heistcam.jpgYesterday’s real world event in Atlanta, part of the Art of the Heist ARG, turned out to be an adventure of sorts, as three ARG community members played crucial roles in the story and provided more drama and intrigue in the game that continues to blur the lines between reality and Alternate Reality.

The three ‘retrievers’ who play on the Unfiction forums (Valkyros, Meghan, and j5) met with in-game character Nisha at a restaurant early in the day, where they were given a mission: obtain an SD card from the inside of an Audi parked at a nearby dealership. The three players devised a plan:

Excerpt from Valkyros’ account of what happened:
The plan was straightforward, I was to proceed first to eyeball the site and provide security overwatch. Meghan was then to saunter in and corner the salesman posted near the A3. Nisha suggested that Meghan steer him to the $129,000 A8 parked in the northernmost corner of the show room. Once this was accomplished, J5 would enter showroom and get in the relatively untended A3. From there he would rifle the car and hopefully locate the SD card.

The actual retrieval process by j5 was like something from a James Bond movie, while online players watched the scene via webcam:

Excerpt from j5’s account of what happened:
I did a once around and entered the driver’s side door. Once in, I immediately started looking in the obvious places. I opened the armrest, found an accordion panel and slid it open, “nothing” I felt around the steering wheel “check under the floor mats” Nisha suggests in my earpiece. Right about the time I start lifting floor mats, a tall man in a white dealership shirt approached and introduced himself, holding out his arm at full length to shove his hand into the window of the car. I took him to be the GM of the store based on his presence, so I shook his hand and introduced myself. He asked If I had any questions or needed help with anything or if I was interested in a brochure. “As a matter of fact, a brochure would be great, can you locate one for me?” Once he was gone, the search began again in earnest; I was sliding seats all the way back in their tracks, removing ashtrays, pulling off panels. Nisha continued offering suggestions and asking where I had looked.

The mission was a success, as J5 found and retrieved the SD card and then met up with Nisha and the other players at their rendezvous point.

With the high profile theft of an Audi A3 from a car show, and this intense mission, this game has quickly become one of the most impressive games in ARG history. We can only hope that Art of the Heist continues to blow our minds as the story unfolds.

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