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Police Shut Down a 3k-Person Game of Hide-and-Seek at IKEA (housebeautiful.com)
464 points by apress 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 193 comments

“People are stopping everyone who ‘looks like they are here for a game of hide and seek.”

Deep down, everyone who walks into the great snaking corridors of IKEA is playing a game of hide and seek.

But what does a person who goes there to play the game on purpose look like? What are the tells? Are they wearing IKEA bedlinen?

I love the idea of a stop and search on that scale and basis. “Hide and seek, officer? I just came to buy a Prickig and a couple of Pysslingars.”

That SCP was both completely unexpected and completely appropriate. Also a very interesting mix of creepy and hilarious.

I nearly lost it at the description of the humanoids SCP-3008-2.

Edit: Working my way through the journal entry - my goodness this stuff is straight-up made for its own movie or Netflix series!

Check out the containment series on youtube; the latest episode is based off that SCP.


Link to the specific video based on SCP-3008: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vcq1lLCgk7E&list=PLEXIiC3q94...

Love this series! Hope the next one is on the way!

A game that seems very inspired by the SCP Foundation itself recently came out, Control by Remedy — if you enjoyed the site and play games at all, you should check it out!

Hey I've seen the trailer for that, I hadn't read enough SCP to recognize the inspiration though. Very interesting!

I’m midway through it, and it’s one of my favourite games already. If you dig the “weird sci-fi” aesthetic, then I strongly recommend it. The physics engine is also super impressive.

It's always great to see SCP stuff around! Thanks for reading and enjoying! (Am SCP admin. Just super happy people are enjoying the literature.)

(off-topic) Just curious, have you heard of the game "Control" that was just released? I've been playing it, and it borrows heavily from SCP (and I mean heavily -- it's the same concept).

Just wondering your thoughts on that, for such a big-budget production to make use of SCP concepts? Reminds me of the Slenderman films (except much much better).

My personal thoughts are simply that when I heard the news, I couldn't stop smiling I was so touched! People enjoy the site! People enjoy the site so much they're putting their labor into making things! Big things! Things that will touch countless more people, who may go on and make even more things!

A oroborous of being touched and touching, endlessly.

(I do not mean to be too unnerving, but can I help myself? I am one of the "creepier" fiction writers there! :) I haven't played the game yet because I don't have money. When I am able to better afford it I will buy and binge for sure! )

> A oroborous of being touched and touching, endlessly.

Like two adolescent child molesters.

That SCP entry was not far off from the experience at the Oak Creek store:


Unlike some others I've been to, it is designed as one long twisty maze from start to finish. While there are shortcuts that allow you to skip some sections, the place is so closed in it is hard to keep oriented. You can't really navigate like you would a traditional store.

I'll never go again, and I know others who feel the same way.

There was an SF story where you would teleport from one city to another by walking into (and out of) franchise stores - the high similarity between locations resulting in space-time congruency, hand-wave ...

THANK YOU, empath75, for that hilarious link. I am flabbergasted by the downvotes; the link is relevant and worthwhile.

I was in Ikea this weekend to pick up a single item and the game was more "rat in a maze" than hide and seek.

>>Are they wearing IKEA bedlinen?

This made me laugh. I can almost see the person arguing that that is just part of his daily wardrobe with a very matter of fact face.

That sounds awesome, but how does a 3k game of hide & seek actually work? I mean, by home rules growing up, one person was "it" and had to find everyone. That would suck. One person would have to find 2999 others, and most of them would just be stuck stuck under an Espevar, waiting.

This is an important problem to solve. I call on the engineers of this site to find a solution to the hide & seek scaling problem. Let's get to work!

You might be interested in the hide-and-seek variant Sardines. One person hides, with a group of seekers. Seekers that find the one who hides have to hide with them, until one seeker is left. There is nothing like the feeling of looking around, encountering fewer and fewer other seekers, until you are alone with the knowledge that you just lost.

We used to do this in a giant church. One time the police came due to an alarm that went off and the youth leader was in the bathroom with a bunch of kids LOL

The first excellent episode of British TV series Inside No. 9 revolves around a game of Sardines. Wholeheartedly recommended, for pitch-perfect Brit dark humour

Just watched it now. Gosh that was weird and strangely captivating. Also, literally every single person spoke with their own uniquely wonderful accent and mannerism - odd thing to notice and comment on but it made it that much better. Looking forward to the rest of this series.

Whole series is totally amazing!

Sardines is a central part of the plot of The Demolished Man[0], the first Hugo award winning novel.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Demolished_Man

Oh yes, Sardines was great fun! Very popular among teens when I was that age.

Which definitely had nothing to do with the possibility of finding yourself squeezed into a confined space with the person you had a crush on. Definitely.

Well done for finding the right phrasing. That was my first thought too but the phrase I had in mind wasn't politically correct so I didn't comment.

That was precisely the aspect we enjoyed the most, though I hesitated to note that detail when posting earlier.

It wasn't the only fun part though. Someone would always start giggling and give away the hideout.

Also seek-and-hide.

How can you ever be sure if you've lost?

I had assumed it was one of those where the players who are found join the seeking team. I think that tends to scale because the seekers usually have explosive growth as the poorly-hidden players are rapidly converted.

But the poorly hidden players are exactly the ones who are worse at finding clever hiding spots!

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. They can simply cover more ground and brute force it.

That makes it sound rather Borg like.

When the seeker gets pissed off enough about how well people are hiding, they take the people they found and go inside and watch a movie.

As grownups, maybe the bar, or just hang out in the Ikea food court?

That sounds about right, "I found 100 people. I'm done. Time to get a hotdog and something with lingonberry in it."

Two hotdogs, one with jam?

Everyone person who is found becomes a seeker as well. That way at the end you have 2999 people seeking 1 person.

Maybe 2999 people had to find the one?

This would work much better and is actually a great variant I play with my family (although 3k is still a bit crowded). One hides, everyone seeks, if you find, you join hiding.

This has some neat extra elements, such as tactics ("I think I found them but I first need to misdirect and lose these guys"), gymnastics ("Found, so how am I going to fit my big ass into this tiny, already overcrowded spot"), and most importantly shared shadenfreude ("How are we supposed to hold our laughs if the last seeker just strolls by with all of us packed here?").

Highly recommended

This game was called "sardines" in my childhood neighborhood.

I think that would usually be called a reverse-hide & seek.

I think we used to call it Pink Panther.

Start with a scrum master ...

Oh no, no no no, Agile hide & seek is just plain wrong

But they do need a hide and seek manifesto at least.

A bunch of childish young adults inconvenience a bunch of shoppers and employees at a big box store and the police for no good reason.

"To have fun" is a good reason.

Yes. Fun for the people playing. Fun, at the expense of the people I was talking about. Maybe I am too cranky, but it seems really frivolous and thoughtless. Given all the mass shootings at retailers, it seems like it could cause too many people anxiety or other distress to be worth it.

The game was in Scotland not America. The rest of the world isn't afraid of being shot when they go to ikea.

Fun is not a zero-sum game, thankfully

Why do you assume the players were young, and how were the other people inconvenienced? (And why does inconvenience outweigh the players' enjoyment?)

Worth remembering "IKEA Heights", a soap opera filmed covertly inside the IKEA store in Burbank, California 10 years ago.



Whoa that's hilarious, it's got [1] Randall Park in it before he was famous!

Do you know some other series from that era? I recently discovered "GoodNeighborStuff" which has the same quality sketch comedy feel to it.

[1] https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1320827/

[2] https://www.youtube.com/user/GoodNeighborStuff

Take a look at Channel101.com, it seems like this show originally was screened there. The idea is people submit 5 minute tv pilots and only continue making them if the live channel101 audience votes to renew them for another episode.

Almost everything on channel101, even now, still feels like quality sketch comedy. Some of the best stuff though is Dan Harmon's original shows - though there are almost too many to watch http://www.channel101.com/talent/108

I almost forgot about it! Great throwback, this "show" was hilarious.

This. Is. Hilarious. I've never heard of this before.

The game continues, but the Police are now the seekers and stakes are raise: if you're found, you go to jail.

At this scale, and the addition of the police, thoughts of PacMan on an epic scale seem most apt.

Seems like a good reason to go to Target instead.

Nah, in target you are an easy... target! (yada yada yada, bring the downvotes you very serious people)

No jokes allowed here! Only very serious business!

Jokes are allowed here but they must be purchased with karma

Na, Target doesn't have nearly as many hiding spots.

Well this is the first scene that comes to my mind...


I was sure that was going to be Benny Hill.

> and stakes are raise: if you're found, you go to jail

Go to jail? For what? What is the crime? I would say that at least in the US there would be no such thing for this type of activity. Can you imagine a prosecutor trying to make a case over this?

> What is the crime?

If you've been asked to leave, the crime would be trespassing.

In the UK at least, trespassing is not a crime. The store would have to bring a prosecution and prove damages, so far as I know.

Ah, yes, I was speaking of US law.

> If you've been asked to leave, the crime would be trespassing.

If you are asked to leave, it would means that you were found, doesn't it?

> if you're found, you go to jail.

If you are found, you lose, you don't go to jail.

> If you are asked to leave, it would means that you were found, doesn't it?

Not necessarily. You could be asked to leave with an announcement over the PA system.

> Not necessarily. You could be asked to leave with an announcement over the PA system.

Would that be valid legally though? Like how can you know it was targeting you? If they mentions everyone, that could works.

You will still not go to jail though and you can still try to avoid their sight (or else you'll be "found").

Sounds like IKEA was warned in advance and police were there to try and prevent people from hiding, letting them know it was not welcome.

I also imagine IKEA has a loudspeaker system. If they announce "please, everyone, store hours are over, leave the IKEA" but you stay hidden, you're trespassing.

In some jurisdictions they can charge you with "disorderly conduct" [1]. It can be argued that 3k+ people playing a game of hide-and-seek in a public store like Ikea does meet the following criteria:

- Makes noise that is unreasonable, considering the nature and purpose of the actor's conduct, location, time of day or night, and other factors that would govern the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances.

- Creates or maintains a hazardous or physically offensive condition.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disorderly_conduct


Not going to happen and not with that many people. It would be a nightmare in court. They'd have to also show that the people involved were actually part of the game and not in some way just at the store for unrelated reasons. Possible but highly unlikely. Would have to have security tapes that were open and shut and actually use those. Also highly unlikely without the help of some high pressure interrogation and confession of the suspect. What can happen and what does happen are always different things. In theory you can get a ticket for going 56 in a 55mph zone. Generally not something to worry about. Not saying impossible and not saying police don't do that but the risk should not be overstated.

Not going to happen and not with that many people

You may have forgotten the "flash mob" craze, when people were sometimes rounded up en masse and prosecuted. This also happens when people get rowdy at bars, concerts, parades, political rallies, etc... It's a thing.

It would never go to trial.

The ones arrested that have the means would hire private lawyers and receive deferred prosecution agreements or simply charges dropped.

The ones without the means would be assigned public defenders who would give them 1 hour of time every 2 weeks, just enough to wear them out and accept a plea deal in lieu of going to court.

The 1% that didn't have the means but fought anyways would go to court/trial, and would also have charges dropped before it went that far.

They could prosecute the organizers. I suspect it would be similar process as a protest.

His comment was made in jest.

Towards the end of middle school, about one mile away, was a brand-new, two-story Barnes and Nobles. My friends and I - most of whom were waiting to be picked up in a couple hours by our still-working parents - would often go there to engage in relatively "large scale" hide-and-seek. It was a lot of fun. As it turned out, our future high school was even closer to the place. Shennanigans in the store became a daily thing, and we became the bane of that place's existience. The whole outside seating area became a camp site of sorts for teens waiting to go home. Police began to frequent the area, often nabbing underage cigarette smokers. For about one week, they had some kind of annoying sonic deterrent device installed that would only be audible to young people - complaints forced them to remove it. Years later and the plaza has full-time rent-a-cops to keep the droves of teens in check.

I feel like they would have been better off officially sanctioning the event and making a big PR stunt out of it.

As the article mention, they used to allow it but had to ban it since 2015. No details as to why except for vague PR speak of safety, my guess is they can't get insurance coverage for the events, at least not at reasonable price.

People take things too far. They'll climb on things which shouldn't be climbed on. Some dork might hide in sealed fridge. They'll go back to the warehouse section and hide where forklifts are operating. Not to mention the general destruction of the floor models.

Maybe after hours, but paying people to manage that situation after hours probabbly isn't worth the PR.

In the meantime the Ikea near me is packed as it is and they're busy selling stuff.

I don't think Ikea needs that kind of PR.

Probably cheaper than TV/mail advertising per-customer-acquisition or per-additional-dollar-o-profit.

You are correct. It has long been a secret in the advertising industry that adult players of "hide and seek" games are among the most profitable and sought after demographics for purchasing of interior home furnishings. [1]

The only problem has been how to narrowly target this highly sought after group of customers. Because they are notoriously difficult to locate.

I think OP means IKEA doesn't need any advertisement. Who isn't aware of IKEA? And every IKEA I've ever been in has been so packed that I don't think encouraging more people to shop there is their primary worry.

IKEA is heavily advertised in Europe, and I suspect it has better name recognition here than in the USA.

Until someone injures themselves climbing up a storage rack, or someone hides in a refrigerator and suffocates. The liability is massive.

Refrigerators are safer now


The ones that fall on people have been outcompeted by friendlier ones after the prey learned. Just evolution as usual.

They have a limit on how much force it takes to open them from the inside

Older refrigerators (50's/60's) had a locking handle

Could just as well turn off real customers who head home when the store has turned into a playground.

"We prefer the usual no holds barred madhouse where there are no rules. I mean, in hide and seek you're not allowed to ram full speed into someone with your cart with a passive aggressive 'sorry'!"

hahahahaha best comment all night

The article points out this has been common in Europe and that Ikea originally supported the idea until it got out of hand.

Another case of “why we can’t have nice things”. In moderation things work. People start abusing liberties and they have to be taken away cuz people forget how to behave.

Hell, what is the fire-code max occupancy of an Ikea? I know it feels like there are 3000 people in line ahead of you, but I wouldn't be surprised if 3000 was well above the occupancy, not even including the actual customers.

Space wise, 3000 people should be fine for most IKEA stores, they're huge and retail occupancy is about 60 square feet per person [1]. However, ability to egress is probably the limiting factor; there might not be enough emergency exit capacity for that many people.

[1] https://up.codes/s/occupant-load see mercantile in TABLE 1004.1.2 MAXIMUM FLOOR AREA ALLOWANCES PER OCCUPANT, but note warehouse requires 500 square feet per person, which is about half the area of the IKEAs I'm familiar with.

I'm pretty sure half the reason why they do it is to inconvenience/disturb the other customers there.

A fair part of the attraction is going to be that it’s not sanctioned.

Dealing with health and safety would be a nightmare.

A 3000-person game of Hide-and-Seek in an IKEA is what happens when private businesses start to take over free culture, public places, and public events.

In the past, villages would play village football (or "mob football", or "Ba") against each other. The England-Scotland border was actually defined in part by the winner of an annual Ba game between Coldstream and Wark. The "Baa Green" south of the river went to the winner. Since Coldstream grew larger, it's pretty much permanently Scottish now.

But then the government banned the playing of football on the highways, and towns couldn't play against each other as easily any more. Spoilsports.

Every once in a while, The People of Eris get together and say, "We're going to do something silly and fun and surreal and wondrous and magical and thrilling!" And then The People of Greyface get together and say, "Stop that at once. Someone is going to get hurt, or laugh at the government, or something else equally awful. And that would be catastrophically disastrous. So, no fun for you. Off with you, now." It's an eternal struggle.

The Ba in Kirkwall is held every year still. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkwall_Ba_game

Classic DOS attack by morons. You have that public place, business, physical service you want to block, so you send a massive number of morons (easily available on Facebook) to do dumb stuff in that site. Bang! Mission accomplished. For maximum damage a "Press reflection" variant exists: with the help of the press you make this kind of attack trendy so more morons can be focused on the target. Booom ! Nuclear blast!

It seems someone figured out how to play hide-and-seek with thousands of people. Just let Ikea know you are coming and they will provide the seeker. The last one thrown out by security or the police before closing is the winner. Bragging rights go to the person who is found the next morning by staff sleeping in one of the beds.

> “People are stopping everyone who ‘looks like they are here for a game of hide and seek,’”

What? How does one look like they are there for a game of hide and seek v a regular shopper?

Maybe they're wearing Swedish furniture camouflage? If they come in with a costume that looks like a Billy book shelf. That's a dead giveaway.

Wouldn't that make them invisible to the police?

Until there's robot furniture that moves on its own, no. I bet someone somewhere is working on it, though.

yup, they’re working on it: https://ikea.today/rognan-robotic-furniture-for-small-space-...

which is not surprising considering how successful the tradfri line of (affordable) smart home products has been (i’m a fan).

If the police stop them, they've clearly failed at the "hide" part of the game

I suspect that "stopping" just means a short, and polite, conversation near the entrance.

Regular shoppers don’t usually crouch behind things.

How am I supposed to know if furniture is good if I can't test its viability in games of hide and seek?

I have to agree, if I can't test the product why would I even go to IKEA? I'd rather purchase online. At least online I can find reviews for it's hide and seek performance!

What's next? They start banning us for testing out the furnitures viability for The Floor is Lava?


My takeaway from all of this is that if you have kids that are going to play hide-and-seek, you probably want something more durable than IKEA furniture.

I think IKEA realizes this as well.

It's 2019. Adults can play hide and seek too, you know.

Scottish police says: Tell it tae th' baillie!

(= Tell it to the judge)

Then how am I supposed to know if those things will fit my things inside them?

It would be like buying a mattress without lying on it first.

The hiding and the seeking is probably a good indicator.

It takes me so much effort to get to my IKEA I would be so totally enraged if I was stopped as a “suspected hide and seeker” and denied entry. I cannot imagine.

What exactly were the police planning to do if they found someone playing hide and seek? At most it seems like they could ask people to leave the store, and if they refuse charge them with trespassing - but those are civil matters.

I mean, it's a different legal system than I'm used to, but around here trespassing is criminal.

Generally you're not trespassing in a store until they ask you to leave, or you've been informed not to engage in certain activity.

This sounds funny but would quickly get tiresome and intimidating for staff; glad they shut it down - really selfish of the event organisers and participants.

How would this work? I could just hide in plain sight: act like I'm shopping.

Do you have to seek only people that look like they are hiding?

This makes me curious how the upcoming raid on Area 51 will go.

Is this an actual thing?

I thought it was a joke, is it meant to be a joke but some people are going to turn up having it taken it seriously?

Not an American, but I feel that could go badly.

It's not an actual thing beyond a big in-joke. If anyone does actually show up, it will be something like the pizzagate gunman situation, where they have mental issues. Area 51 is so isolated [0] that a raid by any average person is pretty much impossible, they'll be stopped miles away from the facility. It's a long gravel road just to reach the restricted roads. [1] If you type for directions from Crystal Springs to Area 51 into Google Maps it'll also show the gravel road (and the street-view person also changes into a UFO haha)

[0] https://www.google.com/maps/place/37°14'52.9"N+115°48'00.6"W...

[1] https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g45991-d117062...

You didn't exactly say this, but Pizzagate was not a big joke. Like the Flat Earth Society, many of its originators may have thought of it as a joke or rhetorical exercise, but a lot of people got genuinely pulled into it.

The military compound won't be overrun, but local towns are bracing for an surge of idiots arriving the same day.

Idiots, it must be noted, who are expected to require food and lodging, provided at a reasonable price by the local towns.

Man, you are not kidding! I didn't realise it was so far from anywhere and that looks fairly inhospitable terrain too.

The hospitable terrain in the area is highly inhospitable.

I think whether or not it was started as a joke is somewhat irrelevant now that over 4K people have signed up. It seems likely that at least of few those people will actually try to show up.


4K? Try 2 million: https://www.facebook.com/events/area-51/storm-area-51-they-c...

The latest seems to be that they're organizing a festival called "Alienstock" in the desert near Area 51, maybe it could end up being similar to Burning Man or it could also just be a scam. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/21/will-alienst...

2 million millenials RSVP'd on Facebook? If my last birthday party is anything to go by, that means you can only expect my mom to show up.

Haha. That reminds me of this scene from Independence Day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr3J11fbRXk

(edit: God... don't read the comments on that clip...)

I thought that number seemed low based on my previous memory. Thanks for clarifying :)

It's the Ayr version of Fyre Festival.

Actually, over 2 million people signed up. The original page was taken down.

I guess part of the appeal is that nobody knows how many, if at all, people will show up.

Another part of the appeal is that nobody may ever know how many people, if any, actually showed up.

And of those that did show up, how many were people :)

Ikea should stop 'banning' them and embracing these. They should build a ticket platform so you can only get into the game w/a ticket. You'd put an armband on signifying you're a 'player'. That way they could maybe limit it to a smaller number per game.. 3000 seems like a lot. Maybe 500 or less. How many of these people would shop while there are go to the cafeteria?

We were at Ikea today and I thought - they should have a "lazer" game where you try to get as many tags as possible. Players would be required to walk, you could only tag someone once and they could have tags on furniture [or only on furniture] that encouraged kids to "catch them all" ensuring the parents visited a particular room or item that Ikea wanted to sell.

Maybe ...

MVP would be just have some of the barcodes with a different colour background and give people barcode readers "capture 30 tags and get an icecream"; improves engagement, keeps kids interested in the "hunt"??

Perhaps you could try imagining that they want to stick at what they have been doing for doing for past 76 years: Selling furniture.

When I was in high school, I would play a game called "fugitive"[0] with 100+ people from nearby schools. Essentially, it's a game of chase through a few miles of town. Everyone starts at the same line but runners get a head start. Runners who are tagged become chasers who carpool with drivers. Runners use any means necessary to get away, including hiding and deceiving, trespassing across properties, jumping fences and scaling houses.... It was a frenzy and madness and probably didn't last an hour overall. Athletes win the race and everyone else has a brilliant hilarious experience.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugitive_(game)

That sounds fun; I wished I could have played that.

For people who want to experience some of the same thrill, try watching FailRace’s “Survive the Hunt” series on YouTube, in which he plays Grand Theft Auto V in a lobby with his fans. He is given a head-start to drive away from the group in his car, then he has to switch to a random vehicle and pretend to be one of the many AI cars. After a few minutes a swarm of 15 or so hunters comb the city looking for anyone out of place. The videos get more exciting when they see FailRace and he has to lose them, despite all of the hunters being in voice contact. It’s not the ideal version of this kind of game, because FailRace only goes on foot when he has no other option, but it is still fun to watch.

The playlist is https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHw7hcztgbtslirPWPBL4.... That playlist isn’t complete for some reason; search FailRace’s other videos for “Survive the Hunt” to find the rest.

How is a 3000-person game of hide-and-seek supposed to work? Hide-and-seek typically involves knowing who you're looking for, or at least knowing that anyone in a given area is in on the game.

I would probably organize it like a big game of infection tag. You start with one or a few people who are tagged, but each person who's found becomes tagged as well, and becomes a searcher. When you find somebody, you scan a QR code on their phone (or on a race bib that everybody pins to their clothes). A trivial database on your phone tells you who was found last, how many are left, etc.

I was wondering the exact same thing. Who hides and who seeks? I'm guessing that it's more like people go in small groups and do it within their own group but just with the size of the Ikea store being the fun factor. Or maybe they team up against another group of equal size to see which group can find each other faster?

Or maybe they wear some sort of tags in their clothing to identify them as hiders.

We used to do this on dates at the Denver, CO IKEA. No one ever even knew what we were doing.

"The trend began in Belgium in 2014 and quickly gained popularity throughout the continent"... People have been do this in Ikea for much longer than that, I love it when "journalists" make up facts based on conveniently available evidence. In two months the New York Times will cite Belgium as the beginning of ever playing hide and seek in public.

Ikea is the perfect place to play hide and seek. The stores are deliberately designed to be labyrinthine after all.

The stores have a single (long, windy) path illuminated with arrows, plus pockets for each product area

Hide-and-seek was always my favorite game to play with friends. Nothing can really beat the basal gratification and excitement in simulating a predator-prey situation. It is kind of neat that humans, after conquering hunting and being hunted, simulate this activity for risk-free thrill.

This reminds me of the time my high school wrestling team had practice over winter break and we played hide and seek one day instead of practicing. There were about 30 of us (including coaches) and we had the whole school to ourselves. That was the best game of hide and seek.

Joke's on them, it was 4,000.

The first (public) web app was a tool for managing large games of Assassin, which we used for about a week and a half to run a class-wide game until someone complained to his parents and the school shut us down. We probably could have finished it out, but once people get scared and start dropping out of an in-progress game, it's hard to keep going.

If I were Ikea I'd try turning into a paid event. Collect the money ahead of time ($5 per person?) and you're golden.

They'd probably need special insurance for this - doubt their day-to-day policy would cover something like this.

Might be worth it outside of normal store hours, but 15k is not going to be enough to basically shut the place down for an a few hours. Worse their liability would likely be a significant issue.

Yes, but that makes Ikea assume some responsibility. At the end of the day Ikea sells furniture, people playing a massive hide and seek game are not there to buy furniture.

They could use waiver forms, like any other place hosting moderately "dangerous" things (like trampolines, etc.).

That said, you could still allow people who came to actually buy furniture.

Though, I think it would require more preparation than just winging it.

Waivers aren't – just like anything else – perfect protection against (legal) liability. In the U.S. at least, everything can be litigated and even just defending one's self can be expensive.

this! and they could limit # of participants so it doesn't get out of hand.

Last time I wandered into an IKEA I wished there was a real escape rope item, like from the Pokemon games, to escape quickly.

"The police are stopping everyone who 'looks like they are here for a game of hide and seek.'"


This is the same Ikea that has a "Jesus in the woodgrain" on a toilet door. (If you Google it you'll see stories popping up every couple of years as someone "discovers" it again.)

It seems like an interesting business opportunity to open a Hide and Seek venue, maybe in conjunction with a theme park or something of that nature. If it is that popular. Shrug.

I'm just kind of shocked they could fit 3000 people inside an IKEA and still be able to play hide and seek. I know they're big, but damn that's impressive.

Headline continues......turns out, they were all just people lost because of the horribly-placed yellow arrows misdirecting them through the store.

Five police officers were called to the Braehead branch and remained at the store until the evening.

Ok... the title sounds way more alarming

Five police officers stopped 3000 hide-and-seekers

In a previous life they used to be Spartans

So they got the police to play as well? /s

I wonder if this was organized by an underground boxing club.

Reminds me of the "Infinite IKEA" SCP entry.

And.... now it's going world wide.

are we just posting corporate guerrilla marketing now?

Headline two days later: "It was actually a 3001 person game of hide and seek! They found Janet in the Sektion."

Next thing you know the police will be arresting people running lemonade stands!

It's nice to know that Glasgow has eliminated crime to the point that this was the most useful thing the police could possibly be doing.

it is "broken windows" policy in action - you don't stop hide and seek in IKEA today, you end up with people shooting up heroin and engaging in various adult activities there tomorrow.

Anyway, how do you efficiently stop a good game? You spoil it (cue Dr.Evil laugh). In this case use NN to analyze video feeds to identify a hiding person and deploy a Roomba (i feel like our civilization is on the precipice of the epoch where "deploy a Roomba" will be the answer to almost any situation) to the vicinity of the hiding person where the Roomba will loudly announce presence of the hiding person.

IKEA - the gateway drug?

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