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Players May See Through The Voice Or Hands Of Their Partner

Submitted by root on Sat, 06/23/2012 - 18:50

The obstacle course is contained between two white lines.  A blindfolded player within the white lines is being talked through the obstacle course by another player outside the white lines.  The journey to date has taken some twenty minutes and has been a feat of communication and concentration. 

The blindfolded player has been talked around obstacles, over obstacles, and under obstacles by the speaking player who has had to find a path through the obstacle course to suit the physique and dexterity of the blindfolded partner.  The blindfolded player has now nearly reached the end of the obstacle course.  And it has become something of a drama.

Blindfold player being talked over a barrierBlindfold player being guided through two tins of paint Blindfold player facing a barrel and stringsblindfold player bending down to avoid strings

Pictures of a blindfold player being talked through the obstacle course

All the other players waiting to play the game are watching these two players, and you can sense that they are silently willing them to succeed.  For if at any moment the blindfolded player should touch any of the remaining obstacles then the journey will come to an end at the point where the object is touched.  And if the journey should be completed without any of the obstacles being touched, then this will indeed be welcomed as something of a remarkable achievement.

People watching the player as he nears the end of his journey

Player nearing the end of the journey being watched by bystanders

This game was created in honour of John Latham and first played in March 1969 when John was at the Blackie with the Movie Movie Show .  It has since been played regularly both at the Blackie and elsewhere.  

The pictures below were taken at the Festival of Games 1995 held on the Podium in Church Street, Liverpool.

The obstacle course made out of poles, dowelling and stringblindfold player being talked through an arch made out of dowelling Blindfold player negotiating a row of cylinders

blackie staff member talking a young lad through the obstacle courseYoung woman negotiating her way around the courseYoung woman getting down on her hands and knees as she tries to avoid the obstaclesAnd ending up worming her way along the ground

The obstacle course was made out of low cylinders, dowelling painted white and string. The players included both Blackie staff and passersby. Some of the talking players used a microphone.  The progress of the players were watched by passersby - so both a game and a piece of theatre.

Notes :

-  both the blindfolded player and partner were free to talk at will during the game

-  touching an object was determined to include contact with any item of clothing :  the blindfolded players generally did their best to minimise all loose clothing before venturing into the obstacle course

-  one variation on this game is for the seeing-and-speaking player to utilise a particular vocabulary (for example, athletes or dancers playing the game might utilise the technical terms reserved for their training and techniques)

-  the obstacle course may be adapted to be both accessible to, and a challenge to, physically disabled players and players using wheel-chairs

-  Deaf players who are BSL users can play by progressing backwards and without a blindfold through an adapted obstacle course, taking their guidance from a player signing in front of them.