Posted on September 11, 2011


A 7-minute story game of speculative history

For this game, you’ll need:

  • 3 people
  • 3 notecards and pencils
  • A timer

In this game, you play the 3-man crew that hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 on Sept. 11th. You are already deep in the midst of your mission to slam the plane into the north tower of the World Trade Center. The game will last 7 minutes, and at the end we’ll know: Did you follow your orders and run the plane into the tower, or didn’t you?

The rules of the game are:

1. You portray a fictional character.
2. Whenever you speak as your character, that’s what your character says.
3. Whenever you describe what your character is doing, that’s what he does.


Now, each person choose a character and write them on your card. Write down your answers to the questions, as well.

The Ringleader, Mohamed Moqed

  • Why do you follow orders?
  • One of your crew members knew about the nature of today’s attack from the beginning. Who was it?
  • The other crew member wasn’t supposed to know–he thought you were going to ransom the passengers. He just found out the truth, though: how did he?

The Pilot, Waleed al-Omari

  • Why do you follow orders?
  • Why do you love the Ringleader?
  • You can see New York approaching through the cockpit windshield as you grip the controls. Your hands–are they sweaty or steady?

The Security, Abdulaziz al-Shehri

  • Why do you follow orders?
  • Why do you hate the Ringleader?
  • How did you secure the cockpit?

Next, everyone reads the answers to their questions out loud. The Ringleader goes last, and the answer to his last question (“How did he find out?”) will set the scene, like a movie, for what happens.


Set the timer to 7 minutes, and go. Ringleader, keep your eye on the timer.

Everyone, play according to the rules of the game mentioned above, plus two more rules:

4. If you want to stop another character from doing something, you can, but you have to get the third character to back you up, to unite with you in what you’re trying to stop. Say what you’re trying to do: what you’re stopping and how. Then pointedly look at the player you want to back you up. What they do then is up to them.

5. If two characters are in agreement about what they want to do, it happens and cannot be stopped.

The End

Once there’s 1 minute left on the timer, the north tower of the World Trade Center is approaching, fast. This is the last split-second to make a decision. At this point, if he hasn’t already, the Ringleader must give a direct order about the mission, one way or the other. Fly the plane into the tower, or don’t. What the other characters do with this order is up to them.

If time runs out and no clear decision is made about the mission, then it’s too late. The plane has crashed into the tower. The Ringleader says how this happens.


If you have not crashed the plane into the tower, after the decisive moment, each character can say one sentence. Start with the player on the Ringleader’s left and go clockwise.

If you have crashed the plane into the tower, you cannot say anything. You are dead.

(this is a hack of a game I wrote called Enola Gay.)

Posted in: Game Drafts