Given any two concepts, there is a path through at most two other concepts that leads from one to the other. I have never found two concepts that are separated by more than two intermediate concepts (i.e., 3 degrees). All connections must be close associations—see example below.
This game is useful as a warm-up to practice finding connections between distant concepts--a skill that is crucial for creativity. In fact, the dense interconnectedness of our mental network makes creativity possible. If our mental network was sparsely interconnected, we would not necessarily be able to bring two distant concepts into a close relationship.
Example: How can we get from brick to banana using just 2 (or 1) intermediate concepts? Here are 3 possible pathways.
Brick ____________ _____________ Banana
Solution #1: Brick Building Supermarket Banana
Bricks are used in making buildings. Supermarket is a type of building. Bananas are sold in supermarkets.
Solution #2: Brick Oven Bread Banana
Brick can be used to make an oven. Bread is a made in an oven. Bananas can be part of bread.
Solution #3: Brick Yellow Brick Road Yellow Banana
Brick is part of the Yellow Brick Road, which has the color yellow. Bananas are also yellow.
Pick any two random nouns--adjectives and verbs are too easy. Try these. They each have multiple pathways to get from one to the other.
Egg ____________ _____________ Tunnel
License ____________ _____________ Cabbage
Clock ____________ _____________ Lobster
Styrofoam ____________ _____________ Prayer