Friday, February 22, 2008

Madness? THIS. IS. THE GAME!

Game season is here! In addition to the GC Summit in March, there's another Shinteki on May 3rd and 10th, coed astronomy just announced a mini-game on April 19th, and last week I received an invitation for "Midnight Madness: Back to Basics" on April 5th:


(click through for more photos)

D and I are moving to Portland in April, so we're going to miss Shinteki and the coeds' mini-game, but we'll definitely stick around for Midnight Madness, which appears to be based on the movie that started it all.

I played my first one of these puzzle hunts in 1996, and still have fond memories of those older events, which were more secretive and mysterious. You didn't know who GC was, and teams had to be invited to play. (There was a talk about this at last year's GC Summit--perhaps someone was inspired?)

Of course, "Back to Basics" could be good or bad. One of the oldest complaints from players is "too many paper clues." And though some teams say they miss searching locations to find clues, we've found (as GC) that they get frustrated within ten minutes. Also, we have no idea who's running this Game, and while I'm all for more people running more Games, I'm not so keen on rookie GCs with limited experience trying too many wacky new things.

But, as the saying goes, cold pizza is better than no pizza. And on the plus side, these guys made their invitations look less like junk mail than The Genome Game (whose postcards several teams discarded at first). I guess that suggests a non-newbie GC, or at least someone who's been active in the Game community since 2004. Or earlier. Hmm.

Joe Belfiore, who started the tradition at Stanford and carried it on to Microsoft, has more to say about the history of The Game...

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UPDATE, 20 Mar 2008: Team Snout have revealed that we are the ones running this Game. Thanks for putting up with our charade. :)

~CKL
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