June 5th, 2007 2:26 AM
A London that felt more like…
a wild forest, with predator and prey,
A city under siege, where we had the opportunity to save it by reaching the end of the night.
Scared rats fleeing from an animal testing centre.
Sperm chasing the egg whilst having to evade a punctured condom- creating the ambiguity between capture and freedom.
A PARANOIA trip of epic proportions.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.
A group of friends having a serious laugh.
A truly romantic night out with friends.
This was eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.
- The play was all of the games played as a kid as the imagination returned back to the glory days.
- The city became big and scary again.
- The happiness, fear, sadness even (nostalgia), the humour.
- And the idea that you do forget, because life can make you forget and particularly make you forget the things you don’t want to.
I missed the big beginning, but as I live with Mouse, I had been anticipating the game long enough for me to imagine the beginning for myself. I then met up with three travellers on the way, before the first check point. The fact that I missed the opening speech was good for me in a way, because the three I was with always seemed aware of where it was likely that they would run into chaser and when they weren‘t, where as, I was on edge everywhere we went, convinced that whole of London was littered with runners and chasers, with no-one in between.
I imagine that many people will cover the specifics about the chase, with a detailed account of the whole evening. I would like to just write about my personal experience more broadly.
The chasers were ever present for me. They would always appear at a bus window that I had just jumped on in a panic. They would leap from tree tops, out the back of vans or hide on the underside of bridges waiting to ambush. Suddenly I was only able to trust those brandishing red arm bands as even every statue in London became alive and wanted to catch us as well. At the time of Journey to the End of the Night, David Gormely had just started erecting life size sculptures of himself all around London and every one gained a heartbeat and a hunter’s instinct. Without wanting to go philosophical, part of what these alternate reality games are for me, is about embracing what is already there. I was a fan of these sculptures anyway, but the game offered new ways of appreciating them; by being shit scared of them. This whole experience was created, because of the game, but was made a very personal experience by the very nature of utilising the player’s imagination which only they have full access to.
There is also a lot of discussion in London about getting Londoners to talk when on public transport and to get them to be more open generally. So in relation to that, this game went beyond expectations, every bus, every tube, and not every street, but many of the streets, were littered with like-minded runners spurning conversations that offered a generous helping hand or general banter.
It was also a huge chill out session with friends/ combined with a sight seeing tour of London. Having talked about the experience in terms of fear and exhilaration there were times on the buses or whilst walking in the pissing rain, when I got talking to a stranger or to a friend about things that grabbed me by the heart. Fascinating conversations.
For example, whilst running at what felt like a hundred miles an hour, suddenly getting talking to someone who also grew up, for part of their childhood in Kuwait. We used to eat at the same Wimpy and also both of us brought up as vegetarian.
And having an excuse to run in the rain was awesome.
Fun, funny, fucking scary, cold, wet, stealthy, romantic, shifty, new, dark, shadowy, fast, slow, achey, heavy (I had a huge backpack on- not advised, but on this occasion unavoidable), slippy, Dark stairwells, hiding, people’s front gardens, red phone box, my housemates voice on the phone, role play, running, walking, bus stops, red bands, the tube, expensive tube ticket, bemused bus drivers, helpful bus drivers, long way round, the river, Waterloo Bridge, living statues, Trafalgar square, Sky, clouds, stars, trenches, flooded gutters, wet teeshirt, wet hair, soggy socks, pavement, strange eyes, kissing the beach, sandy lips, a fallen drunk, hobo, Hyde park, sense of community, friendship, community, release, relaxation, stress, tension, discovery, journey, foreign friends, running, walking, play, tactics, banter, typical!!!
SADLY NO PHOTOS!!!