Pass it On, often abbreviated as PIO or P.I.O., is an unofficial player-created alternative style of game. It uses the phrase "Pass it On" or an abbreviation thereof, written on the end of a prompt to signal that other users are requested to copy the exact text of the panel within their own panel - that it to "pass on" the text. In descriptions, the passing on is done by writing "PIO" on the end of a prompt and in drawings, it's usually done by writing somewhere on the drawing, "X, P.I.O."

When successful, this ensures the game keeps the same prompt throughout, going against the usual premise of Drawception which is like the Telephone game. This makes it the subject of some controversy (see below).

Misunderstandings do happen sometimes in a P.I.O. game. This can happen if someone doesn't know what "P.I.O." stands for, they forget or run out of time to write "P.I.O.", someone didn't read the text, or they don't know what's meant to be passed on (for example, if it just has "pass it on" in the drawing with no clue as to what exactly gets passed on). Not writing "PIO" or similar in a Pass it On game can irk some players, but it's not considered a Derail unless they change the theme. It is also important to note that as an unofficial rule/mode, people should not necessarily expect everyone to play along by the same rules, although a lot of people will.

Styles of PIO concepts Edit

There are various types of PIO games that have different levels of acceptability.

"Your" PIOs Edit

The most permissible of PIOs, these are things that include a "your" element that makes the prompt depend differently on each artist in turn. These were amongst the first types of PIOs to catch on, and were typically more accepted because they allowed players to share an insight into their lives that would not otherwise be possible, as the concept of "your" is pretty much impossible to pass on in a normal drawing without text.

Examples: "Your favourite movie, PIO", "Your house, PIO", "Self Portrait, PIO"

Challenge PIOs Edit

These are challenges things like "Draw with your non-dominant hand" or "Use only X colours".

Free Draw PIOs Edit

Generally still considered quite acceptable, Free Draw PIOs let each artist draw whatever they want. There is some concern however that they can sometimes serve in place of a Drawfirst game, and are thus considered a cheap and cheated Drawfirst.

Interpretable Subject PIOsEdit

These are PIO subjects that are just a specific subject, but are wide enough to allow a range of individual interpretations within that category. These can often be things like whole franchises, or fairly generic subjects.

Examples: "Star Wars, PIO", "Dogs, PIO"

These are less well received than the "good" PIOs, but are still considered broad enough to allow for some interpretation.

Fixed Subject PIOs Edit

These are things where the subject is not really variable in any way. These are considered the most crass of PIOs, and are often seen as being an excuse to request free art about a specific subject or character. Examples might include "Yoda, PIO" or "Batman doing laundry, PIO"

While these are still permitted and tolerated, they are still very much frowned upon in many circles.


Because PIO goes against the original premise and spirit of the intended Picture Telephone Drawception games, it is a controversial subject, and the source of many forum debates and "drawma".

Individual views have been expressed on the subject ranging from extremes of "all PIOs are breaking the rules and should be flagged", to the opposite extreme of "PIOs are totally part of the game and anyone that doesn't like them should be flagged", with a whole range of intermediate views in the middle ground.

On the whole, the general consensus has gradually changed over time. Initially, there was a strong consensus that "Your" PIOs were "good" and were to be encouraged, whereas "bad" "specific subject, PIO" games were fairly universally frowned upon. Over time, as people got used to the idea, and as the audience changed, PIOs became more broadly accepted, and eventually reached a point where acceptance was being assumed and taken for granted, which led to an increase of insertions of PIO in normal games, and players that dropped PIOs started getting flagged. This triggered a resurgence in the anti-PIO movement, and the idea of PIOs being against the rules and flaggable gained some traction. After an incident with a like-begging PIO attracting enough negative attention for many panels being removed, Reed intervened by clarifying the official position. Since then, there have been fewer debates over the subject, although there is still disagreement evident.

Official viewEdit

Over time, the various controversies over PIO, especially those noted above, have necessitated an official stance from Reed, which has become increasingly more clarified as a result of various disputes.

Reed has said that he doesn't particularly like PIOs, but believes it's OK to respect the wishes of the game creator if they want to start a game with PIO.

However, adding PIO to a game that doesn't already have it is invalid, and should be flagged.

The opposite of this, panels that drop or ignore a PIO should be left alone, not flagged.

That still applies even if the PIO is intentionally dropped or misinterpreted. Reed considers intentionally dropping PIO to be "bad form"; but it is not flaggable.

Reed has stated that he was considering creating a new game mode to replace PIOs; this would be an all-drawings mode based around a single constant caption. It may run as either a "Gallery" mode, or as "Mini-contests", and it is expected that if it is released, PIO and other unofficial player-rules modes will be banned from regular games.

Reed has since created a new forum called Art Adventures which is intended to Reduce the amount of PIO games being made. Creators of PIO games are encouraged to use the art adventures forum instead of creating PIOs.

History Edit

The first PIO game was a free draw.