A lot of people (celebrities, misanthropes, the funny-looking) cherish New Yorkers’ studious lack of eye contact. But designer and copywriter Chelsea Davison wanted to make the city a friendlier place for a day. So she printed up 300 cards offering a “truth” question and a “dare” action, posted them around Washington Square Park, and waited for passersby to be transported back to junior high — with hopefully all the playfulness of a spirited Truth or Dare game, and less of the painful self-consciousness.
Perhaps surprisingly, it worked. Maybe people felt cushioned by New Yorkers’ reputation for never, ever staring at you or even acknowledging your existence. (Check out the quacking girl at 1:07, whose benchmate is ignoring her super-hard.)
Could this work with other middle-school games? A massive spin-the-bottle orgy: YES. Large-scale freeze tag: SUPER YES. “Light as a feather” at the Conde Nast building: ALREADY HAPPENING. All-city “stop hitting yourself”: PROBABLY NOT.