Hide-and-seek or hide-and-go-seek is a popular children’s game in which any number of players conceal themselves in the environment, to be found by one or more seekers.
How to play the game
The game can end in one of several ways. In the most common variation of the game, the player chosen as “catcher” locates all players as the players are not allowed to move; the player found last is the winner and is chosen to be “catcher” in the next game.
Another common variation has the seeker counting at “home base”; the hiders can either remain hidden or they can come out of hiding to race to home base; once they touch it, they are “safe” and cannot be tagged. But if the seeker tags another player before reaching home base, that person becomes “catcher.”
The game is an example of an oral tradition, as it is commonly passed by children.
Different versions of the game are played around the world, under a variety of names. One derivative in game is called “Sardines”, in which only one person hides and the others must find them, hiding with them when they do so. The last person to find the hiding group is the loser.
In some versions of the game, after the first player is caught or if not any other players can be found over a period of time, “catcher” calls out a pre-agreed phrase to signal the other hiders to return to base for the next round.
In one variant, once all hiders have been located, the game then becomes a game of tag where the “catcher” chases after all the other players and the first person tagged becomes the “catcher”.
In another, the hiders who are found help the “catcher” track down the remaining hiders, but the first person to be found becomes the next “catcher.”
In Australia, the game is often called “44 Homes”. The hiders hide until they are spotted by the seeker, who chants, “Forty, Forty, I see you”. Once spotted, the hider must run to “home base” and touch it before she or he is “tipped” (tagged, or touched) by the seeker.