Seumugogae

Seumugogae

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts > Folk Games

Writer LeeSangho(李相昊)

A game using questions to find out an answer by using only 20 questions.

Seumugogae (literally meaning “20 hills;” also known as Twenty Questions) requires a type of thinking based on deductive reasoning. Although the time of its inception is unknown, what is certain is that it was introduced from other countries. The game precedes in a way that one player thinks of a target answer and others attempt to guess the answer. For example, if the answer is “rabbit, ” people who need to figure out the answer by asking questions, such as, “Is it a plant?”, “Is it an animal?”, “Is it alive?”, or “Does it live in the ocean?” The player determining the target answer replies with a “Yes” or “No.” Since one question is regarded as one “hill, ” players should find the answer within 20 “hills, ” while the only clues provided are through yes or no answers.

At the end of the Joseon Period, new games were introduced to Korea from various cultures, which included Towel Passing and Bingo, while Seumugogae, or Twenty Questions, ended up being among them. However, Seumugogae was able to gain such significant traction thanks its natural application in the classroom. In other words, it is built upon the student-teacher relationship that already exists in schools. Despite its western origin, it is now regarded as a “Koreanized” game. The reason is based on the fact that the name of the game has changed to that of Seumugogae, using the word “hill, ” which implies a difficulty of passing.

Seumugogae

Seumugogae
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts > Folk Games

Writer LeeSangho(李相昊)

A game using questions to find out an answer by using only 20 questions.

Seumugogae (literally meaning “20 hills;” also known as Twenty Questions) requires a type of thinking based on deductive reasoning. Although the time of its inception is unknown, what is certain is that it was introduced from other countries. The game precedes in a way that one player thinks of a target answer and others attempt to guess the answer. For example, if the answer is “rabbit, ” people who need to figure out the answer by asking questions, such as, “Is it a plant?”, “Is it an animal?”, “Is it alive?”, or “Does it live in the ocean?” The player determining the target answer replies with a “Yes” or “No.” Since one question is regarded as one “hill, ” players should find the answer within 20 “hills, ” while the only clues provided are through yes or no answers.

At the end of the Joseon Period, new games were introduced to Korea from various cultures, which included Towel Passing and Bingo, while Seumugogae, or Twenty Questions, ended up being among them. However, Seumugogae was able to gain such significant traction thanks its natural application in the classroom. In other words, it is built upon the student-teacher relationship that already exists in schools. Despite its western origin, it is now regarded as a “Koreanized” game. The reason is based on the fact that the name of the game has changed to that of Seumugogae, using the word “hill, ” which implies a difficulty of passing.