UCI News

Another world record!

Anteaters claim Guinness title for largest game of red light/green light

by Dhanika Pineda, UCI | September 22, 2022
Another world record!
With 1,415 official participants in a game of red light/green light in Aldrich Park, UCI students beat the previous record of 1,203 players, set in 2015 by students at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Steve Zylius / UCI

We did it again! UCI students have set another official Guinness world record, this time for the largest game of red light/green light. On Wednesday, Sept. 21, 1,415 Anteaters played the childhood classic in an enclosed area of Aldrich Park. They broke the previous record of 1,203 participants set in 2015 by students at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

In what’s become a Welcome Week tradition, UCI has now claimed eight Guinness titles, five of which it currently holds: the red light/green light benchmark joins the largest game of balloon tag (2017), the largest game of dodgeball (2012), the largest water pistol fight (2013), the largest game of capture the flag (2015) and this year’s feat.

Earlier in the week, students flocked to Aldrich Park After Dark, a late-night concert featuring artists Dabin and Flo Milli, and the Anteater Involvement Fair. Everything kicked off with the New Student Convocation in the Bren Events Center.

  1. alt placeholder New Anteaters flash the Zot sign at the New Student Convocation at the Bren Events Center. Steve Zylius / UCI
  2. alt placeholder Students congregate in Aldrich Park for the Anteater Involvement Fair. Steve Zylius / UCI
  3. alt placeholder More than 1,400 Anteaters set a Guinness World Record for the largest red light/green light game. Steve Zylius / UCI
  4. alt placeholder It’s a photo finish as the first students get to Peter in the world’s largest game of red light/green light in Aldrich Park. Steve Zylius / UCI
  5. alt placeholder World-record-setting Anteater students celebrate their achievement. Steve Zylius / UCI
  6. alt placeholder UCI students scramble to tag Peter the Anteater in the world’s largest game of red light/green light in Aldrich Park. Steve Zylius / UCI

While 1,415 was the official count by Guinness adjudicator Claire Stephens, closer to 1,500 students were actually in attendance – with some being deducted from the game total for leaving early or not participating. “Congratulations, you all are now officially amazing,” Stephens said when announcing the results.

Aside from the red light/green light game, Associated Students of UCI Student Services, the commission in charge of Welcome Week planning, arranged other events, activities and giveaways for students – including free T-shirts, drawstring bags, fruit teas and face painting; along with booths for various UCI programs, such as athletics and esports.

Connie Nguyen, vice president of ASUCI Student Services, was in charge of planning the world record attempt and also curated student traffic during the event, calling out “red light” and “green light.” Peter the Anteater stood at the finish line, with his high-fives marking successful completion of the game.

Fourth-year biological sciences majors Sevilla Hennessey and Daysi Kim came full of energy to participate in the effort, even after attending the Aldrich Park After Dark concert the night before.

“I love going to field events like this; they remind me of when I was younger,” Hennessey said. “And it’s nice to have events like this again after having so many things canceled because of COVID.”

Kim was also excited to have events to attend during her last year at UCI. Red light/green light evokes childhood for her too. “You’ve probably seen ‘Squid Game,’ where they play this,” she said. “I used to play it all the time at my Korean elementary school.”

Freshman Nicholas Chou has participated in all the Welcome Week events so far and was one of the first 20 people to finish the game. “It’s so nice to come here and have so many things to do,” he said. “And it feels amazing to be part of a world record!”