Unpacking the chaos of Blunger Games


For an hour and a half on Monday, April 3, chaos reigned loose at the Urban School as students competed in the first annual Blunger Games. The game was simple: using a clothespin, a participant must clip their assigned target and film a video of it. Those who became clipped were eliminated from the game. 

With a total of $110 in prize money on the line, students began taking desperate measures to ensure their survival, leading to various altercations between students and teachers. Some students reported that faculty members yelled at them for running in the hallways, and there were various accounts of people colliding at high speeds while trying to escape.   

At exactly one in the afternoon, Charlotte Worsley, assistant head for student life, posted to the Schoology bulletin board, announcing that as of that moment, the Blunger Games were suspended. In her post, Worsley cited that safety concerts had caused the cancellation. Rumors began to spread that a student had broken a glass door while competing, and some students believed that this was the reason Worsley had canceled the games.

“Ultimately there were enough complaints of running in hallways and kids not listening to the no running instructions that when the image [of the broken door] came out it was too much and it had piled up,” said Max Katz ‘23, student body co-president and one of the Blunger Games organizers.  

As the image of the door began to spread through various social media platforms, it soon became clear that Oliver Pritkin ‘24 had broken it.

Pritikin says breaking the door was entirely accidental, caused by his foot hitting the base of the door while running. Despite this, he believes there is a consensus in the Urban community that he had the intention of breaking the door or ending the Blunger Games. 

“I’m getting insane amounts of blame and hatred for no reason… why would I want to break glass?” said Pritkin. “It feels like I’m getting a weird perception [from students] that I don’t care, that I feel good that I destroyed the Blunger Games.”

Pritkin also claims that the glass breaking was not a major factor in the cancellation, a sentiment both Katz and Worsely agree with. 

Pritikin explained that many students misconstrued the glass damage to be more significant than it was. “The glass breakage was so visible and easily repostable [online],” said Pritkin.

Katz says he had spent significant time in preparation for Blunger Games, trying to eliminate problems with the previous iteration of the game, Blarget. “We wanted to do a complete rebrand and fill up all the gaps,” said Katz. “We identified those [gaps] as rampant cheating, primitive techniques of verifying eliminations and a lack of incentive to play the game in a fair manner.”

Katz also expressed frustration over the adults’ perception of the games. “All these precautions, all these successes, all this time and energy that went into solving what went wrong last year was ultimately thrown down the drain when teachers were apprehensive,” he said. 

Katz says he did enjoy watching everyone participate in the Blunger Games this year. “We’re teenagers, we’re kids, we work so hard in school… I feel like it’s not my place to limit people as much. Of course we want people to be safe, but to a certain extent chaos can be a good thing.”

Despite Katz’s enthusiasm, it is clear that regardless of how fun the Blunger Games were, it will not be returning until that chaos can be reigned in. 

“I am cautiously optimistic we will come up with something that we can test perhaps in a small version this year,” said Skyler Silverman, dean of student activities. 

“If we can find a way to play that does not result in sprinting full speed down the crowded hallway of Page Street campus, then we can play,” Silverman said. 

 While Co-Presidents Max Katz and August Weltchek are rumored to be working on a new iteration of the Blunger Games, it remains to be seen whether they can create a safe game that is still as enjoyable as the original. In order to resurrect Blunger Games, the faculty must be satisfied with the safety precautions of the new game.  

As Silverman put it, “We are going for the Blunger Games, not the Hunger Games.”