On a very busy day for us here at the ARGNet offices, the last of our day’s articles deals with a beautiful piece of etched glass sent to us through the post. With the words “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire” written into the glass block, and with nondescript symbols etched along the bottom, we had a feeling that there was a mystery to be solved here. Even as we talked about it during tonight’s ARG Netcast recording, I didn’t have a hot clue as to what to do with this puzzling transparent square slab. And then, thanks comments from Geoff May and redct in the ARG Netcast Ustream channel, we had a destination — marevitreum.com.
You see, those symbols along the bottom which resemble the Klingon alphabet were only part of the message. Luckily for us, there were a few other recipients of the same gift, except at least one (thatsplenty at Flickr) had different etchings at the bottom. Simply line up the two and the web site URL magically appears.
The web site includes a mystery of its own, with blurry paragraphs that clear up as you mouse over them. The thing is, the blurry paragraphs have red letters strewn within the text, and the clear version do not. Sean C. Stacey and I actually went through and solved the puzzle during the netcast recording, getting the message “Oct thirty first new york city” which points, quite obviously, to Halloween in NYC. Besides that, other mouse overs reveal text which seems rather religious in tone — appropriate as the ‘sea of glass’ quote comes from Revelations 15:2.
So, anyone up for a bit of fun on All Hallow’s Eve in the Big Apple? If you’re in the area, stay tuned for developments of this new mystery.
My oh my, how the time flies. We are on the edge of our seats as PICNIC 08 fast approaches, now only three days away. As we have told you before, those of you lucky enough to be in the Amsterdam area with a few days to kill can still register for this cross-media conference at a discount rate. We are fortunate to have received an invite for the partner/speaker breakfast, and are fairly confident that Daniël van Gool will be on scene to meet and greet with industry leaders, visionaries and those that will shape the future.
We’ll be bringing you coverage of the event in the next few days, so keep it tuned right here for the latest news on PICNIC 08!
There were so many game launches, puzzles, and events at ARGFest this year, it’s a wonder anyone had any time to attend any of the panels. What follows is a brief summary of some of the events that robbed this columnist of his much-needed beauty sleep.
The first game launch of the night was a subtle one. Upon arriving at the Cocktail Party at 7pm, Lewis Murphy handed me his business card. He even went through the trouble of writing my name on the card before handing it over. Upon closer inspection, there was a symbol on the back of the card. Sixteen other specially marked business cards were handed out over the next few hours. Thanks to some quick footwork by Mapmaker, the symbols were all collected and assembled to reveal the website for Alpha Agency.
Eight days before the start of ARGFest, a number of players received emails leading to a series of highly technical puzzles and a countdown page. When the countdown ran out, something happened at the cocktail party. The general buzz of conversation was replaced with the rantings of a mad man with a manila folder sticking out of his pants. The natural reaction, of course, was to steal the folder from the crazy man, which is just what EGo did. Inside the folder was a CD containing a video as well as a photo that led the partygoers away from alcohol and into the streets, where they eventually found the following letter marking the end of the scavenger hunt.
The Dark Knight
Luckily, the scavenger hunt ended with just enough time to make it to Loews theater to catch a screening of The Dark Knight, courtesy of ARGFest sponsor 42 Entertainment. Watching the film, I appreciated how aspects of the alternate reality game added to the movie viewing experience.
In early March, the “I Believe In Harvey Dent” campaign for The Dark Knight kicked back into gear. IBelieveInHarveyDent.com was updated to become Harvey’s campaign website, with downloadable flyers, stickers, and posters. It also asked people to promote Harvey Dent for District Attorney by taking photos and videos of their efforts, and uploading to the website, much like the “Why So Serious?” Halloween campaign where the Joker asked people to submit evidence of their allegiance to his cause by painting their faces and photographing themselves in groups at their nearby landmarks. Harvey Dent’s campaign, however, has a travelling “Dentmobile” and a schedule of stops across the United States.
Today, one of the Dentmobile’s first stops – Chicago, IL – may have taken a rough turn. Hollywoodchicago.com reports that after a mere three minutes, the campaign was shut down by Chicago police!
Two people (who knew what was going on) reportedly made it to the Dentmobile before they were closed down. As user Vlkers54 describes the scene:
“…I was at the 8 a.m. stop. I got there at 7:30 a.m. and I sure am glad I did. At 8:03 a.m., the cops came and kicked us out! Only me and another guy showed up, but we did end up getting a lot of free stuff (including) bumper stickers, posters, buttons and a T-shirt.
You should have seen the people as they were coming out of the train station:
“Who is Harvey Dent?”
“What is this all about?”
“Is this for that movie?” (We responded: “What movie? ‘No Country For Old Men?’ That’s a movie!”)
We kept “in character” and promoted Harvey Dent for (district attorney) as if he were a real person. Confusing people was a lot of fun. Some people did catch on to what was going on. Even middle-aged men who knew who (Harvey Dent) was were excited, (asked) for buttons and filled out the petition forms.”
This may be much ado about nothing, however, as we hear through the grapevine that the fine police officers of the Windy City were much more understanding of the situation after learning that the campaign was for Gotham City District Attorney. This coincides with an update on the Hollywood Chicago article which states that the 11 am event went off without a hitch. Regardless of how events actually played out, it must have made for an exciting time in Chi-town.
Come Out and Play is back, baby. After running in Amsterdam last year during PICNIC, the three day festival returns to the Big Apple June 6-8, this time hosted by bookstore Blue Stockings.
They are currently accepting proposals for new games (The application form is on the main page of the web site.) This is your chance to take your dream of running a big street game and make it a reality.
Read ARGN’s report on the 2006 Festival here.
As we reported a few days ago, Book Three of Eldritch Errors has officially launched. The ARG has started off with plans for three nearly concurrent live events in Sacramento, New York City and Austin. Several players had a clandestine meeting with an in-game contact last night at the first event in Sacramento. The remaining two events are scheduled to happen tonight at 8pm.
Check out the Sentry Outpost or Unfiction to follow the action!