The Most Dangerous Games: El Juego Del Libro Rojo, Or The Red Book Game

Previously: The Dark Music Ritual.

This is one of those times that I really wish I’d studied Spanish as a foreign language in school: I’ve been unable to verify the history of this one because of the language barrier. (Latin and French will only take you so far.) That said, when you search “El Juego Del Libro Rojo,” many, many more results pop up than when you search “The Red Book Game,” so even though I’ve been unable to read these results without the (rather imperfect) aid of Google Translate, I feel reasonably secure in saying that, yes, it probably does in fact originate from Spanish-speaking countries.

According to one source, El Juego Del Libro Rojo is specifically a South American thing; South America is a big continent, though, so I don’t know whether it’s a regional game or not. Additionally, other sources cite is as being played primarily in Mexico, so reports are conflicting. In any event, its closest analogue for English-speaking readers is probably the Ouiji Board, or maybe Charlie, Charlie — that is, it’s a divination game, wherein players consult an otherworldly power for information about… pretty much whatever you feel like asking.

Be warned, though: Information doesn’t always come free.

As always… well, you know how it goes.

Players:

  • At least two participants.

Requirements:

  • One book. The book must be hardcover, and the cover must be red. There should be no pictures, photographs, or other images in its pages — its contents must consist of words only.
  • At least one candle. The candle must be red.
  • Matches or a lighter.
  • A quiet room.
  • A question.

Instructions:

The Preface:

  1. Go into your quiet room.
  2. Draw the curtains and turn off the lights.
  3. Sit in a circle with the other participants. Place the candle(s) in the middle of the circle. Light them.
  4. Close your eyes. Place the palm of your hand on the book’s cover. Ask the following question aloud: “Red Book, may I enter your game?”
  5. Keep your eyes closed. Open the book to a random page. Place your finger on a random spot on the page.
  6. Open your eyes. Read the sentence your finger has landed on. This is your answer — although you must interpret it correctly to proceed.
    • If the answer is negative or nonsensical: Contact has not been made. Do not proceed. Try again.
    • If the answer is positive: You may proceed.
  7. Each player must ask for and receive permission to enter the game.

The Rising Action:

  1. Close your eyes. Place your palm on the book’s cover. Ask your question. Speak it aloud.
  2. Keep your eyes closed. Open the book to a random page. Place your finger on a random spot on the page.
  3. Open your eyes. Read the sentence your finger has landed on. This is your answer — whatever you interpret it to mean.
  4. Pass the book round. Each player who wishes to ask a question must close their eyes, place the palm of their hand on the book’s cover, ask their question aloud, open the book to a random page, and place their finger on a random spot on the page. The sentence the asker’s finger lands on will always be the answer to the question, although the interpretation is up to the askers themselves.

The Epilogue:

  1. When all the questions have been asked and answered, close your eyes and place your palm on the book once more. Ask aloud, “Red Book, may I leave your game?”
  2. Keep your eyes closed. Open the book to a random page. Place your finger on a random spot on the page.
  3. Open your eyes. Read the sentence your finger has landed on. This is your answer.
    • If the answer is negative or nonsensical: You do not have permission to leave the game. Try again.
    • If the answer is positive: You may leave the game.
  4. Each player must ask for and receive permission to leave the game.
  5. When all permissions have been acquired, close the book. Extinguish the candles. Open the curtains. And lastly, turn on the lights.

Additional Notes:

There is no specific starting time; however, the room should be as dark as possible without the candles lit, so it is advisable to begin at night.

No questions are officially “off limits”; however, it is not advisable to ask anything that might anger your correspondent. It is also not advisable to ask about your own death. Some things are better left unknown.

Concerning Permissions:

Do not begin asking questions or leave the game without asking for and receiving permission first. To do so is… unwise.

[Photo via Jo Naylor/Flickr]

 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “The Most Dangerous Games: El Juego Del Libro Rojo, Or The Red Book Game

  1. I googled around a bit and it doesn’t look like the origins of this game probably go back more than about 4 years. I’ve lived in Mexico for 20+ years and have never heard of it before. Spanish is my first language, so if there’s any particular pages or videos you’d like help translating, I’d be glad to oblige.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s