The Committee calls a Circumambulation Challenge for the first Sunday in February. All groups meet in Times Square, and The Committee gives each the name of a sacred site in Manhattan: Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, the old location of Plato’s Retreat, Ground Zero, etc. Teams must locate the goals then find a way to make ten fairly sober circles around their them, and text in for the next destination. The first team to accomplish three circumambulations wins.
Soon after, the Heretics begin to post up The Riddle around the city. It’s a visual puzzle played out in graffitti, stickers, and hacked sandwich boards. The question, as it takes shape, is vague. Other teams take stabs at puzzling it out and giving an answer. The Heretics continue to re-pose the question throughout the year, in different ways and visual forms. Like Zen masters with a koan, they reserve the arbitrary authority to declare the right answer by year’s end.
The Essentialists host a more civilized outing at the National History Museum. They call it Stations of the Rock. It’s a guided tour through an exhibitions which explores the evolution of single celled organisms from inorganic compounds. The six stations are each hosted by a different member of the team, who tells her or his part of the story in breathless detail. They decline to choose a winner for their event.
At this point, the storytellers begin to post the story of the year, in comic book form. Each team is a superhero or supervillain. The episodes that begin to appear after each event are crude and funny.
The fasting season kicks in - something which many members decide to observe, though no one is in charge. It’s organized by wiki. Some people take the 40 days pretty seriously, and others don’t. Commitments range from giving up plastic takeout bags to processed foods and celibacy.
The Zookeepers decide to make their event coincide with the first week. Their internal discussions have all been about debt - debts to credit card companies, debts to parents, debts to the planet. How debt-free can we be, can we aspire to be? So they call for a group-wide debt-swap. They make a clearing board where interested players can post a debt they’d like to swap - huge or small, emotional or literal. The two players who manage the largest, most successful swap (according to the Zookeepers) earn a win for their two teams.
The Mystics decide to hop on the other end of the forty days. Some of the players have been playing with silence - silent dinners, silent sex, silent dates. The only rule is that it can’t be silence by yourself. They host a silent day at the bowling alley. With perverse conventional thinking, the winner is the team that scores the highest out of three frames.
Just before summer, The Mechanics, who have turned their back on practical technology applications to exploring the nature of work, declare a Love the One You’re With at Work Week. Using couples therapy language, they offer counseling to help folks rekindle the passion with their jobs - or at least, find things that are new and worthwhile in what they do. They post a message board, and chose a favorite story at the week’s end.
Summer hits. The Hedonists announce Sex-Segregated Saturdays. For four Saturdays, whoever is left in town can gather in the afternoons and enjoy hanging with their own sex. Each Saturday is nominally led by one of the Hedonists, sharing a personal indulgence they've been honing since the beginning of the year. The men start with wings and Frisbee but quickly find they are more of a cheese plate and croquet crowd. Women gradually succumb to a poker game. The Hedonists refuse to announce a winner. The Storytellers pillory them in the comic book.
Early fall hits, and the Archivists announce The Day You Died / The Day You Were Born. On Halloween eve, players are encouraged to bring two things to a rented studio in Brooklyn - mementos of a dead loved one, and a story from the day they were born. Before midnight, stories are shared, alternating between death and birth. At midnight, glasses are raised. The Archivists choose a best story of the night.
The Heretics announce their choice for The Riddle.
As the year ends, the groups wind up their internal quests, and each player chooses a different team for the next year. The last task is to plan an initiation for the incoming team. The wiki gets passed forward.