A scavenger hunt is a party game in which the organizers prepare a list defining specific items, which the participants – individuals or teams – seek to gather all items on the list – usually without purchasing them – or perform tasks or take photographs of the items, as specified. The goal is usually to be the first to complete the list, although in a variation on the game players can also be challenged to complete the tasks on the list in the most creative manner. According to game scholar Markus Montola, scavenger hunts evolved from ancient folk games. Gossip columnist Elsa Maxwell popularized scavenger hunts in the United States with a series of exclusive New York parties starting in the early 1930s. The scavenger-hunt craze among New York's elite was satirized in the 1936 film My Man Godfrey, where one of the items socialite players are trying to collect is a homeless man.
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