The kindness/charity component is hugely important to me, but more than that, I want GISHWHES participants to take a week-long vacation from normalcy and see that life doesn’t have to be a certain way. – Misha Collins
Misha Collins is the evil genius behind GISHWHES; an annual week-long international scavenger hunt. Misha was kind enough to answer my questions about this event.
What is GISHWHES?
Misha: It’s a very large (maybe the largest), unwieldy scavenger hunt that I cooked up a few years ago. We had a similar scavenger hunt when I was at the University of Chicago, and I guess I thought it would be a good idea to take the concept international. There’s a giant list of tasks, ranging from “cheese dress” to “voice activated toilet flusher.” You participate as part of a team of 15 people from all over the world (either your friends or people we put you with), and together, you photograph or film yourselves completing the tasks. You can play to win or play to have fun, but what’s important is that you play. The winners go on a trip with me to a destination of my choosing – this year it’s Iceland.
Who do you think should join GISHWHES?
Misha: Short answer, everybody. Long answer, everybody who wants to make the world a little weirder, a little kinder, and a lot more awesome.
What skills do you need to succeed in GISHWHES?
Misha: The items in the hunt are intentionally varied so that people with a wide range of skill sets can participate and both succeed and have fun. There are items for people who are more artistically inclined, items for people who like performing acts of kindness, public stunts for the people who want to cause a commotion (like me), puzzle-solving, photography, being good at google, tech savvy… There’s a huge opportunity to discover talents you may not have known you had. The only real “skill” you need to succeed, though, is moxie. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t try.
What can people expect to get out of the event?
Misha: New friends, a new outlook on life, new clothes (fashioned from edibles, made by you), and a trip to Iceland with me, potentially. I hope that everybody at least feels as though they’ve had a novel experience. The kindness/charity component is hugely important to me, but more than that, I want GISHWHES participants to take a weeklong vacation from normalcy and see that life doesn’t have to be a certain way.
Will there be more tasks in support of your charity Random Acts this year?
Misha: Yes. Maybe inadvertently. I like to think of the hunt as one giant act of kindness, because anything that makes you feel good is an act of kindness for yourself. Typing that out it sounds very corny and I almost regret that, but I’m sticking with it.
Will there be more celebrity tasks this year?
Misha: Of course there will be. They can’t resist, but the hunt is for the people, by the people, celebrities just happen to get caught up in our maelstrom.
Craziest moment in GISHWHES event history?
Misha: I keep bringing this one up, but NASA named a mountain on Mars after GISHWHES. We have yet to top that, but I’m hoping we get a whole galaxy someday. Think globally, act intergalactically, as they say. Maybe that’ll be this year’s motto.
Should people stock up on Kale?
Misha: Kale? What’s kale???
Any hints on some of the tasks or meet-ups that you can share?
Misha: Hmmm. Here’s one. “Somewhere.”
Register for GISHWHES now! It takes place July 30th – August 6th. You can compete from anywhere in the world. This year’s winning team goes to ICELAND with Misha Collins!
Thank you Misha, for both creating this magical event and for answering my questions about it.