After a long fight with Leukemia, our dear friend and alternate reality game developer, Dave Szulborski, lost the battle. In honor of his memory, Michelle Senderhauf and Dee Cook collaborated with the ARG community to create a tribute video to Dave.
From the beginning, Dave was a pivotal force in the community. In addition to authoring This Is Not A Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming, Szulborski worked on a number of successful alternate reality games including The Art of the Heist, Chasing the Wish, Urban Hunt, and Holomove. He had a knack for creating compelling puzzles that captured the interest and imagination of his players.
The ARG community sent over one thousand wish-filled paper cranes to Dave while he was hospitalized in the spring of 2008 as part of Folding the Wish. Dave Szulborski recovered enough to attend ARGFest 2008 as the keynote speaker. Sadly, he had a relapse, and his condition worsened until he passed away in April. At ARGFest 2009, Dave’s wife and son attended for a memorial in Dave’s honor, where the community presented them with a Memory Book of letters recounting their experiences with Dave. They also aired a tribute video, which is now available online.
Last month, I asked for your help in making one thousand wish-filled cranes to send to Dave Szulborski for the Folding the Wish project. I’m delighted to say that the ARG community faced the challenge head on. In a little over two weeks time, more than one thousand cranes were made and shipped to me from at least seven different countries.
The cranes varied from the most delicate and tiny (no larger than a quarter) to the most extravagant made with handmade paper. Some even included a puzzle or two!
The cranes were carefully strung together and sent on their way last week, arriving on Dave’s doorstep one day before he was discharged from the hospital.
Thanks to everyone who helped on this very special project. For pictures and a message from Dave, visit his website – www.daveszulborski.com/folding.html.
As ARG players, we often receive cries of help from mysterious strangers. Over the years, people in this community have banded together to help these strangers no matter what the task. We’ve found missing loved ones. We’ve defeated dangerous cults. We’ve saved the world countless number of times.
This time it isn’t a mysterious stranger who needs our help, but one of our very own community members. Dave Szulborski, puppetmaster of countless ARGs over the years including Chasing the Wish and Urban Hunt, has recently fallen ill and will be undergoing treatment for the next several weeks.
So what can you do? Fold him a wish.
There is an ancient Japanese legend that says that anyone who receives one thousand paper cranes will be granted one wish. A few community members have been furiously folding cranes and we need your help.
How to fold a wish:
1. Find a square piece of paper.
2. Write your well wishes for Dave on the paper.
3. Use the paper to make a paper crane.
4. Stick the crane in the mail. Email varin[at]foldingthewish.com for the mailing address.
We will be stringing the cranes together and sending them to Dave by May 2nd. If for some reason you cannot make your own crane or won’t be able to get it to us in time, we will make one for you. Just email us your wish for Dave. We’ll also be compiling a list of the wishes for Dave to read so that he doesn’t have to actually unfold all one thousand cranes to read them. So please be sure to let us know what your wish is if it’s hidden inside the crane.
Check www.foldingthewish.com for updates on the project.