Friday, January 20, 2012

The Game of Bumps

Children's games often train skills of coordination and speed. This is "tag", re-invented for Second Life as a simple and fun way to master control of your avatar in active areas.


The Basic Rule: When "it" bumps you, you have to bump someone else, then say you did so in chat to make someone the new "it"

Object: to avoid being bumped by and therefore becoming "it". As "it", to accept the role in chat and then bump another and announce who the new "it" is in chat.

Equipment: any area roughly 40m across. It need not be utterly clear of obstacles nor fully delineated.

Players: any number greater than two.


The group chooses a player to be the first "it". Traditionally, this role belongs to the player who suggests the game or whoever was "it" at the end of the last game.

The players choose an ending time of the game. All players are prohibited flying in the game.

Suggested: Each player opens the "Bumps, pushes & hits" window in the "help" menu, so one can see who made contact with oneself, or wears a script that tells when such things happen.

Optional: Each player can activate a radar or a map, either thru a viewer or a HUD (like Mystitool), so one might see who is close and who is not.

Playing Bumps

~ "It" chats a sentence saying "I am it".
~ "It" attempts to physically bump another player by avatar.
~ Other players move inside the playing area to avoid "it".

~ When "it" actually bumps another, their hit windows will confirm it.
~ "It" must chat, by any sentence he chooses, the name of who he bumped within hearing (20m) of the one he bumped.
~ Others and "it" may move and repeat that that idea until:

~ The one bumped acknowledges "it" in chat.
~ He or she becomes the new "it" and play continues as above.

Ending the game.

Anyone may, but the person who suggested the game must announce in chat "5 minutes left", "one minute left", "ten seconds left" and "Good Game."
The last "it" loses the game, but that hardly matters, does it? Now enjoy sharing what happened.


"It" crashing appears to others as "it" disappearing, or going motionless. When this happens, or "it" must leave for a while, the others should gather in the center of the playing area and choose a new "it". Traditionally, "it" is assigned to the one who bumped the crashed "it" or the first "it".

Being "Out of Bounds" incurs no penalty because it isn't much fun. One should simply return to the playing area directly when discovered out of bounds. One can still bump or be bumped while out of bounds.

One can quit the game by going out of bounds and stating "not playing" as often as needed, but it is bad manners to re-enter the game after quitting.

When flying is noticed, the one flying should immediately return straight to the ground with "page down" only. If "it" is under the descending flyer, the bump counts and may be called. If "it" is the flyer, no bumps need be acknowledged until "it" lands and spends 10 seconds motionless.

Missing chat: One may, if bumped, accept "it" before the old "it" announces one was bumped, but it's better to remind the old "it" he or she needs to announce who was bumped. Handle someone not replying to a chatted bump after several chats as "it" crashing.

Players joining mid-game can learn the basic rule as they play if others guide them thus: When "it" bumps you, you have to bump someone else, then say you did so in chat to make them the new "it".

with links to more complete player guides:

The real object of the game is to improve the players ability to move, chat, and view the world screen in rapid succession. In more detail:

To move, use the keyboard arrows (or ASDF if your chat is closed) alone or in combination with shift and/or your mouse. To activate running, use Menu/World/Always Run, or Ctrl-R toggle.

Views include the default view where you see your avatars back, mouse-look where you see thru the avatars eyes, and custom focus views. Try using mouse-look (activated by mouse-scrolling your view into your avatar's head or pressing M with chat closed) and regular view (activated by escape key or M in mouse-look) and Custom focus. Each one of these might be preferable to you at different times, and each allows different custom options.

Chatting begins in mouse-look with the Enter key, then type your chat and press Enter again to send. If out of mouse-look, click your chat window, then type your chat and press Enter to send. If you can see another player's name-box floating over their head, they can hear you in regular chat. If the name-box has dimmed to invisibility, they are out of normal chat range, and you must move close to them or send a "shout" (using control-Enter). One can repeat the last thing said with control-up (ctrl-↑) then pressing Enter.

Game Variations:

~Voice can make an easier game if all have voice on and use it instead of chatting who bumped whom and who is it.

~Automating bumps would make an easier game if each player wears a scripted object that says bumps in chat, so "it" need not chat the bump. The new "it" must still chat that they are "it" unless all wear a script that keeps track of "it" by chat, float text and/or particle emission.

~RSVP: whenever anyone chats your name (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) in your hearing, by itself or in a sentence, you must immediately chat a reply. This will leave you unable to move until you have completed your chat, and vulnerable to bumps.

~No tag backs, where "it" may not bump the person who bumped him or her, works best in a group larger than five.

~No running creates a slower-paced game; shrink the playing area to 25x25.

~Flying, when allowed and encouraged, is best played in a thick 40x40x40 box.

~ Rezzing. For an advanced group, encourage players to rez barriers in the playing area. Owners of the items may move, delete or change their own barriers at any time, of course. Simplest to allow only creating and editing non-scripted, non-physical default prims during the game, but the group may choose to allow anything, including scripted or physical items to appear and disappear.

Have Fun

Fair warning: in many areas, bumping another avatar might be grounds for a complaint to the management. Don't play Bumps in busy, public areas where non-players may get you in trouble.

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