As a participant of GISHWHES you agree to abide by the “Rules and Regulations” and the “Consent, Release, Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement.” In addition to these agreements, you must strictly adhere to the following commandments. If you violate the Rules and Regulations or break a commandment, you and your team become eligible for immediate disqualification. Also, your children may be forever banned from participating in GISHWHES, and their children, and their children’s children. So listen up….
1. Registration - You are only permitted to compete in GISHWHES and be eligible for the Grand Prize if you register and electronically sign all registration documentation. Homo sapiens and neanderthals ages 14 and older may compete, but all participants must read the GISHWHES Rules and Regulations for details on their eligibility and any minors on the winning team must meet our attendance requirements for the Grand Prize trip.
2. Rights - We intend to share your spectacular item submissions with the world. Therefore, by competing in the Scavenger Hunt, you agree to the Rights and License stipulations as detailed in the “Rules and Regulations” which you will agree to (or have agreed to already if you’re an eager beaver) when you register. In addition to agreeing to these terms, you also agree that we may use your submissions as wallpaper and/or prayer flags for Misha’s moon castle (currently in development).
3. Nomenclature - From this exact point forward you shall scribe the word “GISHWHES” as “gishwhes.” We are henceforth banning caps-lock. If we see you infracting this rule online (or in sky-writing) you will be publicly called-out, and forced to perform the “Cutstata” dance (1867 version) without the usual aid of high heel shoes and the royal entourage. The sole exception to this rule is the Dinomite, who is (still) figuring out how to type in lower-case.
4. Behavior during the Hunt - You are not permitted to physically, emotionally or psychologically hurt or attack yourself, another Gisher or anyone inside or outside the Scavenger Hunt. We take this rule very seriously. Any bullying or attacking of other Gishers during the hunt for whatever reason will not be accepted. Really, if you feel the need to attack someone (including yourself), don’t. We want society as a whole to sail past that kind of immaturity, so don’t be a friggin’ cultural anchor. The only exception is as follows: if that person’s full legal name is Gazzermander Fibblebomb Constipator III. This individual may be “affectionately teased” (though you must not make fun of their name).
5. Breaking the Law - Some of the items in the Scavenger Hunt may be illegal to perform in some corners of the world. It is your responsibility to assess the local legality of your actions during the hunt. If you believe an item requires you to break the law to complete it, DON’T DO THAT ITEM. We neither have the patience nor the skillset to assess the Civil Code that governs 36,325 different municipalities and townships, so we leave it to you to know your region’s laws. In other words, (a) you are not permitted to break any law in attempt to scavenge an item and (b) gishwhes will not be responsible if you break any law.
6. Scavenging Safety – First rule when scavenging: be safe. Second rule when scavenging: if you think you might hurt yourself trying to complete the item, a good general rule of thumb would be to do a different item – we have many to choose from. Third rule when scavenging: wild boars are generally not amicable to warm oily “hoof-rubs.” When performing such an endeavor, ensure you are wearing the proper uniform and nipple guards.
7. Decency - This Scavenger Hunt has no tolerance for either decency or self-respect. If you possess either, leave it at the door. You will be reborn with a new sense of decency and respect we like to call, “Abnosomeness” (i.e. abnormally awesome).
8. Item Interpretation - Do not interpret items. Produce the item exactly as we request it. If the item reads “A photo of you standing with the Queen of England,” we don’t want you in front of a picture of the Queen, or you in front of an action figure of the Queen. It must be a photo of you with the Royal Mum in the living flesh. If you choose to “interpret,” you will have a 97.67% chance of getting 0 points. We are serious about this. So if we ask for a photo of you somewhere, we don’t want a “photoshopped” version of this, we really want you in that location. This commandment was created not to hamper creativity, but rather to keep people from cheating if they find that they cannot complete a task “naturally.” However, because we don’t like to draw lines in the sand or hamper creativity, if your interpretation is a TRULY inspired combination of creative genius and hard work, we might award you a few points, but it would have to be outstanding in every way. Otherwise, you will get nothing. In the past, teams have been bumped out of first place for too much reinterpreting of items. We are looking for the actual thing we say; we are not asking for a cheeky version of that thing.
9. Submissions Secret Tip #1 - Take in-focus pictures and videos. Be artistic. Artistic wins. Not artistic? Not a problem. You can still win by being precise! Do excellent on your submissions. We will award extra points for extra awesome submissions. The more beautiful, thoughtful and extraordinary your submission, the more bonus points we will assign to it. Bonus points win scavenger hunts and high fives. It’s simple math: If Team A completes 150 items with a face value of 5000 points, but they kick ass and get 50% bonus points on each item, Team A will walk away with 7500 points. If Team B completes 175 items with a face value of 6500 points, but don’t go the extra mile and are not awarded any bonus points, Team A wins. Most likely, no team will get bonus points on every submission, but every past winning team has won with the help of significant bonus points for excellent submissions.
10. Submissions Secret Tip #2 - Quantity won’t win this contest alone if the items aren’t precise. Quality is important. A lot of half-assed submissions will get you less points than slightly fewer whole-assed items. Whole-ass an optimal number of submissions for best results.It’s simple math: If Team A completes 150 items with a face value of 5000 points, but they kick ass and get 50% bonus points on each item, Team A will walk away with 7500 points. If Team B completes 175 items with a face value of 6500 points, but don’t go the extra mile and are not awarded any bonus points, Team A wins. Most likely, no team will get bonus points on every submission, but every past winning team has won with the help of significant bonus points for excellent submissions.
11. Submissions Secret Tip #3 - Have fun. If you’re having fun, making or doing an item, odds are the result will be great. In other words, before tackling an item, figure out how to make the process fun. You will likely receive more points, the more fun you have. This includes when you capture the picture or video. Most importantly, and we want to be very clear on this, when you’re not having fun, change course and have fun.
12. Submission Secret Tip #4 – Composition counts. Pay attention to the backgrounds of your images and videos. Beautiful images tend to get awarded more bonus points.
13. Submission Secret Tip #5 – Make the judges laugh. We didn’t order all of these adult-diapers for nothing. Our Judges like granting points to people with a good sense of humor. One of them also enjoys creating sky-scraper models with coughed-up cat hairballs, but we digress.
14. Shatner Clause - Occasionally gishwhes attracts “personalities” with massive social media followings who want to compete. We are thrilled by this development; tickled pink. We welcome them to join us in mayhem, but we want ordinary folk to know that they still have a good chance of winning – so here’s our policy: If a member of a gishwhes team has more than 1,000,000 social media followers or “likes” on any social media platform and the judges deem this individual a widely-recognized celebrity of any ilk, and that team wins gishwhes, we will award THE GRAND PRIZE to TWO TEAMS. The highest scoring NON-CELEBRITY team will also be awarded the Grand Prize. If this unlikely event should occur, we will be flying the entire “Celebrity” team and the entire runner-up non-celebrity team on the Grand Prize Trip. Once we arrive in said city, we will likely encourage bickering, drama and general discord between the two teams. We will also organize a nerf-gun or water balloon fight, the winner of which will be crowned the “gishwhes GRAND MASTERS”
15. Former Winner Eligibility - No team may win two years in a row. Individuals who were on a winning team may, however, win two years in a row if during the second year they are on a Winning Team with no more than 3 other former winners. As long as the years are not consecutive, former Winning Teams may win again. Is this confusing? Good, it should be. But it nonetheless applies.
16. Submissions Process - Submit Items by clicking on our “Item List” on our website (it will be posted when the Scavenger Hunt begins), and then on the item you want to submit. Then follow instructions. You must submit as instructed or you will not be awarded points for that item.
17. Submission Formats - You need to submit your videos by providing links to them at http://www.youtube.com. Photo links must be submitted via http://imgur.com. Be sure to mark your videos “unlisted” on Youtube so that we can see them but no one else can. Unless otherwise specified video submissions can be NO LONGER than 15.7 seconds. They also can’t be boring or allergic to anything as we can’t guarantee the allergen-free status of our computer servers.
18. Altering Photos/Videos - THIS IS IMPORTANT! With the exceptions (1) as detailed clearly in Commandment 8 above, and (2) adjusting the exposure (i.e. making the image brighter) of an image, unless an item specifically asks for manipulation of photos or videos, you are not permitted to do so. Two years ago, one of the top 3 scoring teams cheated by using photoshop to make it look like they had completed a high-scoring item. They might otherwise have won gishwhes III, but instead, they were disqualified. We have graphic designers (and NSA analysts) on staff who can spot a digital counterfeit. We also use photoshop-detecting software that identifies pixel manipulations as well as google image search and a logarithm/divining rod of Misha’s own design that can catch all forgeries, so don’t screw with us on this point or you will be screwing yourself and your whole team.
19. Scoring - Each item will have a point value associated with it. The judges may assign additional points (up to 100% additional points) to items that are most excellently executed. We take artistic merit, precision and creative ingenuity into account here. Each year the winning team has submitted multiple items that have been granted extra points for awesomesauceness. Likewise we will award partial points for items that demonstrate an extremely good effort, but don’t quite achieve the item task.
20.a Did you really just do that? Don’t. It’s making me uncomfortable and it’s bad for your molars.
21. Complaining - You shall not complain, gripe, whine, whinge, or lobby or bribe Misha Collins, Miss Jean Louis, or any of the gishwhes staff or judges or volunteers. Use of our “Support” email must be as a last resort. Please visit our Q&A section prior to asking questions.
22. Understanding Items - If you aren’t exactly quite clear what we’re asking for with an item, we’re doing our job. You ARE NOT permitted to query our Support staff regarding the eligibility or interpretation of an item. Once they’re posted, it’s up to you to proceed. That’s part of the challenge of the Hunt.
23. Updates - You shall check gishwhes’s Updates Page on a daily basis during the Scavenger Hunt. Items may be added or removed from the list, or rules may be changed mid-hunt, so stay on it. This especially goes for you, Mom, I don’t have time to keep calling you to explain the nuances of what we’re doing here. It’s on the Updates page. Just look there daily, like everyone else. Also, Mom, I forgot to tell you, thanks for the subscription to Ranger Rick magazine, the kids love it.
24. Social Media Outsourcing - Although we encourage you to reach out to family, friends, neighbors, students, teachers and your social media communities to assist you with gathering props, serving as additional bodies in your multi-person photos and videos, connecting you to people and places, and otherwise assisting you with the completion of the items, we expect YOU and YOUR TEAM to be the primary participants in completing your items. You are not permitted to crowd-source or purchase entire items from third-parties. We will be checking the Twitter/FB/Tumblr/etc. feeds of potential winning teams to see if team members have outsourced the completion of items. What does this mean? This means if you tweet to a thousand of your followers for someone to make you one of the items and deliver you the image or video, this submission would be ineligible. If we see multiple instances of this, your team may be disqualified. However, if you tweet that you’re looking for a Batman costume so you can borrow it to go to a Bingo night at your local rec center, we would enthusiastically accept the completed item – we love when team’s borrow versus buy! Use your head on this. If we see a bunch of submissions that have lots of people that aren’t on your team, you’re not following our sacred and fuzzy Commandments and you will be penalized. DO NOT email our support to ask questions regarding this commandment. You be the judge… and then we will.
25. Video/Image Plagiarism - You shall not submit any items that were created by another team. Any team that is caught submitting another team’s item shall be eligible for disqualification. You may not submit any items that were taken before this year’s Scavenger Hunt. Additionally, anyone caught plagiarizing shall be expelled from the rocket car, so make sure you’re strapped into your parachute before you decide to violate such an important rule.
26. Dietary Restrictions - We are sorry to announce that for the safety of all participants, this year is going to have to be a “no kidney bean/no ice-cream sherbert” event. While we are loath to remove any ice-cream-related product from anyone’s diet for an entire week, our lawyers insist that this is a necessary precaution given the current state of the zodiac. As we cannot monitor all participants for the entirety of the hunt, we request that you spy on one another on our behalf in order to insure compliance. Please report any infractions to email@example.com.
27.a Imagine if your entire world existed inside of your cheek. Be sure to have a maid clean the place up a bit before I drop by.
28. Scoring - Team scores shall be compiled by tallying up the total points accumulated and assigned to the team’s item submissions by our judges. In our final judging, an item’s points may be increased or decreased based on the quality of the submission. Last year the winning team won by not only submitting items worth lots of points, but by accumulating bonus points for excellent submissions.
29. Content Sharing - You may not “share” your images or videos until after the Scavenger Hunt, but you may not password-protect them either (we need to access them for judging). Violators will be attacked by Gishbot. YOU MAY (and we encourage you) share your images and videos 8 minutes and 34 seconds after the Scavenger Hunt is officially over.
30. Collaboration - As cold-hearted as this sounds, don’t collaborate with other teams. This is a competition. Each team has to execute each item on their own. If we find out that teams are collaborating you will get either fractional or no credit for the item. However, collaboration with any of the following is strongly encouraged: imaginary friends, your teammates and their respective imaginary friends, enthusiastic pets, and everyone may collaborate with Bob. But only the Bob I’m thinking of.
31. Personal Hygiene - This year, gishwhes is trying to clean up its image. Therefore, for the duration of the hunt, sideburns must be cut to no longer than 5 inches in length, all mustaches must be waxed with mustache wax and, of course, please keep the backs of your hands closely shaven and your right pinky fingernails painted blue. Also, the Executive Dental Undersecretary to the Surgeon General has advised us that during the hunt, participants floss thrice daily.
32. Euphoria - After much deliberation, we’ve decided that for this year’s Hunt, it will be permitted but only as long as it is “sketched in charcoal and presented with appropriate ceremony” prior to actually feeling it. Note that euphoria and joy are separate (though not dissimilar) feelings and that there are no restrictions on joy.
33. Judging - Items shall be judged by Misha Collins and 5 official gishwhes Judges appointed by Misha Collins.
34. Teammate or Other Team Cheerleading - Yes. This is encouraged. It is actually the spirit of gishwhes. If you do it, you will be surprised at how things improve for you both in your life and in the Hunt. At the very least it will make you look magnanimous and abnosome hearted. What’s not to like about that?
35. End of the Hunt - The Scavenger Hunt shall end when the countdown clock on the homepage reaches 00:00 and the Item List is removed from the gishwhes website.
36.a Who has been storing their pistachios in my clothes hamper?
37. Arbitrary Orders and Constraints - May be placed on the “Updates” page during the course of the Scavenger Hunt. Watch it daily. Yes, we know we previously articulated as much (see Rule 23: Updates). This is because it’s a Really Really Important Rule. Pay attention.
38. Grand Prize - There will be one. If you win it, you will likely refer to the events of your life as either pre- or post- gishwhes Grand Prize. Please refer to the Rules and Regulations for further details.
39. Referrer Prize - There will also be one. Again, please refer to the Rules and Regulations for details, but generally speaking, we shall be selecting one “Referrer” individual to join the Winning Team. Refer a friend (you can do so after you register). If they sign up, your name will be placed in a random drawing to join the Winning Team on the Grand Prize trip.
40. Runner Upperers - We will select 5 (or more!?) runner-up teams. These teams will receive accolades, prizes and the envy of everyone (except the winning team who will not be envious at all because their prize is better).
41. gishwhes Hall of Fame (GHOF) - Think you have no chance of winning or even being a runner-up? Wrong! If you are convinced you won’t win the grand prize, you can still wow us with a specific item and be drafted into the Hall of Fame for that submission! Select a handful of items to complete and make them the most amazing items the world has ever seen. If your team’s item is chosen as one of the best versions of that item by our judges, it (and your team) will be forever memorialized in the gishwhes Hall of Fame. Your item and team name will be seen forever on our website. These will be submissions that make the stuff of legends
42. Advice - Be precise. Be creative. Be courageous. Be shameless. Be gishwhes.