Journey to the End of the Night Halloween 2009

Filed Under Events, SF Bay Area, Video | 2009-11-03, 17:39

The Halloween edition of sf0’s “Journey to the End of the Night” had a massive turn out. Well over 600 people showed up to play. There isn’t a final count as we ran out of waivers and maps for everyone and only 600 of those were printed. But regardless of the limitations, the getting kicked out of venues, and other hiccups, everyone had a great time. And I have to point out the best description of the event (via ombwah): At one point whilst ombwah was pouncing on a fleeing rabbit. A police officer asked me.. ” whats this, a Jump into the street and Die game?

Rather than playing in this dangerous game of dodge traffic and chasers, I spent the evening being one of those chasers to dodge and helping out at Checkpoint 3 (yes the one where we got kicked out of the garage). What follows is my proof submitted to sf0 (photos are also up on flickr as usual):

My evening started late as I scrambled to turn a briefcase into a backpack using only climbing rope and a carabiner. Success finally and I jumped on my bike to race down to Justin Herman Plaza, where a small group of eager players was already forming 30 minutes prior to the actual meeting time. I rolled around the corner to meet up with my fellow chasers. We were briefed, tied on pink ribbons, made plans and then disappeared into the night to stake out good places to ambush players.

Dressed in my white slacks, white jacket, and baby blue t-shirt I looked like an old vice squad officer on vacation from Miami. The nondescript black briefcase that looked like it could be either holding drugs, large sums of money, or divorce papers was a nice addition. Inside the briefcase was 2kg of candy, a pink ribbon, and a video camera. The plan was to pop open the briefcase in front of players and watch them scatter. That was the plan at least.

I locked up my bike and started wandering the streets, briefcase in tow. The first few players I encountered didn’t quite get it. I popped the briefcase, asked if they wanted any candy, they said “no thanks” and just continued walking to Checkpoint 1. One player did go for the offer of candy. After asking about any illegal additives, he reached into the briefcase, brushing the pink ribbon aside, grabbed some candy, said “thanks” and continued on to Checkpoint 1. Absolute failure.

I gave up on the briefcase ploy, tied the ribbon around my arm and just started yelling at people. The bus stop on the corner of the block was packed with people, every single one of them keeping an eye on me once my identity was known. There were many looks of confusions, often followed by a quick sprint away from me from other players. It seems that many of them either weren’t listening when the game was explained or didn’t see my chaser ribbon as I stood in the middle of a crosswalk, players streaming by each side of me as I yelled “I could tag every single one of you right now”. Fortunately for them I didn’t have the heart to tag someone only a few blocks from the start of their journey.

After feeling like Moses in a crosswalk, I decided visibility was what I needed. That meant more ribbons that would make it obvious that I was a chaser. After a 15 minute hunt for my misplaced bike, I headed back to the plaza to grab a handful of chaser ribbons from Sam. I affixed them to every part of my body and headed back out into the night.

I spent some time biking north of Market, and west of Checkpoint 5, hoping I’d run into those players that thought they were being sneaky taking a long way around to different checkpoints. Nope, either I was too far ahead of the pack, or they were taking more direct routes. I headed over to Checkpoint 3 to give them a hand.

While dismounting from my bike in the safe zone of Checkpoint 3, I saw a player approaching. I feinted as if I were going to give chase and he scrambled. Carrying my bike, I half-chased him down the block. He screamed “I’m in a safe zone!” to which I yelled back “Then why are you running?!” Light bulb went off, he stopped and I directed him to Checkpoint 3.

Up on the roof of the parking garage I found two agents pulling players aside, whispering questions to them and then zip-tying bells to their ankles and shows. As I attempted to figure out what in the world was going on, the parking garage security guy came up and told us we couldn’t use the 9th floor of the parking garage. Long story made short, security kicked us out and we setup shop on the sidewalk in front of the entrance to the garage. They were cool with this. The one security guy even stood at the doors and helped direct confused players to the line we had going.

Boy was there a line. At on point there were so many players in like that we had to give up asking questions and just started zip-tying ankles, one after another. I have no idea what 30-40 of the players that came through Checkpoint 3 looked like, but I could probably identify them by their footwear. I spent the next couple of hours at Checkpoint 3, watching as friends, familiar faces, and complete strangers came to get their manifests “signed” with a zip tied bell or the occasional sparkly pipe cleaner.

Then it was off to Noisebridge for the after-party where some players had already arrived after traversing the entire course in about 2 hours.

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Journey to the End of the Night

Filed Under Events, Personal, SF Bay Area | 2009-06-23, 10:00

Journey to the End of the Night is near and dear to me as it became one of the catalysts that convinced me to move to San Francisco when I played in the first game in 2006. I was living in Chicago at the time and realized that it was time for a change of scenery. I had always had this thought in my head that perhaps California was where I needed to be, and that San Francisco seemed like my kind of town. But I had never been to San Francisco, let alone California. So I booked a flight out to stay with a friend for a few days. Coincidentally the newly joined kind of weird but creative-inducing web game I had started playing ( announced it would be holding a street game that weekend I was in town! The evening was an excellent introduction to San Francisco, and while I started off the day saying “I’m thinking about moving to San Francisco”, I found myself definitively saying “I’m moving to San Francisco” while sitting on the beach in the early hours of the morning.

This year Journey was held in Oakland, which I figured would be an interesting break from the now familiar city of San Francisco. I would be thrown into an environment I wasn’t familiar with and that would be exciting. The result of 6hours and 12+ miles walking? Tons of exercise, an exploration of new and different places, engaging conversations with friends, seeing old faces, and a new found appreciation for Oakland. While I failed to write up a full account from the first Journey, this time I documented in excess. GPS tracking (open in Google Earth), videos, and photos as well as the full text of our evening. You can check out my proof at sf0: Journey to the End of the Night: Oakland by Rabbit (and if you’re a player, toss me some votes!)

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San Francisco Pie Fight!

Filed Under SF Bay Area | 2007-11-02, 18:15

Today Market St saw quite the mess at the Powell Cable Car turnaround. A Pie Fight erupted amidst the throngs of tourists. Mike Morris was able to get some good pics while dodging the pies.

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Remote Control Bus Stop Rave Flash Mob

Filed Under Pranks, SF Bay Area | 2007-09-17, 23:40

Oh sf0, you are responsible for so many great things (not to mention me moving to San Francisco). What’s the next best thing? Oh, a sequel to the great Remote Control Bus Stop Rave Flash Mob? You’ve got to be kidding me! I’ll be there!

No idea what I’m talking about? Here’s the video from the last one:

And here’s the task that was posted on sf0.
And here’s info for the one this Friday:

Greetings fellow humans!

This Friday, September 21, starting at 9PM, there will be a remote control bus stop rave flash mob. Someone set up a music rig (hidden in the eaves of the bus stop) that goes off when someone sits in the bus stop or walks in front of it. Join the mob, it will be fun. Watch this youtube video of a previous bus stop rave:

– Bus stop at the corner of Haight and Fillmore in SF (headed west)
CLICK HERE to see a map

– Friday, September 21, 9:00 PM

– When the music and lights start, go to the bus stop and dance.
– When the music stops, vacate the bus shelter,
– Be friendly to passer-bys and locals. Encourage them to dance.
. Eventually, as the night goes on and we all become more intoxicated, this will evolve from a flash mob into a more of a bus stop rave.

Bring your friends. It really is a lot of fun to party in bus stop that has its own sound system.

I give it 15 minutes, but dammit, those will be 15 good minutes of fun.