Yahoo Games recently did an article about the origins of Simon Says. My god, how it must be nice to have a paid journalism (?) job where you don’t have to deal with all the pesky news and current events stuff. Anyway, the article is at http://blog.games.yahoo.com/blog/775-simon-who-the-story-behind-a-playground-favorite
Apparently, Simon used to be Cicero, the famous Roman orator and statesman. Apparently Cicero was the E.F. Hutton of his day and we he talked, people listened. It’s kind of like the newer children’s games like “Bush Says” in which you incorrectly pronounce every difficult word you come across. Or “Clinton Dodge Ball” where one team wears blue dresses and the other team tries to hit them with white balls, all the while denying they are actually playing the game. And don’t even get me started on Weiner Pictionary.
But we don’t even realize the origins of some of the most classic playground games. The real Dodge Ball was originally named for Dodge City, Kansas. In the original game players stood in a circle with more people inside the circle. The people on the edge would throw rubber balls at the players inside trying to hit them. The people inside the circle could then return fire with real bullets from a six-shooter. Anyone left standing went and had a whiskey after the game.
Hide And Go Seek was originally spelled “Hyde”. In the game a group of children would hide from another child called the “seeker”. While hidden those children would snort a combination of PCP, Drano, and Red Bull, then eagerly wait to be found by the seeker, who would have to tag them without being knifed.
Hop Scotch was originally a game children played in Edinburgh where they would throw a little bauble and have to hop and jump their way over the drunken, passed out Scotsmen in the gutters to reach the point where the bauble landed. The winner received a tumbler of Scotch.
So remember, next time you’re playing tag, and the tagger pins a tracking device to your ear upon catching you, they’re just playing the game in it’s original form.