You Are What You Play

Cadavre Exquis

Mind & Paper Game

Name of Game:

Cadavre Exquis

Exquisite Corpses

Translation into English:


Mind and Paper

Country of Origin:

Unknown, but some link it to the surrealists in Paris and André Breton- but probably much older

How many players?:




Where is it played?:

Where the number of people can sit comfortably in a circle - inside or outside


● Everybody has a sheet of paper and a pencil


● The paper is folder into three parts- a top, middle and bottom- roughly equal.


● On the top part of the paper everybody draws a head, in any way they life from naturalistic to monstrous, human, animal or imagined. 5 minutes.


● When finished everyone folds the top of the paper over so that only the bottom millimetres, (the neck, or base of head) can be seen.


● They pass it to the person on their left and receive one from their right.


● On the paper they have just received they now draw the body (but not the legs) on the next section down, joining it to the few millimetres visible from what has already been drawn. Again, the imagination can be used in any way to make a body. 5 minutes.


● Again, they fold the paper to hide everything drawn so far, leaving just a few millimetres showing - and pass it to the left.


● Now everyone draws the leg(s) of the body, linked to the visible part- use the imagination. 5 minutes.


● Finally, create and write a name for the picture, still without seeing the whole things- and pass it to the left.


● Participants now open the paper they have just received, see the whole creature and one by one they present it to the others, adding whatever character/story details they wish to.

How to play:

Paper and pencil

Materials Needed:

Aim of game:

To create wonderful, and unexpected, creature drawings- exercising the imagination and having fun.

How does it End?:

When everyone has introduced the ‘exquisite corpse’ they are holding

Average time needed to play:

15 minutes, but could be more complex and longer

Age Range:

5+ great with adults


Who Introduced us to it?: