The time has come. GISHWHES registration has begun!
For those of you who don’t know, GISHWHES stands for the “Greatest Internet Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.” It was started back in 2011 by Misha Collins, a charismatic and incredibly creative actor who plays Castiel on Supernatural. He essentially has a cult following (and we say that with love) and has used them to run around doing crazy stuff and in the name of breaking a world record. For full disclosure, many of the creators of this website are Minions and proud of it. In fact, most of us met because of Misha fandom. As GISHWHES participants we’ve broken Guinness World Records for the “World’s Largest Media Scavenger Hunt” TWICE. And we’re going to try it again this year.
Last year the hunt had 972 teams of 15. I was fortunate enough to have been on one of the top ten teams (shout out to Team Subtext!) and got to experience a bonus hunt a few months after the initial was over. All of the members of the top ten teams received a letter with a word of phrase, letter, and number. It took several days, but once we had enough of the clues we were able to piece together a URL and we all got to download a special screensaver featuring some of the best items from the hunt. The final ten teams decided we’d call ourselves Team Sexy Meteors, one huge combined team of all the top players. We bonded not just amongst our own teams, but as the tops teams as well. Since then I have joined several online projects with fellow top team members and talk to several of them on a near daily basis.
And really, I think that’s what GISHWHES is all about. My team has become my family. We sent each other gifts and cards on Christmas, talk almost everyday, and are there for each other whenever someone needs someone else to talk to. We’ve shared a lot together in the “off season,” as it were, and now that it’s revving up again we are excited to go out, make art, embarrass ourselves, and make people smile. Many of us (myself included) are painfully introverted, yet every year we put ourselves out there for GISHWHES. GISHWHES is an art project as much as it is a social experiment, but it’s also become a community. My team is my family and all the other teams are our greater tribe of GISHWHESeans. As introverted and quiet as I may be, all that disappears when it comes to playing the game.
Being involved in GISHWHES has provided an outlet for creativity, motivation for community involvement, and a catalyst for friendships. There is nothing like it in the world. If you haven’t tried it in years past, definitely do it this year. It’s something you’ll remember for years to come.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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