Residence: University of Southern California
Date of Performance/Collection: April 5, 2019
Primary Language: English
Background: The following informant is a young-adult college student who describes a game she played as child that she now plays with her younger nephews. This is a transcription of the informant explaining the game to another friend who had never played it before (the informant is C, our friend is “Friend” and I am identified as “Me”):
Friend: Wait, what is it again?
C: It’s when you’re like in a circle and you try to hit each other’s hands and you can only move if the other person moves.
Friend: When do you move?
C: When I try to hit your hand- when I move you try to avoid me hitting it
Friend: How do you win?
C: Keep going until one of you gets to the ending.
Me: When do you do this?
C: When I play with the kiddos.
C: My nephews!
Context: This conversation occurred in my dorm room one evening while a group of freshman college students who live on the same floor discussed childhood memories and games that we all played. The informant learned of the game as a child and continued to pass it on to another generation of children.
Thoughts: I have played “Ninja” countless times growing up so it was interesting to me that one of my friends had never heard of it, even though we grew up about thirty minutes a part. Yet, my friend from across the country had played the game and knew it exactly as I did. Depending on the schools you attend and people you interact with you gain different experiences even within the same general area. I used to play this game when I was among friends and we were all bored. It doesn’t require any props and can generally move pretty fast so it’s a great way to pass the time. It’s fun to play even as adults, as it can get pretty competitive.