Treasure Hiding

X marks the words

Treasure Hiding is a conceptually very simple game to play by email, in the midst of your ordinary conversation. It requires that you have a verbose conversation going on with your prospective opponent, otherwise you will have nowhere to hide 'treasure'.

The first part of Treasure Hiding is for the Hider to choose a word. Usually both players function as Hider and as Seeker simultaneously; whoever begins the game will be Hider first, however. The chosen word is usually four letters in length - long enough to avoid its accidental appearance, but short enough to be obscured in the message. It can, at the Hider's discretion, be of any length.

In the email, the Hider must declare their Treasure Word, all in upper case. For this example, the Treasure Word is INANE.

Once the Treasure Word is declared, the rest of the email from that point on is the playing field (unless another start point is clearly delineated - in particularly long emails you may wish to mark an arbitrary division to make the field a more reasonable size). The Hider should attempt to conceal their Treasure Word as many times as they see fit. Sometimes strange sentences are constructed in an effort to arrange words in a manner appropriate for the hiding, sometimes to draw attention away from the genuine hidden entry. For example, just then I did both; "constructed IN AN Effort" and the misleadingly stilted "in a manner" designed to draw attention away from the actual hidden word.

The email is sent. The other player is now both Hider and Seeker. They will do as the first Hider did, but they will also be seeking the first Hider's Treasure Word in the email they received. If they see it, they should quote it with some small amount of context, and with the treasure word capitalised, as in "constructed IN AN Effort". For the example, let us assume the second person chooses STOP as their Treasure Word. They might make mention of "pot smokers" - backwards is a valid way to conceal a Treasure Word. Finally, the other way to conceal a Treasure Word is vertically; only the leftmost letters of the email count for this. Any time the arrangement is broken by reformatting due to different margins, the vertical word is rendered null, however, so it only works if you use short lines.

>> Perhaps we should play Treasure Hiding?
> Oh, certainly. Good idea. I'll start.
Tremendous. Top notch.
So you really think it's a good idea to use a five-letter Treasure Word?

The above contains two valid appearances of the Treasure Word STOP - one vertically up the left side, and the other in "TremendouS. TOP notch."

For each occurence of a Treasure Word found by a Seeker, the Seeker claims one Seek Point.

Once the Hider receives the reply to their message, they should check to see if any of their hidden Words went unnoticed. If so, they claim one Hide Point for each such successfully concealed Word, and must mention it, with a small amount of context, in their next message, the same way the Seeker would if they had found it. Each time you send a message, you may optionally choose a new Treasure Word, but you do not have to. If you continue to use the previous Treasure Word, you must declare it again, however.

The game goes on until some pre-agreed score is reached by either player; that player is the winner.

Summary of valid ways to hide a word ('quoted text' refers to text extracts from previous emails):

You may wish to agree on some standard point values for Hide Points and Seek Points - giving Hide Points twice the value of Seek Points is reasonable, as Hiding is somewhat more risky than Seeking.

Happy hunting.

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