Tuesday, October 19 2021


You lost.

Has there ever been such a sweet victory as catching your friends with the circle game? The feeling of triumph when they realize that you have surpassed them for the thousandth time? The look of frustration in their eyes, tinged with a hint of fear, as they resigned themselves to another punch? Because once they see the circle, there is nothing they can do. These are the rules of the circle game, and the rules must be followed.

For those who have been homeschooled, the laws of the circle game are simple. Simple, but foolproof. The player makes a circle with their ring finger and index finger and holds it below their waist. They then attempt to deceive their target by making them look directly at the circle. Often times this involves subterfuge and mind games or saying “hey look at this” when their poor unsuspecting friend isn’t paying attention. If said friend is looking at the circle… oh boy, is it ever time to knock!

But there is a catch, whereby the victim can turn the situation on the player by quickly inserting their finger into the hole. At that moment, oh sweet irony, the punchuh becomes the punched. It was the thrill of the circle game, you see. Knowing that at any time everything can change.

The circle game is so vital to the schoolyard hierarchy and the social fabric that it was only a matter of time before it was immortalized on film. Step inside Melbourne-based short film Jesse Vogelaar, whose homage to the Circle Game is just as glorious as the Circle Game itself. Thanks Jesse. And good luck.


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A short film on the "circle game" will bring back memories of punches in the schoolyard

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