Try as I might, I couldn't find any more information on these kids, though. All signs pointed to the fact that this ... game? cult? passtime? was sweeping the district, but I couldn't actually find any of them. People I talked to in person denied any knowledge of it, though tellingly no one denied its existence. Supposedly they never take the hardware off, so you'd think it would be noticeable on the streets.
That is, until today. I caught a glimpse of a group of schoolkids down a side street, each wearing these cumbersome head units that completely covered their faces and ears. They were mounted with tiny cameras pointing in all directions, and wires ran down into backpacks protruding with various electronics. Interestingly, the facial hardware also included breathing apparati – as the things completely covered their mouths and noses – I hadn't realized that their setup was that hardcore. There were also no eye slits – all the visual information came from the cameras.
One of them noticed my interest, and they started running. Faster than I'd have expected them to be able to, but they weren't able to run at top speed so I was able to keep up.
As I was equally interested in seeing where they were heading as I was catching them, I tried not to overtake them too quickly. They kept to unpopulated side street, out of the sight of people. Which certainly explained why they'd been so hard to track down in the first place.
When the group of them split up & ran in separate directions, I decided to stay back for a bit and let them think they lost me. Noting that one of them had gone off roughly in the direction of my hostel, I waited as long as I dared just out of sight, and then peeked around the corner.
And I saw something interesting. He'd taken off the cumbersome headgear and stowed it in his bag, but he wasn't completely separated. He was still wearing large, dark glasses, with a small wire running down behind his ear where it met up with his headphone wires. I never would have noticed if I didn't know what I was looking for. So he was still hooked in, but no one would know, and he could blend in. I wonder where the camera is.