Move over Pokemon Go Hide and seek the latest game in China
Move over Pokemon Go Hide and seek the latest game in China

Move over Pokemon Go: Hide-and-seek the latest game in China

BEIJING: When the cat’s away, the mice will play – but in a good way in China, where young people are playing hide-and-seek in the latest craze to make new friends (or furends, if you like).

Likening the game to the Tom and Jerry cartoon, young people are organising games of hide-and-seek in shopping malls, parks and other public spaces, through social media platforms such as WeChat and Xiaohongshu.

These events, which have become all the rage since September, can attract hundreds of players at a time and they seem to be a hit with people in their 20s, according to Chinese news sites.

Some players say the game lets them relive their childhood memories, while others say it is a good way to exercise and meet new people.

Chinanews.com reported on Nov 20 that more than 40 people gathered at a large shopping mall in Jinan in China’s Shandong province to play hide-and-seek at night.

Checks by its reporter found that such games have caught fire on social media, and are played in cities all over China including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen.

The rules are simple, with slight variations at different events.

Players begin by drawing lots to play as a cat or a mouse. Those chosen to be cats will have to catch those playing as mice, and these roles are reversed when a person is caught.

By using Chinese navigation app Gaode Map, players will share their locations with one another to join the game. They also wear fluorescent bracelets to distinguish themselves from passers-by.

The player who catches the most people becomes the “cat king”, while the player who evades capture throughout the entire game is the “mouse king”.

In the game at the Jinan mall, players went home with plush toys, thermos cups and other prizes, said Chinanews.com. The registration fee to participate is 5 yuan (95 cents).

Event organiser Liu Sen told the news site that the event is popular among college students and young office workers.

Zhang Tao, an experienced player, said the hide-and-seek game lets him “buy the most joy with the least amount of money”, Chinanews.com reported. He added that the game allows him to recover from work stress and make close friends.

Psychologist Li Xianghua told Chinanews.com that this game meets the physical and social needs of young people, as it is a battle of wits and courage, and the exercise helps to relax the mind and body.

However, lawyer Wang Ting said the hide-and-seek events are not without risk.

Organisers need to ensure the event is safe and above board, and players should also pay attention to their own safety, the partner at Kangqiao Law Firm added.

The organiser of another hide-and-seek event which took place after sunset on Sept 17 around the Mochou Lake in Nanjing, capital of China’s Jiangsu province, had to remind some 60 players who signed up for the free game not to climb trees or jump into the lake to hide.

This was because such incidents had happened previously, the organiser, identified only as Huang, was quoted as saying by the Yangtse Evening Post.

A girl who participated in this event said she is introverted but she wanted to step out of her comfort zone.

“Compared to being alone in a boring gym, it feels better to run about with friends here,” she added. – The Straits Times/ANN

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