May 30th, 2007 12:00 PM
My experience of Journey to the end of the night began the day after my return to London from foreign climates. Mouse invited me to be a part of the group organizing the game. So, I meet Mouse in London, by the BFI and off we go, trekking around London scouting out possible locations for the checkpoints. This took us nearly 4 hours but it was great fun trying to double guess potential players and trying to find where we should place chasers or routes that would create bottlenecks and killing fields. And that was that until the day of the game.
The game came round and we, the chasers, were briefed and put in our positions ready to start. The highlight of this part was marching past the queuing players trying to look as menacing as possible. I have a feeling we failed miserably seen as many giggles came our way. And then I waited and waited and waited. The players were taking it slow and many weren’t taking their decisions that seriously yet thus were not going down the triple guess root. They were in fact going in the most obvious route possible which naturally we weren’t prepared for. I did see a few players though.
I waited, peeking at them from around a pillar until they got closer. And then I pounced! And they froze! Shit … here I am running full pelt at a group of frozen players who, if im being honest, I didnt want to catch yet. That would have just spoilt the game for them. What the hell do I do!?! Luckily a bit of shouting managed to get rid of their ‘caught in the headlights syndrome’. They scattered and I fulfilled my task of splitting up friends, spouses or whatever they were. So, back to waiting. A few more minutes and I got another small group my way. Guess what. The same thing happened! I think I might have to work on my scary face or something. After this I moved onto The Third checkpoint and yet again waited. What was reassuring about this place though was that it seemed like every designated chaser was there and no one had passed through the checkpoint yet. So an ambush was guarantied no mater how long we had to wait.
And was it an ambush and a half!! I aloud myself to start the ‘killing’ now and my god was it fun!!! I did get some very dodgy looks from the general public though. Especially when I chased a teenage girl around the block (She was playing… I don’t actually belong in prison). Even better expressions came about when we started to have a civilized conversation after I managed to catch her. We began to debate whether she could legitimately go for a drink with her friends even though she was now a catcher (note that we are in England and drink is a part of everything we do, even city wide tag). I thought that the game has good heartedness at its core and therefore couldn’t see the problem with her joining her friends. All that was needed was a gentleman’s agreement and that was it.
The ambush continued and I caught another two players, I did let one of them go though seen as he was SOOOO close to the safe zone. Hey, it’s not about my tally is it, it’s about the punters having fun.
I then decided to move on to the second to last check point, which was Hyde Park. The mother of all killing fields, made even scarier by the fact that it was pitch-black!! This was great, a bit inactive at parts, but truly outstanding in others. Highlights included:
• Running into a tree.
• Discovering a ‘cruising’ ground.
• Avoiding said ‘cruising ground’ like the plague.
• Not being able to tell if people were players or public until the very last moment.
o This caused one great moment when three of us realised when we were about a foot away from each other and ended up in a pile. But a pile involves contact, so by my book they were caught.
The game started to wind down here, so we chilled out at the checkpoint and staged the chaser/player handshake.
And then I went for a drink!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!