Rotten Tomatoes… and we’re not talking about bad produce.

posted on behalf of Hilary Finch

Are you looking for a fun way to mix up your staff meetings? Or perhaps a way for your team to connect by the virtual watercooler?

Introducing the Rotten Tomatoes game.

This has become a bit of an ongoing tradition at the Okanagan campus. Before we started working from home, our lunchroom was often visited by colleagues from Student Recruitment, the International Student Initiative, Marketing and Communications, Admissions and Awards, and Aboriginal Programs and Services. We used to play this on almost a weekly basis during our lunch hour. We are so committed that we even have a mock medal that is given to the winner, who is then responsible for scheduling the next round, and choosing the category/movies. It’s a big deal!

So, you’re probably wondering, how does this game work?

The person hosting the round will need to choose a category or topic. For example, movies about sports. They will then need to choose five different movies that fit into that category. For example, my list might look like this:

  1. Space Jam (1996)
  2. Remember the Titans (2000)
  3. Happy Gilmore (1996)
  4. The Sandlot (1993)
  5. Dodgeball (2004)

It’s always better for the host to choose the categories and the movies in advance, as that will give them time to look up the answers and have them ready for the game. Once the host has decided on the five movies, they will need to look them up individually on the Rotten Tomatoes website. You should see a screen that looks like the one below.

You will see two numbers. One is called the “Tomatometer” and the other is the “Audience Score”. You will need to record the number associated with the “Tomatometer”, which is how critics have rated the film. You’ll notice that the numbers will differ by a significant amount, so it’s important that you are looking at the right one.

Now, you may be wondering, “but Hilary, why wouldn’t we look at the Audience Score instead? Won’t that be easier?”. And to that I say yes, it will be easier, which is precisely the problem. The audience score is too predictable, so participants’ guesses will be a lot more accurate. The less challenging it is, the less fun it will be. So just trust me and stick with the critics’ rating.

You can play this game with as many or as few people as you want. Each player will need to have a pen and a piece of paper. They could also type their answers, but it just won’t be the same experience. As the host lists off each of the movies, each participant will be asked to write down their guess, but not to share with other players. They will need to guess what score the critics gave the film out of 100%. The host may want to set a time limit for how long participants have to record their answer – one or two minutes should be plenty of time. The host will then continue this process for each movie on the list, until people have listed their score for all five.

Once participants have locked in their guess for each of the fives movies, the host will then share the actual “Tomatometer” score. Participants should record this number directly next to their response for that movie. Once the host has provided all of the answers, participants will need to do a little bit of math to find the difference between their score and the critics’ score. They should record the difference next to each movie. Once they have all of their final numbers for each of the movies, participants will need to add all five of these final numbers together. The player with the lowest total wins the round! Below is an example of me losing three different rounds in a recent SRA Rotten Tomatoes game. I never said I was good at this!

The best part about this game is that there’s absolutely no skill or strategy involved. Other people (who have actually won before) may tell you otherwise, but don’t listen to them. It’s all about giving it your best shot and hoping it goes well! So give it a try and let me know how your team does!

Happy guessing everyone!

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