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ICA run

This game ran at the Sandpit at the ICA, in February, being played along half of the Mall, and taking in Pall Mall and Trafalgar Square (you can see the exact area on the map handout). The game ran for 40 minutes. It was dark by the start of the game, but the area was fairly well lit, and any disadvantage of the darkness was countered by the streets being fairly quiet.

I decided to try variable sizes of cash reward per celebrity, to give the players some interesting decisions; in practice this wasn't actually very interesting, as they could only really encounter celebrities at random, and it was usually worth sticking around for their dark secret. When I run this again, I think I'll cut the rewards down to 1000/1000/3000 across the board, for ease of scoring.

The players did surprisingly well, working only from mugshots of the celebrities they were looking for - halfway through the game I was thinking I should have given descriptions of what the actors had worn on the night, but it looked like most teams did fine without that.

I hovered around the starting point for most of the game, and offered clues to any players who asked for them - this would probably be worth formalising, either by giving out clues to anyone who returns to base after the first ten minutes, or by giving players a phone number they can call for the latest tipoffs.

The celebrity actors had some interesting feedback, a lot of it being how unnerving the experience became when they were being hounded by four or five unstoppable paparazzi. Running it again, I'd make it clearer to the actors that they'd be free to quit the game if they became uncomfortable, simply by leaving the playing area until the game was over. --Kevan (talk) 2009-04-16 13:14:01


Is it worth writing up the variant where there's an opposing team of 'bodyguards' armed with bright halogen lanterns to dazzle would-be paps? --benhenley (talk) 2009-06-15 13:07:37

Feel free to explain it in this forum thread, but I think it's a bit too off-theme to be worth adding to the game. It might be interesting to have bodyguards in a more realistic, lower tech way, though (if only for one or two celebrities) - simple, aggressive goons who just block shots, shout warnings and delay photographers by demanding to see the photos and delete any of their employer. --Kevan (talk) 2009-06-15 13:12:25

Anonymous celebrities?

We're planning a game of Paparazzi for September 4th in Boise, Idaho (USA), which I'll be running. It's my first time hosting a pervasive game, and I hope for many more! (My website, for reference, is )

A question: I have my Celebrities already lined up, but I wonder -- is it better for them to remain anonymous until the game starts? That is to say, should they refrain from telling their friends (or whoever will be playing at Paparazzi) that they're playing a Celebrity? --Zefareu (talk) 2010-08-05 23:03:40

Great to hear it. Do you want me to list it on the Events page, or is it a private game?

Secret celebrity identities don't make any difference, so long as your actors have the chance to sneak away to their starting locations without being followed. Which should be fine, if you're spending five minutes explaining the game to a stationary group of players. --Kevan (talk) 2010-08-06 15:58:31

Kevan -- It's a public game, so yes, you could certainly list it. Thanks for the tips! --Zefareu (talk) 2010-08-06 22:24:05

2009 Weekender

And oh, looks like I never wrote up the report from the 2009 Hide&Seek Weekender (which is where the photos on the rule page come from) - I ran it there with the straight £1000/£1000/£3000, and it worked fine. I also did the optional thing of giving out my phone number as a "newsdesk" that players could call for hints, and it felt like it was making a difference (I had one actor call in and say that nobody had spotted him, so could easily direct the next few players who called in). --Kevan (talk) 2010-08-06 16:09:28