At some point, age catches up to most of us and we realize that other people's genitals are way more interesting than tag or Monopoly. Notice we said "most of us." Some folks reject the whole notion of "grown up" priorities and instead dedicate their adult lives to monumental, insane versions of children's games that rival all but the most impressive and beatific of genitals.
Mouse Trap is a Rube Goldberg contraption disguised as a board game that chiefly exists to provide cheap and easy choking hazards. Mark Perez, a fungineer, thought that was silly -- he'd much rather produce "crushing hazards." So he started "hacking" the game by combining multiple sets into bigger and bigger traps until he eventually (as an adult) ended up with this:
"At this point, it's really a Mouseketeer Trap. Disney ordered three."
Perez spent a decade and a half of his life building a 25-ton version of the game that uses an actual bathtub instead of a plastic one, and a bowling ball instead of a little marble. This monumentally unstable beast actually manages to operate as intended, which is something we could never get the original plastic counterpart to do. You can see the ball going around the whole circuit, triggering all the different mechanisms ...
... just like in the game. Until it reaches the final basket drop. In this case, "cutely trapping some mice," has been replaced with "dropping a safe onto a car."
In unrelated news, police announce no progress in their search for the Jigsaw killer.
Perez and his troupe now tour the country showing off his creation. Since all that crap requires a lot of maintenance, the life-size mousetrap is funded through Kickstarter campaigns and fan donations. If our experience is any indication, a good chunk of that money goes towards replacing all the pieces that Perez's dog eats.
Tag doesn't end; it fizzles out when the kids either get bored, or it becomes apparent that the fattest kid is just going to stay "it" forever. One group of childhood friends kept the dream alive, however -- they're still playing the same epic game of tag today ... as 40-year-olds.
Yes, it goes on and on, my friend ...
The game started during a school recess in 1982 and just ... didn't end. It did pause for a seven-year break to allow the 10 players to go to college, start families and develop back problems, but they picked right back up where they left off afterward. To prevent the game from degenerating into the "bawdy spectacle of mayhem (...) into which it had deteriorated in June 1982," they all signed a Tag Participation Agreement laying down some rules: tags are only valid during February every year, whoever is "it" at the end of the month will make a donation to their dear prep school, and for Christ's sake, no tagbacks.
Other than that, anything goes -- from breaking and entering someone's house at 2 a.m., to hiding in the trunk of someone's car, to ambushing targets by dressing up as nuns, hobos, or elderly couples. Like this:
"Give this 10 more years and we won't even need the makeup."
One of the guys flies to Hawaii every February just to lower his chances of being "it," making him that kid who played hide-and-seek by going home to play Nintendo. Sure, you're technically "the winner," but you are also technically "a butthead." Anyway, we're looking forward to the inevitable Will Ferrell/Jack Black movie about this story.
No, seriously, they've already signed a deal to star in the film.
We'll be right back -- we have to type up a treatment for that one bitchin' game of hide-and-seek we played when we were 7. We hid in a dumbwaiter; it's going to win an Oscar.
Scrabble has lost a lot of its luster since the advent of the Internet. Now anyone can look up word definitions, which is practically cheating as far as we're concerned -- convincing your younger brother that an "exjiquary" is "a hotel for small birds with glaucoma" was half the fun. Back in 1998, though, the game was still all the rage, which might explain why England decided to celebrate Scrabble's 50th anniversary by holding a special match in the old Wembley Stadium. This place:
John Gichigi/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
If you scratch your monitor, you can smell the soccer hooliganism.
How do you get people to pack a stadium for what's basically a spelling contest with tiles? Why, by making those tiles unreasonably big, of course:
Enlarged by the RAF's Auror squadron.
A huge Scrabble game board was laid over a field that was usually reserved for soccer players and Queen fans. The board was equipped with 6.5-foot square tiles that were 1.3 feet deep, and the players were the English army and navy, though they did have some assistance from the country's top Scrabblers. In the end, the navy won by two points, even after the army got away with using the word "wickie," which we're assuming is adorable British slang for something perverse.
AP via cnn.com
"I's gonna fiddle your wicky, right in the dank yin."
Presumably, the army then flipped the entire stadium over in a rage, and that's why it had to be demolished a few years later.
Jenga is a game where you remove wooden blocks from a stack and use them to make the stack higher until it collapses and everyone yells the game's catchphrase: "fuck!" Caterpillar is a company that makes heavy machinery. This is what happens when they team up:
Forklifts are used to poke gigantic rectangular wooden blocks that could crush a car out of place, while your shaky human fingers are replaced by the entire Caterpillar machinery catalogue. Here they are building the tower:
"God himself cannot topple this tower!"
Then poking out the blocks ...
It's OK if you want to masturbate to this.
... and finally ...
Caterpillar originally titled this video "Stack" to avoid breaching Jenga's copyright, but once it went viral, Jenga's licensors asked the company to please breach that copyright after all. See? Copyright law isn't so bad, as long as you're making tons of easy money for the copyright holder.
Monopoly is the game that teaches kids how to hoard money, ruin others, exploit property, and accept the fact that everyone is always one roll of the dice away from ending up in jail for absolutely no reason. It's basically "Society is Bullshit: The Board Game." That's what inspired street artist Bored to add one more Monopoly variant to the long list of ridiculous special editions that have come out in recent years: this one's called "the actual city of Chicago."
"If the car piece stops by that fire hydrant, go immediately to impound, do not collect $200."
It's not just spray-painting sidewalks to look like the game board, either. Bored took the time to create giant versions of the game's cards, dice and game pieces from plywood and scattered them around the city. Although it might not be an entirely faithful recreation...
You can tell this game is old because the cop beats his perp instead of shooting him.
Eventually the project fizzled because "no one wants to be known as the Monopoly street artist," according to the Monopoly street artist. That didn't bother San Jose, California, which would love to be known as something other than "the elbow of California." So the city itself turned part of a park into a functional and fully equipped Monopoly board that anyone can rent.
Team San Jose
If you land on free parking, the guy in the center is yours.
Not to be outdone, San Francisco turned an entire street into an oversized version of the game Candy Land back in 2009. At this rate, by the next decade all of California will look like the Hasbro section at Toys "R" Us.
You may remember scavenger hunts as the teacher's way to get you off her back for a few hours while you retrieve the wacky stuff she wrote down, like "something purple," "a leaf that looks like Nixon," or "vodka." Ah, some fond, fond memories, hunting down that hooch. That's why some folks are trying to relive the thrill, with massive, high-tech versions involving abandoned palaces, mysterious luminous cubes with wireless transmitters, and a game of "laser mini-golf" played with mirrors.
That sounds pretty expensive. Who the hell is funding this stuff? Goldman Sachs? Well, yeah.
Joshua Schwimmer, MD
Pictured: Two entrants cheat by consulting Senior VP Beelzebub.
The New York investment firm holds a yearly, citywide scavenger hunt for its employees called "Midnight Madness," after a forgettable Disney movie of the same name. Just to give you a taste of how elaborate the puzzles can get, one involves recognizing a fake company name on a poster in the street, rearranging the wires on a circuit board, and placing that board on a thermosensitive panel in a synagogue to reveal a secret location in the map. Another was far simpler: you just had to figure out how to change the color of the spire on top of the Bank of America building.
Joshua Schwimmer, MD, Zach Seward
One option: acquire Bank of America.
Goldman Sachs isn't the only one going nuts on this whole "scavenger hunt for rich adults" thing. Across San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City, large-scale games known simply and ominously as "The Game" are played by thrill-seeking programmers. "The Game" began as simple all-night puzzle hunts in the 1970s, eventually escalating into something bigger when important nerds at Microsoft and other large companies began to butt in -- the infamous 2002 version, for example, had a complex storyline that started when a guy showed up at your house, delivered the cryptic invitation and promptly got kidnapped by burly men. From there, players were chased by helicopters in the Nevada desert, spotted clues that were flashed on Las Vegas roof billboards, and sang "It's Raining Men" in drag at a karaoke bar.
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