On Saturday, January 27, 2007, at 5:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, a sizable crowd of two to three hundred people had gathered on the hill at Gas Works Park in Seattle, Washington, across from the brilliantly lit gas works. An enormous projection screen had been erected on the flat ground between the structure and Lake Union, where colored lights strobed atop police boats that formed a cordon around a darkened barge floating in the lake. As the clock ticked over to the top of the hour, hundreds of eyes aimed themselves at the video now winking into existence on the screen.
This was Loki’s final message to those few of the hundreds of thousands of players of the Vanishing Point Game – a promotion for Microsoft’s upcoming release of the next version of its Windows operating system, Vista – who had managed to be present for the final live event of the game…and to witness the final clues to the identity of “Loki” and her secret to winning, among other things, the grand prize trip into space.
In the video, Loki recounted her mission and praised the progress of the players so far. Photographs from previous live events flashed across the screen, along with screen shots of web sites and message boards that had been involved in the campaign. As the video ended, a single white flare shot out over the lake from behind the screen, music swelled from strategically placed loudspeakers, and the crowd was bathed in bright hues as broad brush strokes of flame painted the sky, synchronized to the wicked techno beats tumbling their way up the hill.
The volume of the fireworks display was only briefly rivaled upon the finale, as the crowd burst into cheers and applause.