Setting a record was not the goal; it was part of the process.
This was the mindset of Becca Brownlee ’16, who helped organize the biggest game of Red Light/Green Light in world history Aug. 30 at Willamette University.
Working with Director of Campus Recreation Bryan Schmidt, the two helped recruit more than 1,060 game players — shattering the previous record of 755 participants set in Manassas, Va. this May.
The Guinness Book of World Records is expected to review Willamette’s application and certify the results next month.
"I think this is just another amazing moment here at Willamette," Schmidt says about level of student participation. "Willamette connects us and binds us, it makes us the community that we are. This is a great way to start off a new year here."
Brownlee and Schmidt decided on the game after reviewing ways to bring large groups of people together on campus.
“You don’t need special skills to participate,” Schmidt says. “It’s something everyone can do.”
But the application process itself was intense, Schmidt admits. To ensure the correct counting of participants, Willamette created a restricted game-playing area monitored by volunteers. This kept players in and bystanders out.
Schmidt had to recruit one observer — not affiliated with Willamette — for every 50 participants, and he was required to collect time-stamped video footage showing the game from multiple angles.
Special guests at the event included President Steve Thorsett, who called the game; Dean of Campus Life David Douglass and Salem Mayor Anna Peterson.
Brownlee and Schmidt agree the event was a success. To them, winning the record was secondary to showcasing Willamette’s school spirit.
“The purpose was to inspire other people,” Brownlee says. “It was to show that something can come to fruition.”