Carpe Diem

Folk Sport
April 2017, Somerset House

Carpe Diem is a strategic turn-based sport inspired by shogi, incomprehensible football diagrams, and playground antics. The game was commissioned by Now Play This to be played in the fountains of Somerset House, London.


Rules of Play

Setup

  • Equally divide players into two teams. In each team, assign half the players as Day pieces and half as Night pieces.
  • Mark out a rectangular playing field: roughly four big paces wide, seven big paces long.
  • Your team starts at one end of the playing field, touching your team's line. The aim of the game is to cross the opposing team's line.

Movement

  • The game is played in alternating phases: Day and Night. A referee calls out the phases.
  • Day pieces can make their move during the day phase. Night pieces can make their move during the night phase.
  • A move consists of a single step (of any size) in any direction. You may not step outside the playing field!
  • You can tag pieces from the opposing team during your movement phase by making contact with them.
  • When it is not your phase, you may move your upper body to avoid being tagged, but you may not move your feet.

Getting Tagged

  • If you are tagged by a piece from the opposing team, immediately return to your team's line.
  • The first time you are tagged, put one arm behind your back for the rest of the game. You can now take two steps during your movement phase.
  • If you are tagged again, put your other arm behind your back for the rest of the game. You cannot tag anyone, but you can now take three steps during your movement phase.
  • If you are tagged with both arms behind your back, you are out of the game.

Winning

  • If any member of your team successfully steps across the opposing team's line, your team immediately wins.