Alright so picture this, about 1000 people, some routine joggers, some people who are mostly sedentary, all racing around the streets of Chicago in an all-night game of tag.
Your goal if you are a human is to get from checkpoint to checkpoint to the finish line. Your goal if you are a chaser is convert as many humans as possible before they get to the finish line. Usually the chasers are “zombies” or “aliens” and the finish line is usually the “human colony” or “the space ship to take us away from the aliens or zombies”.
So you know, it’s basically like every other day in Chicago.
My favorite aspect of this game is that it brings the city that I know and love into a different light… or a different darkness since it’s played at night? It transforms my city when I think of it as a post-apocalyptic world filled with enemies lurking in the shadows.
And you might be thinking, Good Villager, what a hazardous activity! Tag, on the streets of Chicago? The organizers mitigate this at the beginning and always make an announcement about staying safe. In addition, there are specific rules against playing in or on the CTA.
But for sure, take a friend, many friends actually because you may have to split up. Find a place to meet up, but be very careful if they aren’t actually robots… luring you into a spot.
Strategies for Staying Alive:
Some people trainfor a marathon and wear really, really dark clothing. But then again, sometimes it makes you look more suspicious. I’ve heard of people trying to blend in with the crowd in various ways, such as dressing up like every day joggers.
I’m not sure dressing up in costume will guarantee you success though because you have to display your armbands (or headbands) at all times to make the game fair for either team. In fact, trying to hide your armband can sometimes make you more of a target. When I played the game with armbands, it actually hurt a player’s chances to hide their armbands because people were specifically looking for people with the weird posture of people potentially hiding their armbands.
Making Sensible Choices
While having a good work out routine will help you evade chasers once you’ve encountered them, it doesn’t guarantee victory. My friend tried JTEN for the first time two years ago and won for the first time by simply booking it as soon as the horn went off, making sensible route choices, and staying ahead of the chasers. That was a really weird year though because the starting point because a bunch of people ran north of the field… right up to the river they couldn’t cross… and then got tagged.
But all of that is what makes the game fun: the ever-changing map, the chaos, the constant strategizing, and the challenges of evading the bad guys…
I recommend this event because it really transforms Chicago in your mind and brings people together. Humans band together to evade the robots. Robots band together to take down the humans. It’s a great time.