With that said, consider this a double-edged warning: first, don’t even think about trying this game yourself; second, you may want to be extra cautious when crossing the street… because someone else out there might be playing the same game, and may have chosen you as an unwitting (and possibly doomed) participant.
The game goes by many names, but has been most frequently shared under the simple name “Jaywalk.” The entire point of the game, according to legend, is based on the notion that each person is allotted a pre-ordained amount of lifespan, and if one wishes to extend theirs, they must ritually steal the same amount of life from another person. By this token, the more years presumably remaining in the victim’s life, the more life the player can add to theirs.
But as with all Faustian bargains, there are some very specific rules and guidelines to follow.
First, the practical considerations: potential players are instructed to choose a strong-bodied vehicle, to avoid becoming casualties themselves; second, the rules advise choosing a young pedestrian target (callously referred to as a “candidate”), in order to increase the odds of the player acquiring a longer allotment of years… although this is no guarantee, of course.
At this point, the rules start to get weirdly specific.
The game must be confined to “a black asphalt road with a clear yellow line,” for reasons never fully explained. Further, the candidate must meet at least one of the following criteria in order for the ritual to work:
They must either (a) run across the street without previously checking for oncoming traffic; (b) walk more than eight feet on the road itself without stepping on the curb, shoulder or sidewalk; (c) stop on the yellow line for a period of no less than three seconds; (d) stumble and fall while crossing — particularly if the fall causes them to bleed; or (e) drop and break a personal item in the road, provided the broken item falls between the yellow line and the edge of the road.
According to the parameters of the game, any of the above actions indicate the candidate has temporarily “detached” from their allotted timeline… and only while they are in this state can the driver’s time be “swapped” with that of their victim.
The result is then simply a matter of math: if, for example, the player has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and is given six months to live, but is able to strike down a candidate (assuming they meet the above criteria) who has eight years remaining on their allotted time, the player will then have eight years left on their lifespan.
Individuals who anonymously revealed the secrets of the Jaywalk Game have also issued an ominous warning: there is reportedly a rapidly-expanding international “club” of players — most of whom are elderly — who play the game on a regular basis.
The game’s alleged founder is believed to have made his or her presence known on social media under the handle “White Sunrise,” specifically during a forum thread discussing the game, and whether a player named George Russell Weller had violated the rules in a botched hit-and-run attempt.
One of the more widely-circulated posts about the game — possibly from one of its regular players — concludes with this brief but clear warning to young pedestrians:
“Stay on the sidewalk… and keep your head down.”