My informant is Jackson, a 19-year-old male student at USC. Jackson is white and of Danish and Irish descent and grew up in a suburb outside of Los Angeles called Palos Verdes.
Jackson weren’t you telling me about a game you used to play?
Jackson: “Oh yeah toilet tag! We used to play that when we were younger.”
What is toilet tag?
Jackson: “It’s like…freeze tag, but basically it’s like regular tag and when someone on the other team tags you you have to sit down and stick your finger out like a toilet flusher. Then you can’t get back in the game until someone on your team flushes you by hitting your finger and then you’re back in”
Is there only one person that’s tagging everyone?
Jackson: “Oh no everyone on the other team is tagging”
So how do you win?
Jackson: “Well I guess the only way someone wins is if the tagging team tags everyone so they are all toilets and no one can flush them and the toilets win by staying in the game before recess ends”
When did you first play this?
Jackson: “Elementary school”
Do you know who started this game?
Jackson: “No I have no idea, probably the kids above us though”
Do you still see kids playing toilet tag?
Jackson: “Yeah definitely it’s popular”
Is there any meaning to you behind this game?
Jackson: “I mean no, it’s just a game but it reminds me of my childhood and elementary school but its not special to me”
When hearing about this game, I realized that I myself had played the other version of toilet tag that Jackson mentioned, freeze tag. These games are very similar the only difference being to unfreeze your teammate that has been tagged you do not flush him but crawl through his legs which lifts the freezing power of the tagger. I grew up in California as well and it seemed that Jackson was familiar with freeze tag, whereas I was unfamiliar with toilet tag. This makes me believe that freeze tag was the original and toilet tag is a variation of the game that children from Southern California either created or learned.