As previously reported on ARGNet, Wired magazine and Lone Shark Games have created a special “Underworld Exposed” issue to delight and confound puzzle-solvers and would-be thieves eager to join the nefarious Ring of Dishonor, a special place for the craftiest of puzzlers. Frustrated by the secret ciphers hidden in the magazine, available both in print and on the iPad, I cornered master puzzle-maker and president of Lone Shark Games, Mike Selinker.
Let’s see if he’ll crack under the interrogation lamp:
In this month’s Wired, Lone Shark Games is presenting a unique challenge to puzzlers, techies, and . . . thugs? Promising “A Guided Tour of the Dark Side,” this special “Underworld Exposed” issue includes fascinating articles about real-world crime and other things hidden from plain sight. Along these lines, the magazine, available both in print and for the iPad, contains secret codes that, when deciphered, will provide an email address. When contacted at a certain time and date, Decode will confer upon you a most dubious honor and a place in the ultra-secret puzzling society, the Ring of Dishonor.
The Ring of Dishonor is a darker, scarier version of Decode’s regularly featured Ring of Honor puzzles. How do you get started on your criminal puzzle-solving career? Check out this trailhead puzzle, involving the now-extinct language used by Chinese women to communicate without being watched. Using this puzzle as a launching pad, nine other secret languages are being revealed in quiz form at Decode to supplement the print magazine (iPad readers have all the secret languages available already). Somehow, through the magazine, these secret languages will bring enthusiastic seekers “behind the door,” so to speak, if they’ve got the puzzle-solving chops to figure it all out.
Puzzle aficionados and alternate reality game players have a new resource for the latest news and views about puzzles, alternate reality games, scavenger hunts, geocaching, and other sources of “harrowing mental torments.” Wired recently launched its new subsite,Â Decode,Â in the wake of Wired’s National Magazine Award for best special-topic issue, which recognized the magazine for its puzzle-riddled mystery issue of May 2009.
I am excited to announce that Decode will be syndicating ARGNet content on the site, starting with Jane Doh’s recent coverage of the We Lost Our Gold treasure hunt in New York City. So, in addition to finding our stories here at ARGNet or via our RSS feed, Facebook page, Digg account, or onÂ Twitter, you can visit Wired for the latest news about alternate reality games, transmedia storytelling, puzzle hunts, and that new Juzzling craze that’s sweeping the nation. Wired has consistently explored creative avenues of engaging its readership through endeavors such as Wired Magazine‘s Mystery Issue, Wired UK‘s Enigma Challenge, and the manhunts for Evan Ratliff and the Repo Men film. Â Hopefully, our new relationship will help raise interest and awareness in the burgeoning alternate reality gaming and transmedia space.
Special thanks to Chris Baker and the staff at Wired for creating the new subsite, and to Mike Selinker and Teeuwynn Woodruff from Lone Shark Games for spearheading the effort to make Decode a reality.