The Participant/Interviewee is marked as MG. I am marked as LJ.
MG: If we got to be outside, we played freeze tag. Which would take verrrryy long. And it would be fun, we would be sweating.
LJ: What were the rules?
MG:The rules would be, you count to 20, and then you run. There’s one person who tags the rest. So that person counts to 20 and then everyone else runs around, usually in the backyard or wherever you are. So if that person tags you, you have to freeze. And the only way to get untagged is for another runner to come tag you. And that’s it.
LJ: Who taught you?
MG: Mmmm…maybe my cousins. Um, they might have learned…since they were a bit older. Everyone was older, except my girl cousin.
Participant and I were walking at night on the way to an event. This conversation was recorded then.
The participant is a second year student at the University of Southern California. She was raised in Santa Ana, California in a Mexican/Catholic background.
This game is played by a lot of American children. I remember playing it, as well. Like many other childhood games, it seems that the different “generations” of kids taught each other. MG describes how her older cousins taught her, and that they probably learned it from someone else. These games help children bond and may serve as a way for them to learn social skills without the punishment that may come from interactions with adults/as adults.