Imagine 8 people, around 24-26, book a 14 hour flight somewhere for vacation. They are seated in 2 rows of 4 seats in the middle of the plane, so there is no strangers in between any of them. It is also in economy so there is not that much space in between each seat. These 8 people prefer not to use the in flight entertainment or carry laptops/tablets onto a plane. Instead, they like to chat and play games with each other.


Based on the way they are seated, is there a game that allows all 8 people to play? If not, what about a game for each row to play ? There are 4 people in each row.

Thinking about standard card games like Crazy 8's or Uno wouldn't work because of passing of cards and the amount of time it takes for a game to finish. I am open to any answer as long as there is an explanation why you picked that game.


Didn't know there is no such thing as a 5 person middle isle. I change the number to 4 in a row therefore changing the total travelers to 8.

I don't necessarily agree with the "opinion based" flag since I am more concerned about games I can play in the confined space of the seating arrangement, and not "which games are best to play on a plane".

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    What kind of a plane has 5 seat rows? Usually's there either 4 or 6+ seats in a single row, not 5. – JonathanReez Jun 7 '16 at 14:28
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    You might want to add the requirement "doesn't drive the other passengers crazy" Most passengers on long hauls want to watch movies, work or sleep. A very active and chatty row or two can be fairly disruptive and the neighboring passengers may view this as being inconsiderate . – Hilmar Jun 7 '16 at 16:44
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    I spy.... something white and fluffy – CGCampbell Jun 7 '16 at 17:30
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    I take it that no one has done this at all – LampPost Jun 7 '16 at 18:32

There are a variety of games that can be played by passing pieces of paper around, which you could do quietly and discretely. A quick search for "pencil and paper games" or "paper passing games" indicates some that work with more than two players (or pair up and have a few games going at once). Some are more strictly "games" with an element of strategy, while others are entertaining activities with no particular winner. Some examples:

  • Consequences
  • Write your own Mad Libs and hand them to other passengers to fill out. Mainly done in pairs, but people could trade off filling in alternate words.
  • Paper Telephone
  • Telephone Pictionary
  • Three word story game (write a story where everyone contributes three words at a time)
  • Dots and Boxes (an actual game)
  • Walrus (you draw the things destroying the other things)

Some other ideas are listed on papg.com and this Reddit thread.

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  • The pencil and paper games flew over my head. I can do Scatterogies on the plane. Thanks for the insight! – LampPost Jun 7 '16 at 18:55

How about you play the game of meditation (here's a link from a quick google, if you insist on an app). Sit silently, breathe and focus on breath. Raise your levels of consciousness and everybody wins.

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Inspired by this question, I would suggest a physical alternative, like who can do the most pushups or who can hold the plank position for the longest time.

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    A group of 8 people doing pushups and planking on a plane are likely to be significantly disruptive of those around them. – Zach Lipton Jun 7 '16 at 23:28
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    @ZachLipton They should take turns. Most people will struggle to do more than 30 pushups and that takes just half a minute or so. – Count Iblis Jun 8 '16 at 5:02
  • A 14 hour flight is bad enough for personal hygeiene / body odour already without adding push-up competitions... – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 28 '16 at 10:27
  • @user568458 See here and here: "One hunter-gatherer community was found to not only have a higher diversity of bacteria, but only one in 1,500 suffered from an allergy - compared with one in three in the UK." and here. – Count Iblis Nov 28 '16 at 22:04

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