“I got it Robbie! I got it,” My mother screamed into my ear. As she excitedly described her prize, my cell phone let out a monotone cry and the line went dead. Next came a knock on my cubicle wall. Looking up, I saw my boss standing in the doorway.
“Robbie, can I speak with you for a second?”
“Sure thing,” I said, stuffing my phone into my pocket, hanging up on my mother as she was calling back, “No problem.”
My mom loves scavenger hunts. There always seemed to be a particular thrill in it for her–the chase, the race against time, the competitive nature of the event. Although she has always loved hunts, mom has always had one problem: her inability to win. Despite years of playing, she had never walked away as the victor, carrying the spoils of war in her triumphant hands.
Perhaps you now understand my hesitation to call her when I learned of Project Abraham‘s last hurrah. As 42 Entertainment wrapped up their immersive viral campaign for the Resistance 2 video game release, they had planned the ultimate ARG event–the coveted Dead Drop. All around the nation twenty satchels were hidden, their coordinates released over a five-day period to anxious players who then scrambled to be the first to reach them.
As the days ticked by and I realized that on the final day a drop would fall in Tampa, I caved under the pressure and made the call. The mother unit was only 40 minutes away from Tampa and told me she would love to help. As Friday approached and the coordinates went live, my mother was already in the heart of the city awaiting directions. Acting as her online oracle, I directed her through ten miles of red lights, traffic, construction, and general frustration before she reached the destination.
As my mother looked under various benches and awnings, a man had sat nearby, silently watching. Word on the forums was that each dead drop had a guard watching for pick-ups and instinct told me this man was too obvious not to be our man. Sure enough, once approached, the secretive man was more than willing to point her in the right direction. Within two minutes, mom had the coveted satchel in her hands–the final dead drop mercifully killing a lifelong losing streak.
Project Abraham wasn’t just a commercial for a game, it was an adventure that pulled the players into the world of Resistance, incorporating them in the game. My mother enjoyed it so much that she told me she would always be available for dead drops. ARG’s are fun and swag is great, but rare are the moments like the one my mother and I shared that Friday.
Thanks for a terrific game 42E — Project Abraham was more than a commercial, it was the beginning of a family legend.
To see the swag my mother scored look up this thread at the Unfiction forums.