Critical Play: Competitive Analysis — Blake Sharp

I chose tag as my game. Tag is adjacent to Capture the Flag because you can tag opposing players when they are in your territory. Tag has elements of fellowship and challenge for its types of fun. The traditional game mechanics are that every player is for themselves. If you are tagged, you are “it” until you tag someone else. Players can run away from the player who is it so they are not tagged and attempt to tag other players when they are “it”. However, there are so many variations of tag: blob tag, hot dog tag, freeze tag, cops and robbers, duck, duck goose, zombie tag etc. The list goes on and on. 

Tag scales well and you can play with as few as three people up to hundreds if you add enough variations. The traditional  game unfortunately does not handle the case when the person who is “it” decides they don’t want to play so they don’t tag anyone new. In this case, the game ends. Tag is a pure game that can be played with so little and is a fun way to run around. Tag is probably the easiest game to explain and play, and this ease really differentiates it from other games.

One of the shortfalls of tag is that it is sometimes too simple, and people get bored. I played tag for this critical play with my friends outside my dorm, and the game was fun but people lost interest relatively fast. This is why I like this game in the context of other games. Tag in the context of our game has strict parameters of when you get to play tag and who is “it”. Plus, once the person is tagged, tag ends and the next facet of the game begins. 

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