October 13, 2009

Students Captured by Real Life Game

Students played an unexpectedly chilly game of “Capture the Flag” on the main quads Saturday night, braving the unseasonably cold weather in hopes of winning the outdoor game on the august neo-Gothic quad.

Started by the Gaming Guild, a club devoted to organizing sports and pastimes, “Capture the Flag on the Quads” began last spring as an occasional Saturday night activity.

“It’s a game that brings students together…in a setting they love and rarely find elsewhere on campus,” said Sheridan Lardner, the creator of the event and head of the Gaming Guild.

The Guild advertised for the event using posters, Facebook, and word of mouth, but Lardner found that many players decided to join on a whim, seeing competitors already on the quads.

Speaking to the players, Lardner tried to instill a sense of pride and competitive spirit.

“I’ve played Capture the Flag in terrain ranging from fields to forests, and I can say with a veteran’s confidence that the UChicago Quad is the ultimate arena to play in,” he said.

Cold weather contributed to Saturday’s unexpectedly low turnout of thirty players, a varied group ranging from track runners to non-athletes, first-years to fourth-years.

“We had seventy people show up last spring,” Lardner said, “but it was also thirty degrees warmer.”

This year’s first game started off slowly with only a handful of die-hard players showing up at the start. After ten minutes, more people made their way onto the quads, bundled up in sweatshirts and hats.

The rules were modified in accordance with the forty-degree weather. Jailbreaks were frequent and many of those who chose not to run around found themselves standing near heat vents.

While the cold weather put a damper on the game, most players took it in stride, as one of the last opportunities for outdoor activity. “At least it didn’t rain,” one optimistic competitor said.