This started off as a comment on Steve's Blog entry "Why "Hide and Go Seek" is Ultimately a Crappy Game" but decided it was too long and would make a better entry on my own blog. I suggest reading http://thymenage.blogspot.com/2005/12/why-hide-and-go-seek-is-ultimately.html as a prerequisite to understanding this post, as it's too much trouble trying to retrofit this comment to stand on it's own.
Once again Steve, you and I share similar stories. I have actually endured BOTH sides of your hide and seek experiences. First, when we played hide and seek in our basement, we had even fewer choices than you... we had about four halfway decent hiding spots.... and one really really good one. Naturally before finding this spot games lasted no more than a minute or two, as the finder casually walked through the basement jabbing a stick into the darkened areas or punching the unusually large kid-shaped pile of clothes on the floor, a pile that wasn't there 10 minutes ago. But I always prided myself at being a master of the shadows, and one time found this perfect spot, one no one dared look in, for it was certain no one would be hiding there... on top of the oil tank behind the pipes. You see, we played in the dark, increasing the average game from 10-15 seconds to 1-2 minutes. Spying this primo spot, I concluded that if I lay on top of the tank, pressed up against the wall and remained motionless, I would never be seen unless someone actually climbed up to look. What made it great was the fact that the pipes made it look like no one could even fit back there; however a scrawny little master hider like myself could, and did. Thus enters point number 2 of your blog..... the long boring wait to be found. I must have been up there nearly a half hour at least before the seeker went away, allowing me to escape without giving away my position. I think I must have used that spot four or five times before I either got found, or got so sick of waiting to be found I just jumped up and yelled "ALRIGHT, I'M HERE ALREADY!" I don't remember which it was.
But as we got a little older, we had a new game to play. This new game was the epitome of survivalism. It was Ringalerio, and it was Uber-Hide and Seek, on a grand level. The playing field: The entire block. Every backyard, every bush, every deck crawlspace, no rules except one: It had to be on the block. It was riddled with dangers: chain link fences, barking dogs, irate homeowners, you name it. And I was the master. This was around the time the Rambo movies were coming out, and I fancied myself the ex-marine on the run from authorities. Nobody found me. And I waited. A long time. But the giddy feeling I felt knowing I bested my enemies more than made up for the hours spent in thorn bushes, buried in leaves and crunched under decks.