It sounds like an episode from an exciting TV show, but it’s a line straight from a video used in Identity Crisis, the game played by this year’s first-year students during Eurekaweek.

The game consists of two parts. One component has to be completed online, whereas the other must be completed in town. We find Yi Min and Quinten, who will be studying economics and business economics, at the foot of the Erasmus Bridge. They have already completed the online component of the game. “On Monday evening, we came up with a group name and logo in a Zoom meeting, and we also took a group photo,” says Yi Min, who is about to embark on a degree in economics and business economics. “When the online meeting first began, it was very awkward. Everyone was waiting for other people to say something.” For his part, Quinten understood why people were being awkward. “You know that everyone is nervous, but thankfully, there’s always one person who will do the brave thing and break the silence.”

Buttons on a statue

When we meet them on Tuesday, Yi Min and Quinten are in town to complete the offline component of the game. Every group is given a tablet and told to follow a set route. Once they reach certain parts of the city, such as the statue of Hendrik Tollens or Hotel New York, they can access a question or assignment on their tablet. For instance, can they tell the game’s hosts how many buttons are on the statue of Hendrik Tollens? Or when Erasmus was born?

Those first-year students who have played the Identity Crisis game are perfectly able to answer those questions. They are awarded points for each question that is answered correctly or each assignment that is performed correctly. Needless to say, the group that is awarded the most points will be declared the winner.

More of a challenge

We proceed to The Park, situated near the Erasmus Bridge, where several groups are getting together to enjoy a picnic. International psychology student Melissa is one of the first-year students who has made it to The Park with her group, and she is having a good time. “I think the game is a lot of fun, because it allows you to really get a feel for the city. But other than that, my favourite part is meeting my fellow students.”

The other members of her group are Jonas from England, Isabella from Denmark and Bailey from the Netherlands. Although the group members are enjoying getting to know each other properly by means of the game, they do have a few suggestions. “The offline component of the game would have been more of a challenge if they’d told us to find the locations ourselves. That way, we would have got to know the city much better,” says Jonas. Bailey is glad there are offline components to begin with. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what the game is about. It’s just great finally to get to know each other.”