A Day at the Beach (Playmakers 05)

A Day at the Beach (Playmakers 05)

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A Day at the Beach (Playmakers 05)
Playmakers beach.jpg
Designer: Hide&Seek
Players: 30 - 45 (3 teams of 10 - 15 people)
Stuff required: 3 tripods, three basic Flip-type camcorders, 3 screens + linking cables, 3 flipcharts, marker pens, three towels, three beach balls, three fog-horns, three windbreaks, three buckets, three spades
Crew required: Four. One game leader and three scorers/paraphernalia distributors
Preparation: Four or five hours
Time required: An hour: 20 minutes playing + 20 minutes watching / scoring + explaining and regathering time
Place required: Any public space. A space with multiple levels & pedestrian access is ideal, eg Barbican, South Bank
Activities: Sneaking, filming, teamwork, sound
This is an untested game. Its rules are written, but it hasn't been tested out yet.
This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

A team game of stealth, surveillance and family holidays, designed as part of the Playmakers project. Work as a unit to manoeuvre your brightly-coloured video camera around the playspace, recording your joyful holiday (and the holidays of your enemies) - but watch out for the opposing teams: don't let them film your fun...

Instructions for Players

You will be placed in a family. Your family has a colour. Don a sun-hat of the appropriate colour and gather around your video camera, which will be the same bright colour.

Your family will be given a handout with a map of the gamespace and a list of targets: different fun holiday elements that you need to record. For example, a merry-go-round; an ice-cream seller; a family member frolicking with a beach ball. You will also receive a beach ball (deflated), wind breaks, towels, a bucket and spade, a fog-horn, and other paraphernalia of a beach holiday.

At the start of the game, all families start recording on their camera simultaneously. You will record continuously throughout the game.

Over the course of the game, you will need to film as many of the targets as possible, creating them if necessary - blowing up the beach ball, building a sandcastle. You need to film each target for 'five seconds', at the same time as 'sounding the fog-horn'. If you don't sound the fog-horn as the filming takes place, the target doesn't count - so be careful, because it might alert rival families to your location!

The game lasts 20 minutes. You must be back at base by the end of the game - we will deduct points for lateness, and anything you film after the end of the game will not count for points.

Once you have returned to base, you are safe: your opponents can not film you, and you can’t film them.

The videos that you shot are then played simultaneously on three screens. The videos are scored in real time, and families are encouraged to stick around to watch


  • 10 points for filming each of the holiday targets (for at least five seconds while sounding the foghorn)
  • 50 bonus points if you film every game object
  • 1 point per second that you film members of rival families
  • 3 points per second that you film a rival family's camera

(These points are not cumulative - you don’t get extra points for having three family members on screen, or a family member and their camera)

Instructions for the Gamerunner

Recce the gamespace well ahead of the day you're going to run the game, and take a lot of still photos of things that you think it would be interesting for players to have to film, plus some ideas for performative tasks they could carry out. Lay the best out on one side of A4, with the instructions and the map on the other.

Secure permission from whoever is in charge to have teams of 10-15 people moving around with tripods in tow - and brief your teams to be as quiet and respectful of the space as they need to be. Clearly there is more scope for charging and yelling in a big public park than there is in an arts centre.

The briefing / scoring area should be as quiet and enclosed as possible, ideally away from the public spaces of the game (a private room would be ideal).

Your three volunteers for scoring should ideally have played the game before, so recruit some veterans or playtest the game with them on the day. They should stand by the relevant screen, with a flipchart or clipboard and marker pens. Their decision is final re:scoring.

If you can, have someone with video editing software on hand - there's no time like the present to get those videos spilt screened and uploaded to Vimeo.


Instead of a foghorn, something that plays an ice-cream truck tune would work, with each team having a different tune.

If played in different locations, the holiday could be personalised to fit the location.