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Bay Area Night Game What's BANG?/About Past BANGs Teams Mailing List How to Host a BANG How to Write a BANG Puzzle Hall of Fame

BANG is the Bay Area Night Game, started in November of 2002 by David Alyea. It is a sort of puzzly team race, like a children's treasure hunt, but with tougher challenges. BANG is a community-based game in which the teams that play in BANG also take turns producing BANGs. Game Control (GC) for any particular game selects the theme, writes and playtests the puzzles, sets the route, decides how to rank teams, and handles any related administrivia.

The first ever BANG race was held in the Presidio in San Francisco, and 10 teams on that night solved 10 puzzles while traversing a 7 mile course in near pitch black conditions. Along the way, they climbed through equipment in children's playgrounds, deciphered perl code, visited the pet cemetary, and even stopped to bowl at the Presidio Bowling Alley.

Initially, the team that won a BANG was expected to produce the next one. There is still the expectation that winning teams will "give back" (and they do), but now any team who wants to run a BANG can do so - and any team that regularly plays in BANG should plan to produce one at some point.

Since the first BANG, demand has grown to the point where more than 60 teams will apply to play each time a game is announced. As a result, games are often run twice, each time for a field of 30 or so teams. Even then, some teams are waitlisted and do not get to play.

And, the puzzles have gotten harder. And most BANGs seem to be played in daytime in recent years.

Still, at the core, BANG is meant to be a night-time only game played outdoors in which teams traverse by foot the entire course, carrying game supplies, flashlights, and plenty of extra clothing to stay warm into the night.

The following are all the BANG races held so far. (You can read more about past BANGs)

By now, some traditions have arisen around BANG. Each team is required to bring a prize valued between $5 and $15 to go into the prize pool, and you can also expect one puzzle per BANG to feature a physical challenge or some sort of game. Past BANGs have included pinball, darts, disc golf, and even exercise ball golf!

Notices about BANG races are distributed via the BayBang Yahoo! Group