18 Help Me

Main context: Me: Are there any other games you learned from a friend or just other people in general? Kevin: Let me think… oh ok got it. When I was a kid I learned how to play a game called 18 help me. Me: Oh cool. What is the game about. Kevin: Essentially, it’s a different variation of tag. You would try to get 18 players but usually you could not so I always just played with whatever number of people we had. So first you had to choose someone to be it. We would all put one foot into a circle and choose one foot to start at and up to 18 around the feet and whoever had 18 land on their foot was it… After I remember we would have 18 seconds to run before whoever was it would chase us. To win the game you had to get everyone but each person you got would then help you. Essentially you would have to put your hand on the other person and say 18 help me. If you did not say everything while touching them then you wouldn’t have got them. When you do get them they go and help you get the rest of the people until everyone has been tagged. After that then everyone would huddle again and whoever was tagged first in the last game would now be it. Then again you had 18 seconds to run before getting chased again and the game would be played over and over again until we uh were exhausted… or until fell and got hurt. Me: Sounds fun. What does the game mean to you? Kevin: Now that I really think about it, it is actually pretty important. I remember playing 18 help me every time I would go over to my tia’s (aunt) house. I have a lot a good memories hanging out with all my cousins. It somewhat like brought us together but now that we are all in college… we really don’t see each other that often. Background: Kevin is a 20 year old attending California State University Los Angeles. Both his parents are from El Salvador but he was born and raised in Huntington Park, California. Context: Kevin and I were playing video games and when we took a break to eat I asked him if he could help me with my collection of folklore. He agreed and allowed me to record the conversation with the condition that I would not post the video interview.  My thought: I was surprised at how important this folk game is. Although it is a multi-million dollar game such as a sport, its importance is centralized around the people who play it. This folk game brought together a family and served as a platform for bonding. This game is a variation of the common game called tag.