Through My Eyes

Timing was everything.

Arrrrrguably one of the strangest things I’ve done in a while…

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About a year ago, I came across the website for a new company, The Go Game, that organizes scavenger hunts for companies in the SF Bay Area. Thinking it might be, at least, amusing, I added my name and contact information to the sign up sheet of potential actors (or plants) they could use to play parts in what they call “GO games”. I’d never had the time to participate in these games, since I worked the traditional 8-5 most weekdays, but now that I have most Monday through Fridays fairly open, I signed up for a specific event to occur in SOMA/Union Square last Tuesday.

This is how it works:
A) You subscribe to the Go Game’s mailing list.
B) The game “runner” (aka organizer) blasts an email out to individuals on the mailing list describing the dates of, companies participating, and locations of upcoming events.
C) You reply to the game runner listing all events you are available to participate in and wait to hear back on confirmation.
D) Once confirmed, you receive instructions on: any costumes or props that you might need to wear or bring and the time and date to meet. No details on what to expect, nor what your part will be. It’s the uncertainty that makes this almost exhilarating.
E) Another factor that provides incentive for signing up is the fact that you’re paid for the 2-3 hours you participate as an actor or plant. The average rate is $60 per event. Not bad, huh?

On Tuesday, I bussed over to Howard & 4th, where the Yerba Buena Gardens carousel sits, and met with the game runner, as well as some of the other actors/plants signed up to participate in this game. It was quite a mixed crowd. The other actors ranged from employed SF residents who had a few hours to kill to local college students trying to make a quick buck doing something different and quirky.

Upon arrival, we each received a check for $60, as well as a printout of details regarding our roles and the overall mission of the game. I was to dress up as a pirate and administer 20 Questions and Chubby Bunny games to several groups from Google’s headquarters. Once I understood what was expected of me, I walked over to the Powell St. Bart station and went downstairs where I knew there would be adequate traffic from people leaving work and getting on or off the train. Standing there, waiting for the groups to arrive, I was approached by young delinquents who offered to keep me company, a retired Navy officer who was curious as to what I was doing in pirate gear standing in a public place freezing my butt off and asking me very personal questions, and a few grizzly bums who told me to “go sell drugs on another street!” First of all, I had a pen and notebook in my hand. Secondly, I don’t think I could ever resemble a drug dealer, even if I tried. And finally, where was everyone’s sense of humor? I had expected casual bystanders to come by and ask me what I was doing, but if I wasn’t being hit on, I was being hassled.

I’m not sure I would participate in another Go Game, but I have to say, that was probably the easiest $60 I’ve made. At least, since I stopped selling drugs.

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Written by winniewongsf

February 4, 2010 at 12:00 am

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