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)
- BANG 1: The Presidio
- BANG 2: BANG Harder - Stanford
- ( BANNG - GPS game in Berkeley )
- BANG 3: Eyes Wide Open - UC Berkeley - Walkthrough
- BANG 4: City Lights (Union Square)
- BANG 5: Fisherman's Wharf
- BANG 6: Tall Tree - Downtown Palo Alto
- BANG 7: Nontrivial Pursuit - Google campus
- BANG 8: Bang H8! (as in: "the Haight")
- BANG 9: Sealed with a BANG - Stanford (a Valentine's Day BANG)
- BANG 10: Big Bang - Google campus
- BANG 11: Castro St. (Mountain View)
- BANG 12: What's Your Sign? (Downtown San Mateo)
- BANG 13: Trick or BANG - a Hallowe'en BANG (San Francisco Union Square)
- BANG 14: Hail to the BANG (Downtown San Jose)
- BANG 15: BANG AppÃÂ©tit (Petaluma)
- BANG 16: The Amazing BANG (Los Gatos/Saratoga)
- BANG 17: Knights of the Round Table (Berkeley Campus)
- BANG 18: Iron Puzzler BANG (San Francisco Presidio)
- BANG 19: Uninfected Defense Coalition - South (Downtown Berkeley / West UCB Campus)
- BANG XX: Get Lucky! (North Beach, SF)
- BANG 21 (Menlo Park)
- BANG 22: SNAP 5 Simulcast (San Rafael)
- BANG 23: Mr. Evil BANG (Bvrlingame)
- 24: The BANG (Downtown San Jose)
- BANG 25:Back to School (Stanford campus)
- BANG XXVI: Viking Conquest (Downtown Mountain View)
- BANG 29: Ghost Patrol: Bust A'Nother Ghost (Berkeley)
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