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February 07 2012

Anyone care for a game of Tall Card? Den of Geek examines the finest fictional card and boardgames in movies and TV...including Firefly.

"Now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily" Buffy did not make the list.

sure let me get my ship and crew
Sorry, the best made up game was Fizbin. Even if it wasn't made up to be real.
"Buffy did not make the list." Well, it wouldn't... D&D is really a thing that exists. :P
What? No kitten poker!? No spin-the-bottle in a frat house haunted by sexually repressed crybabies?
Didn't Jane Epsenson actually create and publish the official rules of Tall Card? I think they're gone now though... But still, it just goes to show the dedication writers put into the shows they really care about, not just with Firefly, but with all the other ones on this list.
That world domnination game in Never Say Never Again. I would love to play that.
I wanna know what Parrises squares is from Star Trek. I know it's very dangerous, and is played on elevated platforms with ion mallets.
Hehe, Fizbin! It's been so long since I've watched any old school Trek that I'd almost forgotten about that! I nearly bought myself the Franklin Mint 3D chess set after seeing it advertised in some Sunday magazine! Hard to believe that would have been back in 1994!
Dabo!

I love this link, thanks alexreager! I'm a big fan of board and card games, and these games all manage to be interesting or appealing in someway and really add flavor to the series (or films, etc.) they were part of all.

Any other favorites they forgot to mention? I feel there must be many more, but I can't think of many. "Carousel Hazard," the casino/drinking/card game in the beginning of Red Seas Under Red Skies, by Scott Lynch, is the only one that I can think of right now, but there must be many more. Perhaps in Douglas Adams? Or, now that I think of it, in Terry Pratchett - There must be some great games in the Discworld novels, right?
Not to veer too far off topic, but there are at least two fictional games mentioned in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series - the card game Cripple Mr Onion and the board game Thud - that were later provided with actual rules (and most likely commercialized as well) at the fans' insistence. Can't remember if they appeared in any of the TV adaptations, though.
Yeah, Fizbin was definitely the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this page.
Of course, Thud! Can't say I remember Cripple Mr Onion.

Just thought of Futurama's Virtual Virtual Skeeball (Amy: "Wow! I could swear I was really playing Virtual Skeeball!"), which is another fun one of these. (The 10 second gag is on Youtube here).
Dude Meister wrote:
Didn't Jane Epsenson actually create and publish the official rules of Tall Card?


Jane Espenson said in her DVD audio commentary for "Shindig" that the rules for the card game were put on the Fox "Firefly" site. However, the only thing that was put on the site back in 2002 were the script pages describing a little of what people were doing amid the dialog (which at that time had nothing like "Three. Dealer forced to claim the tall.").

"Shindig" shooting script, p. 21:

INT. SERENITY COMMON AREA / KITCHEN - NIGHT

SIMON, BOOK and Jayne play Chore poker. It looks like five
card draw, only instead of chips, they're playing for pieces
of paper. Each man has a collection of scraps in front of
him -- Simon has the least and Book the most. Simon shuffles.


Simon completes the deal. The three men study their cards.

BOOK
I'll take two.


This is different from the "Shindig" published script, p. 112-113:

INT. SERENITY COMMON AREA / KITCHEN - NIGHT

SIMON, BOOK and Jayne play Chore Poker (it's actually a variant of poker which we'll call tall card). It's played with small metal playing cards. And instead of chips, they're playing for pieces of paper. Each man has a collection of paper pieces in front of him -- Simon has the least and Book the most. Simon starts to deal.


Simon completes the deal, five cards to each. The three men study their cards.

Simon lays A SINGLE ROUND CARD FACE-UP on the table.

SIMON
(re: round card)
Tall card... Plums are tall.

BOOK
I'll take two.


And the rest is dialog that can be heard in the episode. That's it for the rules of tall card.

Note that the metal cards they used are actually Chinese Buddhist amulets for Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Guanshiyin, the Goddess of Mercy).

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