Friday, June 15, 2012

Let the Games begin!

(aka Part 2 of HPLD's events based on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins) (read part 1 here)

The next day us Gamemakers showed up bright and early to set up the cornucopia, catalog sponsor gifts, and make sure the arena was ready. The weather was gorgeous, a perfect 72 degrees, and only a few clouds in the sky. We couldn't have asked for a better day.
The tributes arrived at the arena dressed in full uniform. After reading through the rules and handing out of the survival packs, we positioned them around the cornucopia. One blast from the air horn, and they were off!

Basically, each kid got 5 clothespins with their numbers written on them. To get a "kill" you would either take another tribute's pin, or hit them in the "kill zone" with one of the weapons. (Think of the pins as lives in a video game.) You could only take one pin at a time, though. The Gamemakers were also walking around with extra pins, which we gave out for showing off survival skills, answering trivia, or just for being a part of an amusing or epic moment. Dying didn't mean you were out of the fun, either. If you had all of your pins taken away, you were to report to the Gamemakers, who gave you the option of returning to the game as a "mutt," which gave you the freedom to cause havoc without the consequences of death. (Read a full explanation of the game, along with rules, here.)
Eventually we had to condense the playing space to just the clearing that the cornucopia was in. (queue epic battle montage music)
The whole thing ended spectacularly when the last three remaining tributes stormed the Gamemaker's seats, yelling "uprising!" From what they told us later, they had all decided to do this from the very start. Personally, I don't think it gets much more awesome than that.
All in all, I'd say the program was a fantastic success. "Next time you should make it last three days" was the comment we got from more than one participant, so apparently the teens agreed.


Though this day was for the teens, I did learn one valuable piece of advice that could one day save you from the zombies: foam noodles can make amazing weapons. Stay safe... and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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