A fictitious sport devised by Paul Hatcher in his 1996 comic The World Stare-out Championship Final. Stare-out is simple: two contestants sit across a table from each other, and the first person to blink loses. The comic is simple, absurdist fun, especially in its send-up of how sports commentators can turn any event--no matter how trivial--into a spectacle of raw tension and excitement.

Stare-out was turned into a hilarious series of minimalist animations for the BBC 2 comedy sketch show Big Train. The animations generally feature two stare-out contestants engaged in a match, with voice-over commentary examining the subtleties of the game, and explaining the tactics each player deploys. To the casual observer, of course, nothing actually appears to happen.

A kind of Emperor's New Clothes for the nineties.

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