Running a checkpoint on Journey

I fell in love with Journey to the End of the Night several years ago when I stumbled upon it trying to figure out what adventures laid in San Francisco.

After a few years running it, I found that I became too aggressive, too competitive, too defeatist that it wasn’t enjoyable anymore. Tagged a few blocks from the end point, I felt my life sucked out of me, literally collapsing in the street. Dangers lurking around me was interesting and perhaps even fun. Yet when it became real, it wasn’t something I wanted.

How could it be?

I would blame the balance of the game—when someone is tagged, the desire to go on is taken away. The joy of experiencing the checkpoints is gone.

So this year, along with Chris and others, we manned a checkpoint. We asked players to run two at a time through a tire obstacle course. The other volunteers would yell at them much like a bootcamp for the tires that lined approximately 30 feet. The “winner” would receive a cape for their achievement. Of course, perhaps to my surprise, people enjoyed winning even if it was a “cape” that would make them more obvious to the chasers. Everyone wants something that shows their dedication, their achievement, their best.

How do they feel if they lost? Do they know that they have won and that they can still continue to run without a signal that they’re playing a game?

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