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A Surviver's Guide to the Architect and the Urchin

Ben Christopher | July 12, 2012 | Lifestyle Story City Life

In San Francisco—a city blessed with temperate weather and a healthy tolerance for adults behaving weirdly in public—tag isn’t just for kids. And The Architect and The Urchin, a rendition of tag-meets-treasure hunt, is the perfect excuse to regress. Brought to you by SF0, the factory of high-minded playground antics partially responsible for last year’s epic thousand-plus-member game of citywide chase, the game kicks off this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on Tank Hill by Cole Valley.

In case your moves are a little rusty, here's your must-have urban playground checklist:

Your best kicks
All modes of transportation except for your two feet and a bus pass are absolutely prohibited. According to the official rules, this means “no cars, bikes, skates, or jetpacks allowed” ­—with apologies to this guy.

An internal map of SF
The game’s coordinator calls it “citywide psychogeography as experienced through need and greed.” We’re not entirely sure what that means either, but we’re pretty sure neither Siri nor Google Maps will be of much help.

A grownup attitude
This game may conjure up all the sand-in-your-shoes excitement of recess, but there won’t be any teachers present this time to ferret out the cheaters. It’s up to you to play fair and square, so jerks, consider yourselves warned—cheating is apparently “punishable by death.”

Schoolyard durability
In this game, there are “no suggested boundaries” so expect a lot of running, scampering, climbing, and, yes, falling. Plus: “a working knowledge of what poison oak looks like may be useful to players who like taking ‘shortcuts.’”

Photojournalism ambition
Maybe you won’t take home the prize for the most tags made or toughest secret discovered, but the story you’ll be able to tell your bewildered coworkers come Monday has got to be an award in itself. That’s a story that might be better told with pictures.


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