h a l f b a k e r y
Viva los semi-panaderos!
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The runners, wearing identical paper business suits, stand at one end of a room in complete darkness. Pieces of furniture of all types block the path to the other side of the room, but the player's don't know where the furniture is. An brief flash of artificial lightning signals the start of the match.
Microphones attached to each player record the noises each player makes. The integral of the decibel curve over the time of the race makes up the 'silence' half of a player's score. When a player reaches the other side of the room still wearing the suit, the total time plus some constant times the silence score is the player's final score.
States and countries may build teams to compete in the worldwide Silent Room-Crossing, in which a larger, stadium-sized room with nuanced commonplace household obstructions from every culture are present.
Spectators in remote locations watch televised infrared camera outputs with commentary in hushed voices. People watching at home can have the suspense and thrill of competition with less of the noise.
Filmmakers may choose to hire especially successful athletes for assassin or reconnaissance roles. These athletes may also find jobs in certain delicate, sound-sensitive areas of scientific research or manufacturing. Scientists fascinated by human behavioral studies may choose to hire several dozen of these athletes, place them in crowded public transit halls, and see if the ambient noise level drops from sudden self-consciousness or rises from perplexity.
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||(+) I'd watch. The San Francisco Exploratorium has a short gravel path with a sound meter attached - you can compete with other visitors for who can cross most silently. (That's tricky enough even with the room well-lit.)
||I'm more interested to know what you were doing at the time this idea popped into your head...
||You'd select for very sweaty dwarfs with eidetic memory.
||We used to play a very similar game in boyscouts, except the electric equipment was replaced by a blindfolded boy wielding a narrow-beam flashlight, and a panel of adjudicators to name and shame any boy caught by the beam. We called it submarines