Sent in by Teneré Richmond
“When we were kids in California we used to play this game called ‘circle deer base’. Grownups and kids played together… …It is a wonderful game of wits and shear speed. “
Start by each person playing choosing their own individual base (a tree, a hose made into a circle, a bush etc.). Each player then starts from their base and the goal is to tag everybody else so that they join your team. A player is safe when touching their ‘base’, but as soon as a player leaves their base they become ‘older’ than any player still touching their own base who is therefore ‘newer’. Newer players can tag older players and if they are successful they both can walk back freely (neither can be tagged by another player) to the newer player’s base.
The game evolves such that the player most recently on a base can tag any player who is off base and so older. All players off base fall into a hierachy of ‘newest’ to ‘oldest’, determined by who was the last to touch base, BUT the hierarchy of who can tag who is constantly and quickly changing throughout the game! If a player who is older runs back to base and touches base before being tagged , he/she can turn and tag the one who was chasing him/her just seconds before.
Once you have tagged another player and thus added them to your team you can send them out as ‘bait’ to lure other players away from their base, so you can tag them before they tag the one you sent as bait.
The game requires the use of peripheral vision and awareness of who is newer than you or your teammates. Once you have been tagged, you must give up allegiance to previous teams. The teams change frequently and at the end it is everyone against the one remaining player.
“During the chase most people seem to be so focused on catching the fleeing player that they often forget to look out for being caught themselves. Their is a definite predator/prey dynamic with the twist that prey becomes predator and predator becomes prey at the pulse of a heartbeat. Personality plays an interesting part in the game as some intentionally get caught in order to join a team. Others refuse to be caught and play it safe, remaining on their base. Others still intentionally get caught in order to rejoin a team. These are all frowned upon.”
[Note: It probably works best in moderately sized playing areas where players can see all the other bases. But this looks like rapidly becoming a favourite]