This summer, 800 people are going to chase each other around London with Super Soakers. Alexi Duggins wants to join the water fight club
Ever seen an action movie and thought: No way would that happen! Of course you have. Action movies are beyond our comprehension. Unless you’re taking part in an immersive experience like Street Wars. The month-long tournament that started in New York in 2004 returns to London in June for a fourth water-gun-toting time, and it¹s the most fun summer event we can imagine, short of Bob Hoskins descending from heaven on a rainbow and showering us with Soleros.
It’s part war game, part theatrical journey. You¹re told to meet a contact in a bar. They direct you to a den of iniquity (previous locations have included a former brothel) where a Street Wars organiser lurks with details of a person to ‘assassinate’ (with a water pistol). At the same time, an assailant is after you. And boy is it dramatic.
‘We always include a chase in the game’s final stages,’ explains the head of the organisation aka the Supreme Commander. ‘In New York I jumped out of a moving car to flee my assassin.’
There are limits, though. No hits on people at their workplace (or within one block of it). No pistols that look like real guns. And no attempts in bars or on public transport. Which should appease the British Transport Police who, in 2006, criticised Street Wars, saying that people with water pistols on the tube risked a police alert. ‘We want people to have fun,’ says the Supreme Commander, ‘but in a careful way.’
Expect to find it challenging if you do enter. Street Wars has been fought in cities around the world, but the London leg has a rep: our hits are so elaborate they make Tony Soprano look like Paul Chuckle.
‘Once we had a two-girl team who googled their target and found out that he was a male prostitute,’ the Supreme Commander recalls. ‘They pretended to be a bi/lesbian couple and booked him for a threesome. Needless to say, he got quite a surprise.’
See? Way more entertaining than any action film.
Registration for Street Wars closes on Sun May 18. The game runs June 2-28. Find out more at www.streetwars.net.