GISH COMMANDMENTS

As a participant of GISH, 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 following these Commandments. If you violate the Rules and Regulations or break a Commandment, you and your team are eligible for immediate disqualification. If a commandment is unclear, you are not permitted to contact support. We suggest you send a smoke signal or ambidextrous carrier pigeon with your question to 34°6’21.838 N, 118° 17’ 13.721 W.

How to Play The Hunt:  On August 1, we will post a list (The Item List) on our site of things for you to do, make, or find. Each Items has points assigned to it. You choose which Items to attempt, and then you have a week to complete as many of them as you can. No team has ever been able to successfully complete them all. (We dare you to try.)

Once you complete an Item, take a picture or video of it (you’ll be told which in the item description) and upload it to our site. You get points for completed items. The team with the most points wins the Grand Prize of the Hunt.

The App. It’s free and you definitely want it. Find new friends. Chat with people from around the world. Build your teams. Win prizes every month. If you aren’t already living that GISH life, get the GISH app and make it happen.

1. Registration. You are only permitted to compete in GISH if you are kind of weird and weirdly kind. No haters, bullies, or hostile personalities allowed!

2. Eligibility. To be eligible for the Grand Prize, you must register and electronically sign all registration documentation. All participants must be at least 14 to compete and must read and agree to the GISH “Rules and Regulations”. Any minors on the winning team must meet our attendance requirements for the Grand Prize trip. 

3. Rights. We intend to share your stunning Item Submissions with the world. Therefore, by competing, you agree to the Rights and License stipulations as detailed in the “Rules and Regulations”. In addition to agreeing to these terms, you also agree that we may use your Submissions as needlepoint pillows, earmuffs, or as interpretive dance routines as determined by the whims of our Grand Judge, who shall heretofore be identified only by his nom de plume. (You’ll be quizzed on this at exam time.) In short, what’s yours is ours. Capiche?

4. Updates. We will post updates through both our app and our website whenever we damn well please during the Scavenger Hunt (FKA GISH). Items may be added or removed from the List without notice. Rules may be changed mid-Hunt without advance notice, so stay on it and don’t complain if something changes and you’re asleep at the wheel. You may stalk the Updates, but not GISH personnel. Celery stalking is allowed with a valid permit. 

5. Behavior. You are not permitted to physically, emotionally, or psychologically hurt, berate, bully, or otherwise attack yourself, another participant, or anyone inside or outside the Scavenger Hunt. We take this rule seriously! Any abuse of other participants during the Hunt whatsoever or for any reason will not be tolerated. If you feel the need to attack someone– including yourself– don’t. We mean it. This doesn’t mean you can’t disagree, and note that we’re not going to mediate casual disputes—we trust you to work those out amongst yourselves with respect and decency. But all behavior on the app or any other GISH platform, past or present, real or fictional must be kind and no abuse will be tolerated. This includes being unkind to animals and other living things in any way. Violators could be penalized with loss of respect, loss of points, loss of access to our Bunker for midnight pool parties, or even GISH banishment. Be cool.  

5a. Conflict Resolution. All conflicts between teams or teammates must be resolved through a bubblegum duel at high noon. Might makes right, so the biggest unburst bubble wins.

6. 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 completing an Item will cause you to break a law, DO NOT DO THAT ITEM. We simply don’t have the patience to assess the Civil Codes that govern all the world’s 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 an attempt to scavenge an item and (b) GISH will not be responsible if you break any law, and we won’t visit you behind bars or post bail if you do. 

7. Scavenging Safety. The first rule of scavenging: be safe! Second rule of scavenging: Be safe! 

7a. Scavenging Safely.  First Do No Harm. If you think you might hurt yourself or someone else trying to complete the Item, or cause actual damage (to property, the environment, or a specific site), do a different Item. We have many. How many? SO MANY. Plus two.

7c. Numbering Conventions. 7c only makes sense if there’s a 7b. Defy convention.

8. Shame. It doesn’t exist during the Hunt. If you have any leftover shame tucked away, get rid of it now! Throw it in your compost bin or recycle it into something more useful, like a pogo stick or moon shoes. If you must hang onto it, stick it someplace so clever, you’ll forget where you put it. We recommend throwing it into the laundry so it can end up in the dark and mysterious place where lost socks go.

9. Normalcy. We abhor it! For the week of the Hunt, you must reject all normalcy. Be weird. Odd. Different. Try on a whole new you so outrageous, your friends, family, and the public don’t even recognize you. This will pay off for you in the Hunt and in life. NOTE: Some of you may already be pushing the boundaries of weird and abnormal within society. Good work. Now kick it to eleven!

10. Item Interpretation. Do not reinterpret items. Do not. No. Should you interpret items? No, you should not. Provide the item exactly as it is requested. If the item reads “A photo of you standing with Betty White with a glob of soft tofu on your nose,” do we want you in front of a picture of Betty White, or you in front of an action figure of Betty White, or with Betty White but wearing Marmite on your nose? No. We do not. It must be a photo of you with the Golden Girl in the living flesh, with a soft soybean curd schmear on your schnozz. If you choose to “interpret” you have a 97.67% chance of getting 0 points. Really. So, if we ask for a photo of you somewhere, we don’t want a “photoshopped” version of this, or a drawing of this, or a toy of this, we really want you in that location. 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 the running for too much reinterpretation of items. Just last year, a would-be winner placed dead last because every Item was reinterpreted as a photo of a squirrel wearing a horse head mask. That may be a lie, but one thing is 100% true: We are looking for the actual thing we say we are asking for, not a cheeky version of that thing.

10a. Item Interpretation #2.  Cheekiness has its place. “Creatively interpreted” items might occasionally, rarely make it into the GISH Hall of Fame or the GISH Coffee Table Book. But being cheeky will not necessarily win you any points, and definitely will not win you the Hunt. Examine your priorities before you submit. If you submit an interpreted Item, you do so at your own risk.

11. Watch out for Item #113. It’s not as it appears and can’t be trusted.

12. Submissions Secret Tip #1. Quality counts! Quantity won’t win this contest alone. Make sure you take in-focus pictures and videos. Nothing makes our judge’s hackles rise faster than a beautifully executed item shot so poorly that we can’t see or hear what you did. Keep our hackles down by making your submissions beautiful, artistic, and excellent. 

13. Bonus Points. We award extra points for extra awesome item submissions. The more extraordinary your submission, the more bonus points we will assign to it. 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. Every past winning team has won with the help of significant bonus points for excellence on their submissions. Math matters, and we use it.

14. Submissions Secret Tip #2. 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. This includes when you capture the picture or video. You will likely receive more points if you are having more fun, too. If you’re not having fun, you are required to change course immediately so that you ARE headed in the direction of some serious good times. (We must add the small caveat that sometimes GISH is miserable—but that’s part of the fun, too.)

15. Submissions Secret Tip #3. Composition counts. Pay attention to everything in your Submission— including the setting and backgrounds of your images and videos. Beautiful, artistically composed images tend to get awarded more bonus points. Think about how your images will look when projected 50 feet high on our judge’s drive-in movie screen, on YouTube, or hanging in the GISH Hall of Fame before you shoot them.

15a. Submissions Secret Tip #4. Want us to show off your videos somewhere in the future? Try to shoot them so that they look good in landscape OR portrait mode. We reiterate: Composition counts. (And, for video: shoot in landscape orientation whenever possible.)

16. Submissions Secret Tip #5. Submission Secret Tip #5 has been put in the penalty box for this year’s Hunt. (It knows what it did.)

17. Submissions Secret Tip #6. Make the judges laugh, chuckle, chortle or giggle until we lose control of major bodily functions. Our Judges love granting points to people with a good sense of humor, so entertain us and you’ll be rewarded with Points. Dance, monkeys!

18. Submission Secret Tip #7. Artistic expression counts! You don’t have to be an “artist” (though we believe all creatures are), but be thoughtful in your creations. Images that tell a story in a single image are generally more compelling than images where the subjects are posing for the camera—though not always, so your mileage may vary on this point. But try to be eye-catching, awe-inspiring and museum worthy. (No pressure.)

19. Submission Secret Tip #8. Give us your best shot! If we want a collage, or a grid, or a side-by-side or triptych, we’re not shy about asking for it. Otherwise, select your best single image as your Submission. Don’t give us 7 of your favorites or a handful showing process or several shots of your item unless we ask for that. It can detract from the power of your Image (and sometimes, our ability to see it clearly), and will likely lose your points. Be selective and decisive.

20. Submission Secret Tip #9. WATERMARKS OR TEAM NAME SIGNS: Unless we specifically ask for it, we suggest that you avoid adding a watermark or sign with your team’s name on it in or on the image. We know you want credit, and wherever possible we’ll give it to you. And we know you’re rebels that do what you like, so we’re not saying you can’t—but just know it can impact our ability to share your work in video compilations, the book, social media, etc due to constraints of size and visual layout. You can add your team name to the video description on YouTube, the comments, etc. But if you want your work seen, please be mindful of this important Tip.

21. Submission Secret Tip #10. NO OPEN CAPTIONS. We appreciate your help in adding closed captions to your videos wherever possible , but please for the love of Misha’s pet pony don’t open caption them (where the words are burned into the image). It can impact our ability to share clips of your work later, and that’s just too sad.

22. Shatner Clause. Occasionally GISH attracts “personalities” with massive social media followings who want to compete. We welcome them to join us in the mayhem, but we want ordinary folk to know that they still have a solid chance of winning, so here’s our policy: If a member of a GISH team has more than 500,000 social media followers or “likes” on any social media platform and/or the judges deem this individual a widely-recognized celebrity of any ilk, and if that celebrity team wins GISH, 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.

23. 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.

23a. Runner-Up Eligibility. Teams may be awarded “Runner Up” multiple years in a row without penalty.

24. Confusion. Confusion is a vital component of the Hunt. This is by design. Confusion brings us joy. If you are confused, you’re doing it right. DO NOT, we repeat, DO NOT contact customer support for any issues related to confusion on how to do an item. 1/2 of the Hunt is you figuring out what the hell we’re asking for. The other 1/2 of the Hunt is you doing it. The other 3/4 of the Hunt is you taking a picture or video of the item. The other 5/6 of the Hunt is you making a tutu out of shredded wheat. The other 1/76th of the Hunt is Bob. He wonders why you still haven’t messaged him back after last year.

24a. Pleasure. Pleasure is permitted three times a day, except on Tuesdays, when the standard guidelines apply. 

25. 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. This sounds scary and vague, but it won’t be.

26. Submission Formats. Photos must be submitted through our website using our upload feature. You need to submit your videos by entering your youtube.com links. Be sure to mark your videos “UNLISTED” on Youtube so that we can see them, but no one else can. Unless otherwise specified in the Item Description video submissions can be NO LONGER than 14 seconds. We suggest putting “2020 GISH” and the Item Number in the description or title of your video. This makes our job easier. But not yours. Which we prefer.

27. Altering Photos/Video. THIS IS IMPORTANT! With the exceptions (1) as detailed clearly in Commandment 10 above, and (2) adjusting the exposure (i.e. making the image brighter) or color of an image, unless an item specifically asks for manipulation of photos or videos, you are NOT permitted to do so. A few 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 GISH, 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, Google image search and other tools, then Misha consults with a psychic to confirm the veracity of all items—so don’t screw with us on this point or you will be screwing yourself and your whole team. Only tools use screws. Don’t be a tool.

28. Haberdashery & Accessories. Bowler hats and monocles are strictly prohibited unless medically required with a valid prescription. Unless prohibited by HIPPA privacy laws in your region, bowler hat prescriptions must registered with the Company at ineedabowlerhatformyhealth@gishwhes.com

29. Scoring. Each item will have a point value associated with it. The judges may assign additional points to items that are most excellently executed. We take artistic merit, precision, and creative ingenuity into account. Each year the winning team has submitted multiple items that have been granted extra points for being the absolute bomb. Likewise, we will award partial points for items that demonstrate an extremely good effort, but don’t quite achieve the item task. Teams that creatively interpret or blatantly disregard the Item are likely to receive 0 points or even be docked points for that Item if we’re judging it before we’ve had our morning mug of baba ganoush.

30. Hygiene. All players must floss their toes daily throughout the Hunt. 

31. Complaining. No. Just don’t. Also, you must not gripe, whine, whinge, at any of the GISH staff, judges, or volunteers. Petitioning is forbidden. GISH is not a democracy! PACs and SuperPACs may be formed, but phone banking, lobbying and bribery is prohibited except on Tuesdays from 4—6 AM in the alley behind Fred’s. (All kickbacks must be in small bills only, on any duck that fits in your wallet.) Use of our “Support” email must be as a last resort. Please visit our Holy FAQ section prior to asking questions. Read the dictionary. Explore encyclopedias. If you must vent, you may fabricate a doll of Misha, deem it your “Complaint Vessel”, and whine to it. But don’t complain to us or so help us we will turn this Hunt around right now.

31a. Complaining. All formal complaints and concerns must be logged in triplicate and mailed to GISH Department of Concerns, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, 20500.

32. Bribery. Tacos may be accepted as currency for the purposes of bribery, except as prohibited by Commandment #31a. Note that the exchange rate for tacos may change depending on the region and fluctuations in the current market. 

33. Nostrils. All nostril flare must adhere to company regulations, with a minimum of 15. (It’s up to you whether or not you want to do just the bare minimum.)  

34. 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 or our social media channels for clarification 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. Enjoy.

35. Clarification. 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 or our social media channels for clarification 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. Enjoy.

35. Repetition. If it’s important, we may repeat it for emphasis. But we might not, too. Pay attention.

35b. Redundancy.  If it’s important, we may repeat it for emphasis. But we might not, too. Pay attention.

36. 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 crowdsource or purchase multiple Items wholly from third parties. The majority of your items must be sourced, created, and performed by your team – meaning at least one team member must be in the majority of the videos and images. During and after the Hunt we will investigate  potential winning teams to see if team members have outsourced the completion of a mass amount of items. What does this mean? This means if you tweet to a thousand of your followers for individuals to do lots of your items and deliver you the images or videos, all of these submissions would be ineligible. On the other hand, if we ask for an item to be completed in the heart of the Amazon jungle and you know a cousin who knows a captain of a canoe who knows an anthropologist living in a tent that is studying the lifespan of the male flagelunting bug, you may have that anthropologist take a picture and submit it. But if we see multiple instances of this and it’s clear you’re just sitting at your computer and outsourcing like a boss, your team may be disqualified. You may also not reach out to volunteer proxies who offer their services to teams to complete Items. TO BE CLEAR: You MAY outsource props, materials, etc! 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 teams borrow versus buy! Use your head on this. DO NOT email our support to ask questions regarding this commandment. You be the judge… and then we will.

36a. Proxies. You may not conscript proxies or GISH mercenaries to complete Items in your stead unless specifically stated in the Item or for a specific, good reason (such as a location-based item). But remember: no collaboration allowed, which means you may not share proxies! A proxy may only help ONE team on any given item. Teams that use proxies to skive off their Items may lose points for outsourcing or even be disqualified. See Commandment 36 and remember: we’re everywhere, and we see you. 

37. Probiotics. The Hunt is pro-biotic. Each gisher must be on a first-name basis with every member of gut microbiotica in their gut flora community, and be prepared to recite them on demand.

38. Hygiene II. In the spirit of camaraderie, all dental care must be managed by a team mate throughout the duration of the Hunt. Teammates too far away from one another may teleconference their dental hygiene routines for supervision and appoint a third party to be the remote sub-contracted “tooth brusher.”

39. 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. Any team that is found to be submitting items that were created before the Hunt is eligible for disqualification.

40. 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.  If it’s important, we may repeat it for emphasis. But we might not, too. Pay attention. See Commandment 35b.

41. Dietary Restrictions. We expect you to do your part to help make this a kinder, if not gentler, Hunt. With that in mind, toast is strictly prohibited during the Hunt unless served raw. 

41a. Dietary Restrictions II. The Hunt is a hands-on affair, so your hands will be busy. All food during the Hunt period must be consumed hands-free, without the aid of hands or utensils—with the exception of soups, which may only be hand-held (no dishes or vessels permitted.)

41b. Dietary Restrictions III. Palm oil is banned, but oils derived from the sole of your foot are acceptable for pan-frying. 

42. Plastic. No new, single-use plastic may be used during the Hunt unless medically necessary or to accommodate a disability. Recycled, refurbished or “upcycled” plastic may be used. 

43. Environmental Considerations. Teams that provide evidence that they used 100% velocipede transportation throughout the Hunt are eligible for Carbon Credits. 

44. No taxidermy without representation. 

45. Responsibility. We’re taking planetary stewardship seriously. This year’s Hunt is negative-waste, 100% renewable and sustainably sourced. Plan accordingly.

46. Climate Change. We’re swapping climates with Venus for the duration of the Hunt. Dress accordingly.

47. 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, Points may be increased, decreased or even docked based on the quality of the Submission and any mitigating factors surrounding it. In past years, every winning team has won by not only submitting items worth lots of points but by accumulating bonus points for superlative submission quality.

48. Facial Hair. To reduce wind resistance and drag, all beards must feature an aerodynamic spoiler or air dam.

49. Content Sharing. You may not “share” your images or videos until after the Scavenger Hunt, but you may not password-protect them either as we need to access them for judging. Violators will be subject to virtual incarceration. YOU MAY (and we encourage you) share your images and videos 8 minutes and 47.3 seconds after the Hunt is officially over. We will alert you when it is acceptable to share your submissions.

50. Collaboration. As cold-hearted as this sounds, don’t collaborate with other teams unless the Item is designated as a Collaborative Item. This is a cut-throat 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, teammates and their respective imaginary friends, enthusiastic pets (but not their imaginary friends). Everyone may collaborate with Ghassan S. or Bob, as usual.

51. Judging. Items shall be judged by Misha Collins and at least 6 official GISH Judges anointed by Misha Collins in private ceremony.

52. Ponies. Toilet-trained ponies may be allowed in the living room, but chickens are still prohibited without a waiver.

53. The End. The Scavenger Hunt shall end when the countdown clock on the homepage reaches 00:00 and the Item List is removed from the GISH website.

54. Arbitrary Rules and Constraints. May be placed on the “Updates” page during the course of the Scavenger Hunt. Watch it daily. Pay attention. OBSESSIVELY CHECK THE UPDATES PAGE HERE: GISH.com/updates

55. 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- GISH Grand Prize. Please refer to the Rules and Regulations for further details.

55a. 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.

55b. Runner Uppers. We will select 10 (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).

56. Infamy. Think you have no chance of achieving GISH Fame? 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 GISH Hall of Fame. Your item and team name will be seen forever on our website. These Submissions will be the stuff of legends.

57. GISHPoints. You want these. They are granted for all of the following: completing GISH, volunteering for GISH, being part of our FEGVEP program, registering early or at certain times, or eating with your mouth full while at the designated time that Misha indicates privately. What do they get you? Lots. Last year our top GISHpoints holders got automatic upgrades to the next tier of registration and discounts in the Gishporium. Who knows what they will bring this year… We have other devious plans for these points, but needless to say, if you don’t have ‘em, get ‘em, if you got ‘em, get more of ‘em!

58. The Baskin Robbins Rule. No double-dipping. You can’t use the content from one item to fulfill a different item. For example, if Item #42 says to play an accordion at the top of the Matterhorn while wearing hot pink lederhosen, you can’t also use this image for Item #44. which tells you to serenade the world somewhere. Got it? Good.

59. Kale. After a trial reconciliation, we’ve decided we are enthusiastically pro-kale. True love never dies.

60. Banishments. Jell-O is banished except as applicable in spa treatments and musical instruments.

61. Exceptions. There may be many. Check the Commandments daily.

62. Life Lessons. Be kind. Be precise. Be flippant. Be creative. Be courageous. Be shameless. Be GISH

63. Advice. If Keanu Reeves wants to thumb-wrestle you, don’t let him use his left hand.