Banner for BAG
Release Date: 
Friday, July 15, 2005
PDF icon Tiles for BAG1.52 MB
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Play Duration (experienced): 
Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Minimum Age: 

by Jeremy Bushnell and Jonathan Leistiko


Form a lattice of interlocking meme strings.

You Need.

  • A set of BAG tiles. You can download, print, and cut apart our starter BAG tile set. We strongly recommend creating your own set or customizing the starter set. Just glue snippets from magazines onto the backs of the starter set tiles and trim the clipping to fit the tile.
  • A bag or other opaque container.
  • A flat surface to play on.

Setting Up

Put the tiles in a bag or other opaque container. Shake the bag to assure randomness. Let each player draw a hand of seven tiles. Keep your tiles private.

Choose a player to go first.


Examine your tiles. Try to find a theme or concept that two or more of them share. A theme could be a shared color, circular shapes, things related to government, things you find outside, or things used by an electrician.

One you’ve found a theme for one or more of your tiles, lay them in the play area. If tiles are already in play, the tiles you play must intersect one or more of them.

Draw one tile for every tile you played. Score one point for every tile in each meme-string you added to or created. Play passes to the left.

EDIT (July 14, 2005):
Matt Stephans, (Owner, Competition Unlimited asked:
‘When playing my tiles, do I declare their grouping, or is the group guessing or able to assign their own meme to them?’

Good point. We’ve played both ways. Starting out, I’d recommend playing with declarations. Once everyone understands the way BAG plays, I’d recommend not making a declaration, but allowing any other player to “challenge” your meme string. If challenged, you must say what your binding theme is. If you have none, or the group deems it invalid, you must take the tiles back (plus one more as a penalty). If your binding theme passes, the challenger must take a penalty tile and pass his or her next turn.


The first player with 21 points wins


Training – Replace the rules for Play with the following: Any time you play a tile, draw a tile. If there are no tiles on the table, play a tile. Otherwise, play a tile from your hand to start or continue the line of tiles in play. Tell the other players what all of the tiles in play have in common. What you state must be as specific or more specific than what the player before you announced. If the other players don’t accept your answer, or if you choose not to play on the line, move the tiles in play to your score pile. This ends the round. Play a tile from your hand to the table to start the next round. Play passes to the left.

Replace the rules for Winning with the following: The game ends once a number of rounds equal to the number of players times two have been played through. Tally the number of tiles in your score pile. The player with the lowest score wins.

Origin and Credits

Jeremy and I made the first BAG set many, many years ago, back in 1989 if I’m not mistaken. The original set was painstakingly collaged together by hand, from clippings gathered from many different magazines which we glued to little one-inch squares of thin cardboard. Every tile had a clipping attached to both faces. I don’t recall who has that particular set now.

Unedited as of July 14th, 2005.