Journey to the End of the Night in SF

In the wake of the cancellation of festivities in San Francisco’s Castro, an underground, Situationist-inspired game of tag has emerged as the most exhilarating event of the evening.  Oct 30, San Francisco-based arts-gaming collective SFZero will produce their fourth installment of the free street game Journey to the End of the Night.  At approximately 7:30pm, 1,000 costumed runners will be released from Justin Herman Plaza to make their way through themed checkpoints throughout the city to the finish, all while avoiding chasers.

articipation has increased by the hundreds each year since 2006, and over 600 people from all walks of life played in the 2009 Halloween Journey. 2009 checkpoints included a live game of Clue, an Alice in Wonderland-themed haunted house, and an end party at the Noisebridge hacker collective in the Mission. 2010 checkpoints will remain secret until the game begins on October 30.

“Journey to the End of the Night invites everyone to repurpose ‘normal’ city spaces in the name of play,” said Ian Kizu-Blair, one of SFZero’s co-founders. “We hope that all participants will not only have a fantastic time being chased around San Francisco in costume, but also see formerly overlooked places with new eyes.”

Players sporting colored ribbons will try to make it through a series of checkpoints on foot or by public transportation, while avoiding being caught by chasers. Those who survive will be praised and feted at the end party, which is open to players of all ages. Those who fall will become chasers themselves, rising in undeath to pursue their former friends and allies. Players are not allowed to use bicycles, skates, cars, taxis, or any other mode of transit other than their feet and public transportation. Players should wear comfortable shoes and clothes, and bring water—depending on the route taken by the player, the length of the race can be 10 – 20 kilometers. Home-made prizes will be awarded for top finishers, best chasers, and best costume.

Journey to the End of the Night is presented without any kind of sponsorship or player fee, and is staffed entirely by volunteers, though donations are accepted to help cover production costs.

Journey to the End of the Night, released by SFZero in 2006 under a Creative Commons Attribution/Non-Commercial license, has been run by dozens of SFZero players in cities throughout the world, most recently Mexico City (October 2, 2010). The game has also been produced in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., London,Vienna and many other locations.

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