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Dispatching the Dungeon Master » Blog Archive » Rehabilitation: Hide And Seek
Rehabilitation: Hide And Seek

Brendan, Kevan, Holly and I recently found ourselves, as part of a wider festival on a similar theme, playing a game loosely based on Hide and Seek, in which over a hundred participants worked through a series of checkpoints over about ten miles’ worth of the centre of London. It was great fun, although not very hide-and-seeky, and we later found out that the game was slightly rigged to ensure playability.

So far, so good; but later this year, the same people are planning another Come Out And Play festival in Amsterdam (of all places). Participating is definitely on the tiles, but more fun would be to come up with our own Hide-and-Seek-based game and see who we can sucker into playing it. If you read Brendan’s post, then you’ll be able to see that adherence to the classical concept of hide and seek can be as tenuous as you like; some of the games on offer when we played were more closely related to Assassins or your old-fashioned Treasure Hunt than Hide and Seek. The guiding concept actually appears to be that the game must be massive, pervasive, and urban; hiding and seeking are relatively optional.

Any ideas?

I’m currently obsessively convinced that this should somehow involve photography and lines of sight: having to photograph people, having to get in their photos, something like that. Making everyone wear a green hat and getting a point for each hat you get a photograph of, I don’t know.

One of the problems with this (as well as the obvious non-fleshed-out-ness) is the logistics of judging: I don’t know how we’d be able to check everyone’s photos on-site, and having an “er, we’ll go back to… London in a few days? And judge them then? Or something?” lag wouldn’t work. Shoot London did it over a couple of hours with a big paid staff and ten computers, which I suspect we won’t have.

I was considering a “paparazzi” game that would play out as a standard assassin game but with cameras; if each player is only given one or two targets, it’d be fairly quick to just check people’s cameras manually at the end.

Although if the rules were more complicated (”get photos of people in hats, and they all have differently coloured hatbands, so duplicates don’t count”), you could just pair people up randomly at the end and have them check each other’s, with the winners having their photos confirmed by the organiser.

Fun that if people are being photographed then “make sure you wear your hat at all times” is automatically more enforceable than “keep your ribbon visible” was in Journey to the End of the Night; “if someone takes a photo of you without a hat on you lose five points” or the like.

I like the photography theme! Although it’s made me think of a similar idea of Journey To…, except with the roles reversed - the game organisers become the hunted, and the players are the hunters. The players are given an idea of the routes that the organisers will take across the city, and the players have to take photographs of as many of the runners as they can.

A JFK-esque theme seems appropriate.

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