Unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes or CSI investigator! Although Scavenger in Southie is a real-world scavenger hunt game held in South Boston on September 1, 2012, there are plenty of other ways for explore and discover things in your city or even while traveling. Here are 5 other games discovery games or games with clues that exist in the real world.
- Hash House Harriers
- Book Crossing
Go explore your city! Many of these discovery games have teams here in New England, and I cover them all. Read more after the jump.
- From Letterboxing.org -Letterboxing is an intriguing “treasure hunt” style outdoor activity. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly-accessible places (like parks) and post clues to finding the box online on one of several Web sites. However, clues to finding some of the most highly-sought boxes are passed around by word of mouth. There are about 20,000 letterboxes hidden in North America alone. Individual letterboxes usually contain a log book, an often hand-carved rubber stamp and may contain an ink pad. Finders make an imprint of the letterbox’s stamp on their personal log book, and leave an imprint of their personal stamp on the letterbox’s logbook.
- Letterboxing is said to have started in England in 1854 when a Dartmoor National Park guide, James Perrott of Chagford, left a bottle by Cranmere Pool with his calling card in it an an invitation to those who found the bottle to add theirs. Eventually, visitors began leaving a self-addressed post card or note in the jar, hoping for them to be returned by mail by the next visitor (thus the origin of the term “letterboxing;” “letterbox” is a British term for a mailbox). This practice ended in time, however, and the current custom of using rubber stamps and visitor’s log books came into use. It caught on in the US in 1998 after an article in Smithsonian magazine.
- From Geocaching.com – Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Geocaching is a newer game, due to the dawn of GPS navigation in May 2000. Read more about its history here.
- I am a little intimidated by the GPS technology, but hope to explore this game here on the site. Who’s with me?
- From the New England Orienteering Club website– a fantastic resource! Orienteering is a fun outdoor activity in which you run (or walk) a course in the woods, using only a map and compass to guide you. Control locations are marked on your map and your goal is to find them in the woods. This can be as competitive as you want; from a nice relaxed stroll in the woods, to making your competitors eat your dust! It is enjoyed by kids, families, groups, individuals and is good training for adventure racers. Also known as the “Thinking Sport”: it is not always the fastest runner who wins.
- More of an adult game, H3 is an international group of non-competitive running, social, and drinking clubs. My husband first heard about Hast and played it while in Afghanistan, but no, there was no drinking over there. Groups run after a lead “hare” looking for white hash marks (a slash mark) on various objects. Hares (the group lead) is usually only a minute or two ahead of the group and can be tricky, setting up false trails and all sorts of shenanigans.
- The Constitution of the Hash House Harriers is recorded on a club registration card dated 1950:
- To promote physical fitness among our members
- To get rid of weekend hangovers
- To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
- To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel!
At present, there are almost 2,000 chapters in all parts of the world, with members distributing newsletters, directories, and magazines and organizing regional and world Hashing events. As of 2003, there are even two organized chapters operating in Antarctica.
- I played this game in Washington, DC. Do you have any books you no longer read but know someone else could really enjoy them? Game players label a book with a tag you get from the website and then say where they are leaving a book – and just leave it! I left this one on the metro in DC in 2010. I don’t think anyone else has found it, but it’s a fun idea for libraries.