The "Lying Down Game"

September 30, 2009
Lisa Schulmeister

Playing this weird but popular game led to the suspension of hospital staff.

Strange, but true: the "Lying Down Game" is becoming, or may have already become, one of the leading curiosities of our time. The game rules are simple—lie face-down anywhere, take a photo to capture the moment, and post the photo somewhere on the internet (Facebook, YouTube, and other social networking sites are popular posting places). As you can imagine, the quirkier the place, the better the photo. Facebook has over 5,000 members who have posted photos taken in public and random places, and plans are underway in the United Kingdom (UK) to hold a "mass lie down" with the goal of having thousands of people lie down on the same day, at the same time.

In a UK hospital, the emergency department night shift staff played the Lying Down Game and posted photos of staff members lying down on the helipad, emergency cart, hospital floors, and stretchers. According to news reports, 7 of the 18 staff members who played the game were suspended from their jobs for acting irresponsibly and breaching infection control procedures. As one blogger wrote, "it's a bit of overkill." I have to agree and couldn't have said it better.