The Come Out and Play Festival is a street games fesitval dedicated to exploring new styles of games and play.

Come Out & Play 2006 in New York City

Lightning Buzz
Caution! The game may result in severe running, accidental trapping, and super lightning. Lightning Buzz gives players an evening full of actions in urban park. Flashlight is the only official game equipment, and you are ready to tag someone, light up the park, and hide in the darkness.

Location: Central Park
# of players: 10-40 players
Duration: 30 minutes

The lights are particularly important in urban environment. Evening becomes the highlight of a day, and people continue on various activities. Many parks are dim and surrounded by lights from nearby shops, streets, and cars. Lightning Buzz turns participants into part of their urban environment, instead of being in the environment. Inside a park after sunset, players run around and move through the space with flashlights in their hand. They can choose to turn the lights on and off, indicating their visible and hidden status. Players of on flashlights can tag other visible players and create a lightning buzz chain. Players of off flashlights merge with spectators in the park, who also become part of the game environment. The longest lightning buzz chain wins the game. Official Ruleset

Make the longest "lightning buzz" chain to win before time runs out.


  1. At least 10 players are required to start the game. The optimal number of players is 100 people. There is no maximum number of players.
  2. Each player needs to bring a flashlight of any color and size.
  3. All players meet at the center of selected playing area (the front of Naumberg Bandshell in Central Park).
  4. Starting the game by counting down from 5 to 1, all players turn on their flashlights and move away from the center to any direction within the playing area. During countdown, no one can tag anyone.

Playing Area

  1. The selected playing area should not have traffics and only few streetlights.
  2. Naumberg Bandshell in Central Park will be our playing area for this festival. The playing area is limited to inside the plaza, where wooden benches go around. The entrances and paths outside and surrounding the plaza are not part of the playing area (for details, see map and diagram). We’ll mark chalk lines on the ground to clearly show the defined range.

Game Play

  1. Players turn their flashlights on and off to indicate their visible and hidden status.
  2. Players are visible when their flashlights are on. Visible players can move freely and tag other visible players.
  3. Players are hidden when their flashlights are off. Hidden players have to stay still at their current spots. Other players cannot tag them, and they cannot tag others.
  4. A player successfully tags another player or leader of a chain (tagging others in the chain does not count) created a chain of "lightning buzz". The tagged player(s) has to follow after the last player in the chain.
  5. Only leader of a "lightning buzz" chain can tag other players. Leader of the chain has to keep the flashlight on in order to retain the "lightning buzz" chain. All other players in the chain are released/disconnected once the flashlight is off.
  6. The leader can make the commands of "on" and "off" when the chain has more than three players, excluding the leader.
  7. When the leader says, "off", a "lightning buzz" chain can change its form into a circle to protect its leader from being tagged by others. All players in the chain will turn off their lights and circle their leader. The whole group becomes hidden and has to stay at its current spot.
  8. When the leader says, "on", players in the chain will turn on their lights and follow after their leader. The leader can go on tagging other players again.


  1. Each participating player needs to bring a regular and safe flashlight. The flashlight should have easily accessible on/off switch for the advantage of players. Players may use flashlights of any light bulb colors and sizes.
  2. Do "Rock, Paper, Scissors" when you think you’ve tagged each other at the same time. Loser will follow winner.
  3. It is not allowed to go beyond the predetermined playing area.
  4. It is not allowed to hide inside buildings, such as public bathrooms.
  5. No pushing, only tagging.
  6. Take a break when you’re tired.


  1. Game will run for 30 minutes.
  2. When the time is up, all players go to the center of playing area. The longest "lightning buzz" chain wins the game.

Designers: Yi-Chen Jenny Mu, Chih-Liang David Hwan

Chih-Liang David Hwan
David Hwan, grandson of Tu-Pán Fang-Ko, the Hakka Taiwanese poet, is an artist of mixed media, poet, and partner of J.D. Studio. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with a BA in Art Studio and a minor in Education and studied at the Graduate School of Figurative Art, NYAA. David devised the term “component(s)” as his foremost theory in visual art. Component(s) are abstraction of time, stillness of an organic process, and exist in solitary as individual parts until they are composed on aother surface. His woodblock print Firework (2004) won Merit Award in ARC Juried Show and is in the permanent collection of Memorial Union Art Gallery, California. Currently living in New York City, his art work has exhibited in Ten Broeck Mansion, United Nations, and in private collections internationally.


Yi-Chen Jenny Mu
Jenny Mu is a graphic designer, game designer, and founder of J.D. Studio based in New York City. Her education includes a BS in Design of Visual Communication and Presentation from the University of California, Davis, and a MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design. She also studied abroad in Scotland, UK and received a certificate in Higher Art and Design from Hamilton College. Her research design work rises critical questioning about contemporary human interactions in social space and with environments. She has been collaborating with other designers in creating fun and meaningful games. Fowl Frenzy won the Best Visual Design Award in Mobile Game Mosh contest in 2006. Her board game Retreat 1949 has exhibited at the G4C Annual Conference Game Expo.