How to Play Identity Theft (Test your memory)

Identity Theft makes for a great icebreaker game because you’ll have to remember the names of the group you’re playing with. This group game combines the need to be quick and tests your memory as the game moves along.

While the mechanics of the game may feel confusing in the beginning, you’ll soon realize that it’s a fun group game that could provide you endless hours of fun.

Features of the Identity Theft Game

 ★  Game Name Identity Theft
 ★  Group size small and medium
 ★  Age teens and adults
 ★  Type active / stationary
 ★  Skill reaction / memory
 ★  Place indoor
 ★  Time up to 10 – 20 min
 ★  Preparation no
 ★  Materials yes (chairs)

The aim behind Identity Theft

In Identity Theft, your goal is to tag the person whose name has been called out. As the game progresses, this can get confusing because the player who has been tagged will be the volunteer in the middle and the volunteer will assume the identity of the person who originally sat in the chair.

Ideal Age and Group Sizes

Identity Theft is ideally played with groups of 5 to 10 people. This is a group game that may be difficult to play with large groups, so you may consider breaking up groups into smaller teams to play or have some spectators watch a group play instead.

You can play Identity Theft with anyone aged 12 and above. It may be difficult for small children to get the rules.

Preparation and Needed Materials

Identity Theft is a game that requires a chair for every player and a small, soft item for your volunteer to hold. This can range from anything like a book to a pillow or even a soft toy.

How to play Identity Theft

To play Identity Theft, you will have to arrange your chairs in a circle. Choose a volunteer to stand in the middle while you seat the other players. The volunteer will hold onto the soft item when the game begins.

Step 1: The volunteer will choose to tag any seated player by tapping the item on that player’s knee. Before they are tapped, the seated player must call out the name of someone else in the group. 

Step 2: When a name is called out, the volunteer will have to tap that person instead. This goes on until the volunteer manages to tag a player who did not call out another player’s name.

Step 3: The volunteer will switch places with the tagged player and assume the identity of the original player who was seated there. This new volunteer will now find another seated player to tag. Every player must continue to call out another name.

Step 4: If the new volunteer tags a person, this person will now be the volunteer. The 2nd volunteer will then assume the name of the player they have tagged.

This game will become more confusing as it progresses because you must remember the original names associated with the position of the chair and not the person who is sitting on it.

A sample gameplay of Identity Theft will look like this:

  • Assuming player X is the first volunteer (“It”), they must try to tag player Y.
  • Player Y will then call out player Z’s name.
  • If It successfully tags player Z, player X will now be called player Z.
  • The next time player Y calls out a name, they must say player Z’s name, even if the volunteer is player Z.
  • The volunteer (in this case, player Z) must then tag whoever is seated on the chair that had originally belonged to player Z – even if the person now sitting on the chair is player X.

Looking for something more simple? Check the Deathball game. The principle is the same but instead of a memory, all players will use a ball.