1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer

Game-Day 2012Game Day is the name of an event I've organised and hosted in a number of places wherever I've lived. The event has humble beginnings from back in January 2007 when a friend of mine was inspired to organise a photo scavenger hunt based on the TV show "The Amazing Race". If you don't know about this show, it's essentially a race between 10-12 teams around the world with 10 'legs'. Basically, at the beginning of each leg the teams set off and are given a clue (or explicit instructions) of a place they must get to where they can check in with the show's host. The last team to check in is eliminated and then the next day the remaining teams then set off on the next leg, and so on and so forth until one team 'wins the race' and prize money. Pretty simple concept and not particularly exciting. That is, however, until you add in what the show calls 'Roadblocks'.

The Amazing RaceRoadblocks are essentially challenges that the team must complete before they can get the next clue and move on to the check point. Because the show forces teams to fly all around the world the challenges are usually something specific to the location, for example, in London you might have to dress up like a Beefeater and march up and down next to Buckingham Palace. Or in New York you might have to find out who were the architects behind the Empire State Building, go to where their offices were, obtain a pencil with the firm's name on it, and take it to the top of the Empire State Building where someone will give you the next clue of where to go.

So that was what stimulated the inaugural Game Day, and my friend (with the help of a few others) put together a list of tasks to do in Singapore. Teams of 3 or 4 people were put together and we had to complete as many tasks as possible during the afternoon. Each task was given a weighted point score based on how difficult/embarrassing/time-consuming it was and we proved that we completed them with photos or videos. The team that had attained the most points by the time we all checked back was deemed the winner and won some token prizes (the real prize was the fun had on a Wednesday afternoon)! It was a great success and even those that came dead last according to the points still had a great time.

May 2008: After seeing the photos from Game Day - Singapore and getting all nostalgic, I decided to organise a similar type event in Edinburgh. So Game Day - Edinburgh was born: I created a list of tasks and a few teams set about completing them in the same way that we had in Singapore. It was a good laugh but the points scoring was pretty bad and the tasks weren't that imaginative. But everyone had fun so I didn't complain too much.

September 2012: I'd achieved my BSc and MSc in Edinburgh and I was now 18 months into a PhD at Lancaster. I'd all but forgotten about Game Day when a friend and I were reminiscing over The Crystal Maze; the fantastic show where Richard O'Brien charged around different themed 'zones' with a team attempting to complete physical-, mental- and skill-based challenges in the vain hope of being awarded an obviously fake crystal, which then gave them 5 seconds in a dome where they had to desperately catch gold bits of plastic and not silver bits of plastic. A fantastic show, I'm sure you agree. But that conversation about the gameshow reminded me of  Game Day and that in actual fact a task list could be put together to reflect the premise of both The Crystal Maze and The Amazing Race. Hence, GameDay2012 was born.

I came up with 60 tasks for 4 teams to complete in Lancaster during one chilly September Saturday afternoon. Everyone set about completing them and judging by the responses afterwards people seemed to enjoy themselves and if anything actually would have preferred it being a bit longer. Some of the challenges I used are listed below, as are their accompanying photos. One of the best things about this event was that I actually incorporated 'marking time' into the duration of the event so reviewing everyone's photos was a great source of amusement for everyone, even if the actually task-completion wasn't that fun for the participant! After we finished the game everyone seemed up for food and we all went ou for dinner and drinks which ended in a good night out of everyone discussing the day.

A few weeks later, word spread and I started getting asked "When will the next one be?"...so I set about thinking of how I could take the same idea but not do the same things over and over. At that point, GameWeekend was born...