Monday, July 7, 2008
Kimodameshi is a game commonly played in Japan, usually during the summer. There are several varieties of this game, many of which are played in the United States as well, just not called that.
Variety 1: Walk down a prearranged path at night in which people are hiding. Then have people jump out wearing scary things along the way to surprise the walker/s. Depending on rules set walk path alone or in pairs.
Variety 2: Send a person into a graveyard to get something at night or dare them to stay at a supposedly haunted place.
Variety 3: Set up at amusement parks and festivals, essentially a more advanced version of variety 1. This is a lot like US haunted houses but more tame, essentially PG-13 horror. Not a lot of blood or knife wielding maniacs, instead has carefully-designed eerie scenes, lights, eerie noises, and actors in a ghost costume will occasionally leap out to increase the shock factor.
Children versions are more tame, the ones at parks are primarily there to give shy Japanese teenagers an excuse to cling to each other. This is seen in the Ranma anime and manga, Cave of Lost Love, in which Ukyo brings Ranma and Akane in an attempt to break them up. The one in the manga's purpose is opposite the traditional reasons people go to them. Traditionally they are to bring couples closer together. The manga one also had real ghosts instead of people in costumes.