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Playing Hide And Seek And Reliving Your Childhood!

What was the first game you remember playing? Any blurred memory from childhood jumping back at you? Mine was hide and seek, the thrilling game for all ages!!

hide and seek photo
Photo: “Found You” by tsbl2000 under CC BY-ND 2.0
If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, you didn’t have many options to entertain yourself. In the 80s most families couldn’t afford television and there was no internet. Imagine that! The 90s were slightly better as television became a common medium. Yet it wasn’t 24 hours of tv and being a couch potato wasn’t encouraged. Parents urged us to get out and play. Kids were more than happy to comply! We made up games, we sang songs or just ran around till we got tired. Children in the 80s would have to request the family with television to let them watch. Ramayana and Mahabharata had just been televised and it enthralled the nation. Later in the 90s with the advent of color television, MTV and tapes, there was some entertainment for us.
What were children supposed to do otherwise? If you lived in a building or society, there were kids of all ages. You had to find games that most kids could play. The younger kids couldn’t play fast, intense or complicated games. The older kids didn’t want to play slow or easy games. What a dilemma! There had to be something that everybody could play. Or when you spent your summer holidays with family? Cousins, elders, and children all shared one roof for days. There had to be some form of entertainment. It was then that people came up with ‘Hide and Seek’ or ‘Hide and Go Seek.’ This game has been around for decades and no one even remembers who or when it was invented.
playing hide and seek photo
Photo: Pals by makelessnoise under CC BY 2.0
Hide and Seek was not initially developed as a game. It was an oral tradition or means of communication that was passed on to the next generation. Why wasn’t it a game? Hide and Seek has no complicated rules. It doesn’t need any equipment, cards or objects. There are no restrictions or regulations. You can play it for as much as time as you wish or want. Hide and Seek also inculcates several skills in children. They learn to be smart, observant, quiet and figure how the other player thinks. All over the world, children have been playing versions of Hide and Seek since they can remember. Let’s refresh our memory on how the game is played.
The rules are very simple. A player is selected among the group to be ‘It.’ To play Hide and Seek, you need 2 or more players. ‘It’ closes his or her eyes and counts to 100. The other players hide in the area set for the game. If its a field or a ground, the group usually marks till where the players can hide. A bigger hiding area can make it difficult or challenging for the game. Once ‘It’ has counted till 100, he/she shouts ‘Ready or not, here I come!’ so the hiding players know to be alert. ‘It’ has to find each player one by one and the player to be found last is declared the winner. In some places, the winner becomes ‘It’ in the next round. In some versions, the first player found hiding has to become ‘It’ in the next round of the game. There is also a version where the place ‘It’ stands and counts is called ‘Home Base.’ When ‘It’ is busy trying to find the hiding players, a player (who has not been found) can run and touch the ‘Home Base.’ Once they do so, they become safe or free and can’t be out. However if ‘It’ sees them and tags them before they reach the ‘Home Base’ they have to be ‘It’ in the next round.
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