people each say a word at the same time and the goal is to both say the same word the next time.

Zoom version co-created by Erica Marx & Mallory Penney and friends during the Applied Improv Network open space sessions. 

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Online Events Production & Facilitation
Bringing the magic of in-person events to the virtual space and building real relationships. Everything from design to technical production, we'll make it fun and take away the stress!

Erica Marx
+ 1 (607) 269 - 7401 (USA)

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