Check out this checkpoint
April 10, 2012 6:44 PM   Subscribe

What can we do to make a really awesome checkpoint for a live action street chase game?

So me and baniak have an opportunity to run a checkpoint (similar to what would be done in a bicycle alleycat race) for a city wide game called Journey To The End Of Night (more info here and here and at their facebook).

The purpose of the checkpoint is to get a stamp to show that you have run the whole race without cheating.

The checkpoints have activities. This San Francisco one was a birthday party. Here are some descriptions of a game in Vienna. I've read about dice games with pirates. One checkpoint used puppets (we will not be using puppets).

We can be captains if we can come up with a good idea for a checkpoint. It needs to be simple, clever and interactive. We will not be spending a lot of money on this (or possibly any), and we won't be able to cart a lot of props to wherever we are sent. Chicago specific ideas would be great, but will not have a choice as to where we are, so nothing location specific, please.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you can give us!
posted by bibliogrrl to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Here's another link describing last year's Chicago race.
posted by Windigo at 6:49 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Aaaahhh!!! How cool! As someone with limited skills in actually running the race, I'd love to come help you guys run the checkpoint if you can use me!

What about some ridiculous game show tribute? One person could dress up like Alex Trebek and make the runner answer a trivia question before getting a stamp. Another could be Vanna White and you'd have to spin the wheel. Another could be Bozo (Chicago, what what!) and you'd have to get a ball into that stupid bucket thing. And so on. The runner chooses their preferred show/host and you go from there.
posted by phunniemee at 7:05 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Popping in with a suggestion from a friend: "Pin the curse word on Rahm Emmanuel". I love this. Now how can I get a life sized cutout of Rahm?
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:20 PM on April 10, 2012

Hey, that's my link from last year's event! And small world, it's also where I met phunniemee for the first time!

One checkpoint I really dug was the one where we were asked to write a letter to someone who had died. This was a kind of unexpected turn, and I liked how it brought me out of the moment - one minute I'm running around, and the next I'm suddenly having a very personal, emotional moment of introspection.

This suggestion is less silly and fun, and a bit more on the somber side: you could ask participants to write down something specific/personal on a piece of paper, and have them add it to a lage jar/container. Topics might include:

- A wish
- A regret
- A nightmare (submitting it would be like getting rid of it)
- A secret
- A favorite memory

An upside to this is that you might be able to do something interesting, post-race, with all the contributions. Create a web page that shows a random note, etc.
posted by avoision at 7:38 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Reenact the St Valentines day massacre, when enough arrive, line them up against the wall and (even with a pointed finger) rat-ta-tat-tat and make them fall down dead before continuing.
posted by sammyo at 7:39 PM on April 10, 2012

One time doing something with multiple checkpoints visited in random order, I made teams buy a specific embarrassing personal hygiene item (I think it was a tampon, but I could be wrong), with the instructions that one of the other checkpoints would require the item. Of course, none of the other checkpoints knew this, so there were baffled people waving tampons at other baffled people all night.

Maybe more in the spirit of postapocalyptic chasing, set up a speaker system playing a brief morse code broadcast (maybe with some sort of highly distorted voice calling for assistance in between). The people need to tell you what the message is before they can move on. For people without smartphones, have a few copies of some sort of reference work with the code in it -- maybe hit up a used bookstore and see if you can find any old World Almanacs or similar.

You may also want to look for some sort of on this day in Chicago history aspect?
1970 - Ernie Banks, of the Chicago Cubs, hit his 500th home run.

Also, I've created a lifesize cutout with printing a tiled image on a colour printer, then gluing the pieces to a piece of cardboard.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:48 PM on April 10, 2012

Bob for apples? Write and perform a limerick?
posted by salvia at 9:18 PM on April 10, 2012

So I'm actually reading Journey to the End of the Night right now, and it's full of eloquent passages of humorous misanthropy and cynicism. How about a jumble where runners have to unscramble words and phrases to form a passage?
You have to choose: death or lies. I’ve never been able to kill myself.

The sadness of the world has different ways of getting to people, but it seems to succeed almost every time.

If you aren't rich you should always look useful.

It’s no joke being poor. Poverty is a giant, it uses your face like a mop to clear away the world’s garbage. There’s plenty left.

Nearly all a poor bastard's desires are punishable by jail.

You can lose your way groping among the shadows of the past. It’s frightening how many people and things there are in a man’s past that have stopped moving. The living people we’ve lost in the crypts of time sleep so soundly side by side with the dead that the same darkness envelopes them all. As we grow older, we no longer know whom to awaken, the living or the dead.
Now how can I get a life sized cutout of Rahm?

Large-format black and white prints on bond paper are pretty cheap but you'd need a large high-resolution image, and a lot of commercial printers like FedEx Office (née Kinko's) will not violate copyright. A drawing of Rahm would work, even a tracing of a photo. Spray mount him to some sturdy cardboard and add a base and you're good to go.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:20 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think people don't realize that (especially with the earlier checkpoints) there are hundreds of people streaming through a checkpoint, often at about the same time, so it can't be anything TOO involved or time consuming.
posted by Windigo at 6:47 AM on April 11, 2012

....or anything a person can actually fail at accomplishing. They made it to the checkpoint, so the "performance" aspect of it is for fun, not a further test.
posted by Windigo at 6:48 AM on April 11, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks Windigo for the help - I forgot to add the time aspect when I posted.

23skidoo - THERE WILL BE NO MIMES. (I like the asl idea though)
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:38 AM on April 11, 2012

Okay, how about something about the NATO summit coming up? bibliogrrl has a stack of protest applications for each runner to fill out (make them short); they then go to baniak, who has a rubber stamp that says DENIED.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:54 AM on April 11, 2012

Oh, and the application could be very general, not mentioning NATO but asking them what they would like to protest. This kind of works in avoision's ideas.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:00 AM on April 11, 2012

Display a giant stretch of bubble wrap. Explain to the runners that they are the agents of death and balance must be maintained. Every bubble they pop kills a person.

Of course, you should also have some angels running around explaining that since over 4.25 million babies were born in the U.S. alone, births are still winning by a landslide.
posted by eamondaly at 11:54 AM on April 11, 2012

I also kind of love the ASL idea: anyone making a sound has to go to the back of the line.
posted by eamondaly at 11:55 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I suggested the ASL checkpoint. Failing that, I'm going to suggest Pin The Curse Word On Rahm.

Thanks all!
posted by bibliogrrl at 6:38 AM on April 13, 2012

Response by poster: Further FYI - we got chosen and I am the captain of the "Quiet" checkpoint. Thanks for the help!
posted by bibliogrrl at 4:51 PM on April 28, 2012

Hooray! I can't wait!
posted by phunniemee at 5:36 AM on April 29, 2012

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