Game Alphabet Game

Played two or three times before
Played 20110522 Beth, Ian (Driver), Jane, John, Kyle, Peter, Richard, Solomon, Thuy-My, me
Alphabet Game

Relevant Links:
Alphabet Game (Wikipedia.org)

20110522:
This game is a fun game that helps pass time on the road. Sometimes it helps pass time, simply by putting participants to sleep.
Our game:
Cooperatively, we went through the letters of the alphabet, in order, and tried to find words we saw anywhere outside of our vehicle that started with the current letter. For the most part we were pretty relaxed about what was an acceptable answer.

Our list:
area
bus (MetroBus)
c?
d?
L'Enfant
food
guns
help
interstate
Jetta
key
left
Memorial
Netherlands
one
parkway
quality (gas)
Rockville
station
turn
unleaded
volunteer
Washington
x walk
yield
Zoës Kitchen

Comments:
The early game went really fast, especially since there were so many people in the car. The big stumbling block was Q. Though I had decided that if we were to see a "Q" word, that it would be "Quality." Second in my mind was "Queen" or "Queens." Wikipedia says "Queen, Quality, Quick (convenience stores), La Quinta inns."

During the game, someone suggested that instead of finding the words, to find objects that started with the words. I didn't think about it then, but at the moment I have the following thought: while this might make some letters easier, it would definitely make some letters harder. What starts with a Q or X? I suppose one could relax the rule to be words or objects.

At the very beginning, prior to starting this variant, one of the passengers played a variant whose aim was only to locate the letter, wherever it stands in the word.

The Wikipedia article has other rules and variants. The biggest rule difference was making the game a competitive one. In that situation, when the driver is competing, there are some rules in place for safety. In general, some of the ideas above can be added for faster play or to level the playing field. That is, when playing with kids, the adults can play the way we played, and the kids can just look for the letters, or get to also look for objects starting with the letters.

If someone keeps a list, then the competitive version can be played without having to go in alphabetical order. Unless, an adult is playing with kids, then the adult should go in order, but the kids can go out of order. Though perhaps two or three skips can be put into place. The Wikipedia article suggests the hard letters are Q, J, X, and Z. Perhaps an automatic skip can be put into place, where if a player can't find a letter for a certain number of minutes, then he/she may skip to the next one. The number of minutes before skipping can depend on the age of the player.