Organized chase and evasion are built into our DNA as an evolutionary necessity. Tag is one of the oldest, simplest, and most fun games to play that focuses on chase and evasion. It’s played by two or more players where one or more is designated as ‘it,’ and they have to chase and tag other players.
Kids worldwide and those who are just kids at heart have always chased each other for fun. Tag works for any age and skill level and can be played virtually anywhere at any time without any extra equipment. Agility, balance, strength, hand-eye coordination, reflexes, strategy, accuracy, intuition, and patience are some of the skills you can learn from Tag and its variations.
Tag is certainly a fun and interesting game, but most people overlook the facts and interesting tidbits surrounding the game. If you’re dying to find out more about this game, read on.
These are 25 facts about Tag:
1. A Group of Adults Have Played Tag For Many Decades
Ten high school friends who bonded over the Tag game in the 1980s have kept it going for many decades. The game is fundamentally similar to the regular Tag, where one player is ‘it’ until he tags someone else but with a few twists.
There are no geographic restrictions, and there’s even a legally binding “Tag Participation Agreement” signed by all the players. The players form alliances, dress up in disguises, hide in trunks, fly around the country and enlist their wives as spies. They’ve even inspired a movie called ‘Tag.’
2. Tag Games Can Be Traced Back To Ancient Greece
In ancient Greece, games and play were more than just entertainment for children. They were used to enculturate kids into the dominant culture by teaching them specific behaviors, skills, and values they would need to function as adults.
Julius Pollux, a 2nd Century Greek writer, describes the game of Ostrakinda, a flight and pursuit chasing game where two teams chased each other like Tag. The game was meant to build endurance and agility, which had obvious utility in a community that went to war on foot and fought in hand-to-hand combat.
3. Tag Is A Professional Sport
In 2011, Damien and Christian Davieux founded World Chase Tag and turned this classic playground game into a professional sport. The brothers were inspired by a backyard game of Tag, and it grew from a hobby to a sport.
They added obstacles and a playing arena known as a Quad to perfectly balance the chase between the evader and the chaser. It has gained enormous interest worldwide and is a competitive spectacle watched by millions of viewers.
4. Blind’s Man’s Bluff and Romance in the Golden Age
Blind’s man bluff is a Tag variation where players designated as ‘it’ are blindfolded. They attempt to Tag other players who try to avoid them. Various paintings and accounts also show it was popular during the Elizabethan period.
Social norms for courting and dating in the Elizabethan era were stringent. Physical contact was prohibited, and the game was used to get around this. It made it possible to create romantic and sensual encounters under the guise of fun.
5. Tag and Courtship in the Victorian Era
During the Victorian era, females were expected to remain innocent and free of any thought of love or sexuality until they received a proposal. They were advised to keep their eyes chastely downcast. In this tightly corseted society, parlor games helped relax strict courtship rules.
One Tag variant was called ‘If You Love Me, Dearest, Smile.’ One player was selected as the ‘it,’ and they were the only ones allowed to smile. Their task was getting everyone else to smile, and the last person to smile won. This provided a chance for young adults to openly lock eyes, flirt, and get to know each other.
6. Tag Has Its Own National Holiday
Tag has its own National holiday in the US known as the American Touch Tag Day. This traditional childhood game is celebrated on October 8th to encourage kids of all ages to go out and play. The main reason the day is dedicated to the game is to honor its time-tested existence.
There’s no better way to observe it than to participate in a game of touch Tag. The day calls for you to go outdoors, get together with friends and run around no matter your age. It can involve your whole family and entire neighborhoods!
7. Cue In Coronavirus Tag
Play is the language of children, and it’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has been showing up in one of the most popular kid’s games. The pandemic has upended the lives of children across the globe, and, naturally, it constantly occupies their minds.
One potentially risky version of Tag is where kids tag their friends by coughing on them. Those who become ‘it’ can only gain immunity by wearing a ‘face mask’ in the form of raising a sleeve over their face. Another version incorporates social distancing by having a rule of only Tagging someone’s shadow.
8. Bows, Arrows, and Tag
Strange and unusual games are all the rave these days, and Archery Tag is one of them. Think dodgeball but with bows and arrows where you Tag your opponents with foam-tipped arrows designed not to cause injury. The game combines laser Tag, paintball, and dodgeball with the thrill of hunting.
If you’ve ever wanted to hunt people down and shoot them with your bow or tag them in this case, then this is the game for you. It’s basically a safe, non-lethal, and family-friendly variation of the Hunger Games.
9. Tag Is Like A Rehearsal For Everyday Life
Just think about all the activities involved in a game of Tag. You have to decide who is ‘it,’ agree on safe spots and how time out will work, negotiate the rules and even sort out disputes on whether someone was Tagged or not.
Tag instills essential social skills like negotiation, fairness, and compromise, which come in handy in everyday life.
10. Tag Promotes Accurate Risk Management
Positive risk-taking supports positive outcomes for both children and adults. An environment with no risks at all cannot challenge or stimulate you. By taking risks, you develop the confidence to deal with all sorts of situations, enhancing your well-being.
Tag demands accurate risk management because you have to ensure you don’t hurt yourself or other players by colliding with them or being too aggressive.
11. Tag Helps Promote Diversity
From ancient Greek times, games have played an essential role in inculturation. Play is a way for kids to learn about the world around them and the cultural values of their society. Games like Tag are instrumental in promoting cultural pluralism and acceptance of differences.
When playing Tag, everyone is equal and follows similar rules regardless of culture, background, language, age, or ability.
12. Tag Might Be The Ultimate Stress Reliever
Have you ever seen anyone playing Tag with a frown on their face? It’s impossible to play without laughing and screaming with fun. Running around with adults or children is an excellent form of stress relief.
Tag has a way of keeping you in the moment with a lighthearted focus and laughter that comes easily.
13. Tag is Great Exercise
Intense cardiovascular exercise is the most apparent benefit of Tag. Instead of sprinting on a track, you’re running away from danger. This encourages you to truly maximize your activity since you want to run away as fast as you can.
What’s even better is you can get in a workout spontaneously at any time or place.
14. Tag Can Keep You Sharp
Tag promotes abstract problem solving as you play. You learn the basics of strategy and tactics as you formulate different ways of evading capture or how to quickly tag others. You’re literally thinking on your feet as you change directions, stay alert of chasers, and dodge them repeatedly.
This promotes brain development and growth.
15. Tag Helps Cultivate Morality
Morality involves standards that make it possible for people to live together and includes what society determines to be right or wrong. Tag involves following rules, doing your best according to your ability, playing fairly with others, and caring for your opponents.
These are considered proper social attitudes, and you’re expected to reflect them in daily life.
16. Tag Promotes Sportsmanship
Sportsmanship refers to a character or aspiration that an activity or sport is enjoyed for its own sake. Tag is all about the fun, and winning or losing is inconsequential. This promotes a sense of fellowship, ethics, respect, and fairness with your competitors.
Instead of being a sore loser, it makes you accept both winning and losing with dignity.
17. Tag Enhances Your Senses
Tag enhances sensory integration. This is the process where your brain takes the information it receives from the five senses, organizes it, and makes it possible for you to respond appropriately. In a Tag game, you have to coordinate different sensory inputs simultaneously.
You have to maintain balance when running, be aware of obstacles, and use visual perception when dodging and tagging.
18. Tag Promotes Fairness
Fairness means that everybody has an equal opportunity to benefit. It does not mean that everybody gets what they want. Tag can help children and adults understand the concept of fairness. You have to take turns and review the rules of the game before playing.
You can’t change the rules after losing, and everyone has an equal chance of being the chaser or the evader.
19. Laser Tag Has Its Own Museum
Laser Tag is a Tag variation where special equipment that emits light beams is used to register Tags or hits on opponents. The Laser Tag Museum was opened in 2005 in Louisville, USA, and is dedicated to preserving the story and history of the 30-year-old laser Tag industry.
It contains hundreds of laser Tag toys, products, artifacts, artworks, and trophies on display.
20. Star Wars Inspired Laser Tag
Star Wars has had a significant impact on modern popular culture. It helped spark the laser Tag idea that has lasted for many decades. A scene where Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia use phaser-like guns to fight stormtroopers inspired George Carter III to turn the fight scene into an infrared Tag game.
Maybe if it hadn’t happened first on the big screen, you’d probably not be jumping obstacles to take out opponents on the Laser Tag arena.
21. Children Have Naturally Passed Down Tag
Most children’s games, including Tag, have been traditionally passed down from one generation to the next among children without much input from adults. The power of self-directed discovery and learning is limitless in kids. It illustrates the intuitive structure and logic of a child’s untutored mind.
This aligns with Albert Einstein’s quote that “Play is the highest form of research.”
22. There’s An Actual Restore Tag Movement
Over the years, many schools have cut back on recess time and banned rough and tumble games like Tag citing risks and bowing to pressures to boost test scores. Various movements to restore recess games like Tag have emerged to fight this trend across the US and voice their objection.
They’ve cited the right for their children to play as a fundamental human right.
23. Tag Can Improve Academic Achievement
Playing is vital in developing the intellectual constructs of children and young adults. Children learn by playing, and when they engage in games like Tag, they boost their attention, creativity, problem-solving activities, and socialization.
Playing Tag can make your child more attentive and productive in the classroom.
24. Tag Inspires Teamwork
The Tag game is a perfect way to inspire teamwork and cooperation among adults and children. It gets everyone working and laughing together and creates strong bonds among the players. Different variations like helping Tag have rules that require you to work together with other players.
The object of the game is to have everyone participate.
25. Tag Teaches You Consent
You can’t go around tagging just about anyone. Before playing, everyone has to agree to participate, and a player can choose to opt-out at any time. The Tag game is a good model of consent and an excellent example of following social rules.