How to play the Pen Game

Revealing the trick to the game

The Pen game is a fun game to play with friends. Someone demonstrates the easy pen game action and those who are unenlightened in the class or among friends have to redo it exactly the same. If they don’t copy the demonstration exactly, they fail. Over and over again they fail to get the simple sentence correctly repeated, much to the delight of those who know the game’s simple secret.

It is hilarious to see students and friends fail and get frustrated. Once they figure it out they have to keep it secret from the others who still don’t understand it.

The trick behind the Pen game is to say “Okay” before saying the rest of the sentence: “Ok. I can play the pen game, can you play the pen game?”

The reason it’s so tricky is that the human brain doesn’t often identify these “filler” words. Cognitive neuroscientists say the brain uses context to pre-activate the memory areas that correspond and jumps to conclusions about what the next word or sound will be. This is why people can read garbled words in sentences and that’s why proofreading is so difficult; like Artificial Intelligence software correcting our typing, the brain auto-corrects what we hear and see.

So it takes some time for everyone to figure the trick of this game out.

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