A Game for Developing Original Ideas

So one thing I struggle with at the moment and will likely continue to struggle with is coming up with new project/game ideas. I know not the only reason but my limited skill set is likely a factor to this.

It’s either I get this idea and then realize I won’t be able to complete it at the intended level or I can’t think of anything worthwhile that I could accomplish with my current skill set.

Enter this method I learned about the other day and seems to be a topic of conversation within certain circles.


This TED Talk by Shimpei Takahashi delves into his method of sparking creative thinking and making connections that could lead to good ideas. The method referred to as Shiritori, a Japanese word association game, can be used to accomplish the aforementioned results.

As Takahashi explains it:

What is Shiritori? Take apple, elephant and trumpet, for example. It’s a game where you take turns saying words that start with the last letter of the previous word. It’s the same in Japanese and English. You can play Shiritori as you like: “neko, kora, raibu, burashi,” etc, etc. [Cat, cola, concert, brush] Many random words will come out. You force those words to connect to what you want to think of and form ideas.”

I added one extra step to this and decided to use a random word generator to provide my first word and I added the rest by having the next word start with the last letter of the previous word. So I gave this a try and this was what I was able to come up with.

Saint –> Telephone –> Echo –> Obstacle –> Eye


Monarchy –> Yellow –> Wolf –> Fight –> Tea

I capped the list at five words, no nowhere was this a rule, it was something I decided for myself.

So I think this is great exercise to really get the brain working and thinking outside of the box and if I was to take my two results I am sure I could drill down further and develop something. Now in now way is this method saying that every result will be this great idea, you still have to do the work to link the different words and ideas jumbled around in your head it just makes the process a little easier provide a very basic level of structure.

Give it a try I would love to see what others are able to come up with.


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