Hide and seek among strangers, the most viral game in Hong Kong

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In the wide expanses of Hong Kong parks, something unusual is happening: adults with smartphone play hide and seek again. Groups of strangers gather, staring at their phones and neon bracelets, to participate in a modern version of the classic game.

This trend, which fuses real-time location technology with the nostalgia of a children’s game, has become a favorite pastime in Hong KongChina, especially in 2023. The hide and seek is back and digitized. Will it come to Europe?

Imagine yourself in a sunny park, smartphone in hand, following moving dots on a digital map screen. This is how the participants, divided into “mice” and “cats”, immerse themselves in this fun urban hunting.

As the “cats” locate the “mice” using the Amap app, a popular Google Maps replacement in China, the game intensifies, becoming a new version of the classic game: you need not only to hide well, but also to plan an escape route.

The game, locally nicknamed the “cat and mouse game,” is not only a competition, but also a way to socialize and make new friends. Every week thousands of people participate in these meetings.

The game emerged in February and quickly gained popularitywith viral videos showing players climbing trees or hiding in sewers, accumulating millions of views on social networks.

This modern version of hide-and-seek, which takes place in predetermined areas like city parks, players join a group on Amap and share your location in real time. 90% of the participants are designated as “mice” and have five minutes to hide before the “cats” begin their hunt.

Playing hide and seek through Google Maps with 40 strangers

The author’s personal experience, documented in TechnologyReviewreveals the exciting and challenging nature of the game. The need to be creative and strategiccombining deception and cunning to avoid detection, adds a unique dimension to the game.

The participants, equipped with neon bracelets To differentiate themselves, they change roles once they are captured, increasing the difficulty for the remaining mice. They chase each other and become children again.

More than a game, it has become a cultural phenomenon. Some events even charge a small feeorganized by groups that also plan other social activities such as camping trips and barbecue parties.

Amap, taking advantage of its unexpected popularity, has introduced specific features for the game, facilitating the creation of groups and assignment of roles. However, many organizers use only the basic group location sharing feature.

This game not only represents a return to the simple pleasures of childhood, but also illustrates how Technology can reinvent and enrich our social interactions. In an increasingly digital world, business as usual sometimes comes back with a vengeance.