Willamette breaks world record in game of Red Light/Green Light

by University Communications,

It’s official. Willamette University has hosted the largest game of Red Light/Green Light in world history.

Bryan Schmidt, director of Campus Recreation, recently received confirmation about the record-breaking achievement from the Guinness Book of World Records — more than four months after the game.

“Until it’s official, there is always the question on if it will be verified or not. You never know if a document wasn’t filed or if the video wasn’t the way it should have been,” says Schmidt about the wait.

“I’m extremely excited and relieved that everything worked out for the university.”

Willamette hosted the event Aug. 30. It attracted more than 1,060 players — shattering the previous record of 755 participants set in Manassas, Va. last May.

Schmidt and Becca Brownlee ’16 organized the competition as a means of bringing diverse groups of people together on campus. They chose Red Light/Green Light because students didn’t need special skills to participate.

To ensure the accurate counting of participants, Guinness required Willamette to create a restricted game-playing area monitored by volunteers. This kept players in and bystanders out.

One observer — not affiliated with Willamette — was needed for every 50 participants, and time-stamped video footage was collected that showed the game from multiple angles.

Whether Willamette will attempt to break other world record has yet to be determined, Schmidt says. In the meantime, he and Brownlee are proud that the game brought the campus community together.

“The record confirmation is a testament to the success of our school’s motto, ‘Not unto ourselves alone are we born,’” Brownlee says. “It shows that we can achieve great things in community organizing at Willamette.”

In coming weeks, Schmidt says Guinness will share information on when it will post Willamette’s record online and in its annual print publication.