Follow these tips, and with a little luck you'll be sure to outlast everyone else in a game of ‘Gotcha!’ at Briar Cliff. Or, maybe not.
Another season of “Gotcha!” has come and gone at Briar Cliff — which explains why for two weeks, you saw paranoid students constantly looking over their shoulders, breaking into random sprints and screaming like their Great Aunt Joyce was chasing them down for a kiss on Christmas.
A quick shoutout to this year’s winners: Dillon Reynolds, Nate Saksa and Ashley Del Alto.
As for next year? I’m already strategizing. For the rest of you, here are some tips on how to survive in what amounts to an ultimate, campus-wide, Hunger Games version of Briar Cliff ball-tag:
1. Know the rules.
The rules of Gotcha are simple: you have a target, a target has you. You must knock out your target (by “hitting” or “tagging” them with your kooshy Gotcha ball), before someone else gets you. When you knock someone out, you assume their target. Bathrooms and classrooms are off limits, and you must be invited into a room in order to knock someone out. You only have 48 hours to eliminate your target.
2. Trust no one.
If you see someone reaching into their pockets or backpacks, DROP EVERYTHING AND RUN INTO THE NEAREST CLASSROOM OR BATHROOM. Someone asks you to meet them at Java City? Don’t. Going to see your “friend” at the Pit? It’s a trap. Classmate asks to meet you with notes on the lecture? Yeah right. Don’t trust anything that seems suspicious.
3. Make alliances.
I know I just said “trust no one,” but it really does help asking around about your target. It’s a small school. Everyone knows everyone. They also know what their schedules are like. I’ve found, it’s best to make alliances with people who aren’t playing or are already out.
4. Don’t go to the caf.
*Cue Top Gun theme song* The cafeteria is the number one spot where people are knocked out. If you can, avoid the danger zone as much as possible. I’ve known of people going grocery shopping before Gotcha season, just so they don’t have to go to the caf.
5. You can’t stay in your room.
There is a 48-hour rule in place for a reason. In order to get your target, you must come out of hiding. I’ve known people to skip classes and basically hibernate in order to avoid the possibility of getting “Got.” My advice? Go to class, the prize isn’t worth the stacks of homework you’ll miss out on.
6. Hire a bodyguard.
I’ve heard of students clotheslining others in order to win. I, myself, have had my hair pulled and glasses ripped off during this game. Yes. It was that serious. The only solution: Hire a bodyguard. Give them a fraction of the prize money for helping you out. It’s a win-win.
7. Have an escape plan for every room.
BCU is a weird place when Gotcha season rolls around. You see students hiding in bathrooms and classrooms for hours at a time, hopping the counter of Java City after a shift, and taking screens off their 2nd-floor window in case of emergency. Once you walk into a room or building, analyze where the nearest exits are.
8. Don’t be salty for getting out.
It is, in fact, just a game. Sometimes the circumstances in which you get out are pretty unfair. But honestly the stress of not playing anymore really feels like a weight lifted off your shoulders. Just accept the loss and help your friends out with their targets.
So there’s the tricks and the trade of Gotcha. It’s a fun game to play and even more fun to watch. And though they aren’t a guarantee in winning, follow these tips next year and you might stay alive.
May the odds be ever in your favor!