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UCI Breaks Record for Largest Game of Red Light, Green Light

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UCI broke the Guinness World Record for the largest game of Red Light, Green Light on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

A grand total of 1,415 participants gathered in Aldrich Park to play the game, surpassing the previous number of 1,203 set by Willamette University in Salem, Oregon by over 200 people.  

Although there was a designated playing area for the game itself, there were various other booths participants could enjoy before the event. 

Some booths distributed much-needed water or free drawstring bags. Others offered free face painting to further deck students out in UCI spirit. On the way into the playing area, participants were offered commemorative t-shirts to mark what would hopefully be a successful occasion. 

The playing area itself was crowded but everyone seemed raring to go. Many participants wore their free t-shirts on their heads to block out the sun while waiting for the game to begin. 

Before the official attempt at the game began, there was a brief false start. The Guinness adjudicator, Claire Stephens, had not yet given permission for the game to commence, so participants had to restart. However, after backing up behind the starting line once again, students seemed more eager than ever to break the record. 

After the first call of “green light,” students at the front bolted towards the finish line. Others toward the middle and back pushed as far forward in the crowd as they could. 

Connie Nguyen, the ASUCI member in charge of giving directions, was quick in her calls, catching anyone who wasn’t paying close attention off guard. 

Oftentimes, participants could only move a few inches before being forced to a stop once again.

Given that the playing space was a bit cramped, Nguyen dragged the game out as much as possible, so as not to allow it to end too quickly. 

Volunteers were posted on the sidelines to ensure that everyone was genuinely participating. According to the rules stated by Stephens, students would only count toward the official number of participants if they were actively playing the game. 

Peter the Anteater stood at the finish line, waiting to give each and every participant a high five as soon as they reached the end. Once everyone had tagged Peter and exited the official playing area, the final participant count began. 

Tensions were high as Stephens gave no hint before the official announcement as to whether or not the Anteaters had achieved their goal. 

Finally, everyone gathered in front of the main stage to hear the news — UCI had broken yet another world record. After cheers and a celebratory “Zot Zot Zot,” the event concluded after the  participants united one final time for a group photo.

Elise Boldt is a 2022-2023 Copy Chief. She can be reached at copy@newuniversity.org.