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.
Epic Scavenger Hunts Pulled Straight Out of "The Game"
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.
Kevin Shields, Shelby Logan's Run
See if you can spot the exact second they ran out of money in the scavenger hunt budget.
See more insane versions of our childhood in 9 Extreme Versions of Things You Loved as a Kid. And then check out 15 Unintentionally Perverted Toys for Children.
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