It started with a handwritten message on notebook paper and some barcode stickers found in the mailboxes of Sean Stacey and other alternate reality gaming players. These clues led to a website which showed nothing but an entry box and blank submit button. It was described by one player of the game, xnbomb, as “wonderfully devoid of anything encouraging, which in itself is encouraging”. Eventually, after picking through the clues provided for them, the players entered the correct password and were rewarded with a black and white map of the midwest.
What kind of ARG could possibly come out of a sheet of notebook paper, some barcodes and a map of the midwest? Well, an ARG for a major network television show, of course! A source close to the game has confirmed that the Tom Tooman ARG is an official product for the CBS television show, Jericho.
Over the past three months, things have been slowly ramping up in the Tom Tooman ARG. The midwestern map went through several changes, finally giving an elusive message which included the words, “Are you bored yet?”. While some of the more impatient players may have responded with a “yes” to that question and moved on, those who knew the adage about what comes to those who wait were rewarded with several new meaty updates. New websites were found including one for the Sakanas, Kansas community newspaper where players discovered that the midwest had been hit by several atomic bombs. Another website, for Black Hills Radio Control, has allowed players to scan the radio waves looking for communications from survivors of the attack.