Your Shoes Are Stupid


A Game for Frenemies

Fall 2012


Corinne Taylor

Eric Blattberg

James Phillips

Gwynna Forgham-Thrift

Your Shoes Are Stupid is a game where four players must navigate a world of alliances, enemies, and goofy insults to achieve victory. The game was designed under the constraints of “special and ordinary roles” and “frustration.” In each round of the game, a player becomes the Frenemy, who is responsible for drawing three cards and distributing them to the other players. The Frenemy must use the three cards to either “insult” or “compliment” the players — along with an accompanying verbal insult or compliment — which sets the parameters for how the trades will occur.

To play, you’ll need

  • A standard 52-card deck of playing cards
  • 12 tokens
  • 4 Your Shoes are Stupid Player Mats (Optional, but freely available from THIS VERY WEB PAGE!)




Before beginning, players put three Cool Point tokens on the play mat in front of them. They also choose the first player to start off as the Frenemy. The game consists of a series of matches. The goal of each match is to make a 5-card straight. The game ends when one or fewer players has Cool Points remaining. If all players have lost all of their Cool Points, everyone loses.

A Match :

  1. The Frenemy shuffles the deck and then deals five cards to each player.
  2. The Frenemy puts his/her hand down and draws three new cards from the deck. These Status Cards are the insults and compliments that the Frenemy pays to the trading players. Cards that have a value Two through Nine are insult cards, and cards that have a value Ten through Ace are compliment cards.
  3. The Frenemy decides which players are complemented and which are insulted by distributing the Status Cards, one to each player. The card values should remain hidden, but the Frenemy must announce whether s/he is insulting or complimenting a player by paying them an actual insult or compliment
    1. A list of suggested insults and compliments are provided, if the Frenemy is unable/unwilling to create their own.
    2. If it is unclear whether a Frenemy’s statement is an insult or compliment, any player may request clarification.
  4. Once the compliments and insults have been paid, the Status Cards become part of the players’ hands and the trading begins, starting with the first Complimented Player to the Frenemy’s left. Only Complimented Players can initiate trades, unless all players have been insulted. Nobody can trade with the Frenemy.
  5. The roles of Complement and Insulted determine how players are able to trade with each other:
    1. Complemented/Complimented – When a Complemented Player trades with another Complemented Player, s/he makes a request of the second player. The second player has a chance to make a request in turn, and both players can refuse to trade at any time. Players may request a specific card value (eg. an Eight), two cards of disparate values (eg. an Eight or a King), or a card within a range of three (eg. an Eight through a Ten).
    2. Complemented/Insulted – When a Complemented Player initiates trade with an Insulted Player, s/he makes a demand of the other player. Players may demand a specific card value, two cards of disparate values, or a card within a range of three. The Insulted Player MUST give the Complemented Player one of the demanded cards, if s/he has them. In turn, the Complemented Player trades the Insulted player any card from their hand.
    3. Insulted/Insulted – This trade can only occur if all players are insulted. Each Insulted Players gets a chance to initiate a blind trade with the insulted player of their choosing. No Insulted Player is allowed to make a request/demand of another. They may trade any card from their hand.
  6. At the end of the trading round, the current Frenemy passes the deck to the player to their left, and that player becomes the next Frenemy, beginning again from step 2.
  7. After the end of the fourth trading round, all players lay their straights face up on the table. Players who made a straight of five cards are safe. Players that made a straight of four cards lose one Cool Point. Players who only made a straight of three cards or fewer lose two Cool Points. If every player makes a five-card straight, they all lose a Cool Point. Once a player loses all of their Cool Points, they become a ghost player. They continue to participate in the matches and trading rounds, but they don’t need to make straights and may attempt to help or hinder the “living” players as they see fit.
  8. A new match begins, with the last Frenemy from the previous match starting as the initial Frenemy of the new one.



Suggested Insults

  • Your shoes are stupid.
  • Your face is uglier than a bridge troll’s foot.
  • A whiff of your body odor is less pleasant than the smell of burning garbage.
  • You lack the critical thinking skills necessary to win this game of Your Shoes Are Stupid. Also, your shoes are stupid.

Suggested Compliments

  • Your shoes are cool.
  • Your face is good.
  • You are quite intelligent.
  • The aesthetics of your outfit are pleasing to me.