Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

28
Oct'10

TRON Night 2010 presents another exclusive preview

   Posted by: thebruce

Flynn Lives!
After taking a lengthy hiatus from activity, a new Flynn Lives challenge was publicized on October 8th. News quickly and excitedly spread throughout the community.

The Flynn Lives Facebook page and @OperationTron twitter cryptically posted: “Testing… 1.. 2.. 3..” Followed an hour later by another: “Wait for it…”

These mysterious taunts were given closure with the big reveal:

How fast can you figure this one out? http://xdqlrpgmqivgca9tfjcqddnbxt.com

On visiting the headache-inducing URL, players were presented with an equally headache-inducing visual design reminiscent of the website that led to the Pitcell trailer online at program-glitch-esc.net exactly 7 months earlier.

This time, the website provided three downloadable ZIP files containing a total of 168 text files. Each text file was an ASCII art image of either a Yes bit or a No bit.

Players quickly discovered that the files within each ZIP represented binary sequences, and once decoded became:

tron night 2010.com

TronNight2010.com announced the availability of exclusive tickets to another movie preview night on October 28th, and the tickets would go up for grabs on a first-come first-served basis globally, the following Tuesday October 12 at 1pm Eastern time.


The “Tron Night” preview events were to take place in locations around the globe: 31 US states, 4 major Canadian cities, Mexico, 27 European countries, 13 countries in Asia, as well as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Visit the
TRON ARG WIKI
at Wikibruce.com

On Tuesday, the floodgates were opened, and the world fell on the website. Tickets were snapped up almost instantly, selling out some locations, after having four days for the word to spread. The rabid Tron: Legacy fan base, with no hint at more than a 20 minute movie preview, eagerly wanted in.

Tonight is Tron Night. Some even refer to this day, October 28th as TRON Day. The expectations for the event are high, indeed! Will this event live up to the hype? The last preview event had fans eager for excitement, to be shown a brief 3D trailer of Tron: Legacy, and nothing officially more.

Whatever the case may be, excitement is high for Disney’s Tron Night 20 minute preview event.


Now some local TRONto TRON Day fun!

I (thebruce) will be in attendance at the Toronto TRON Night event, at the Scotiabank IMAX theater.  So, to add a little fun to the day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to hand out a bunch of Flynn Lives ARG swag to some dedicated fans!

Here’s what you need to do if you want to get some…

Once I arrive in Toronto, I’ll be using foursquare to check in to specific locations, to pass the time through the afternoon. Follow @Wikibruce, @Thebruce0, or Wikibruce on Facebook and watch for the updates. BUT! You must also watch for the simple task accompanying each check-in that you need to complete or to be prepared for before you find me. In order to win a bag’o’FlynnLives swag, you’ll need to be the first to find me, with the task completed.

There will be four opportunities to find me before the event, with prizes including FlynnLives.com achievement codes, Sam “89″ logo pins and stickers, and Space Paranoids pins… amongst some other items.

I’ll be sporting the classy Threadless “My Other Ride Is A Light Cycle” hoodie… So pay close attention, drink some coffee, get your trivia on, get mobile, dress appropriately, and get pumped for the preview tonight!

To be fair, anyone can try for this, whether you managed to claim tickets to the event or not – as long as you’re a Tron: Legacy fan! (only one win per person though, to be fair)

If it happens that no one finds me before I move on to a different location, the tasks can still be completed and swag claimed if I’m located at anywhere else, any time, up to the preview event at the theater. Perhaps nothing will even be claimed by the time event starts!

Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with the marketing of the film or the event, so this is purely my simple way of giving a bit to the fans on the local grid.

Also, I lost three special Flynn’s Arcade tokens last time I was in Toronto, so if you find them, please let me know!

See you later in Toronto, maybe!

 

UPDATE: Well, isn’t that strange… Apparently some program on the grid by the name of “KLOO” just commented below saying he was able to determine the tokens’ locations in Toronto, and will be publishing their calculated GPS coordinates when he finds available windows of  communication. I’ll re-post them if necessary — If you find any, please retrieve them, and find me! There are rewards for their return…

UPDATE: TRON Night just finished, but it looks like KLOO came through after all! He commented again below with the locations of the 3 tokens:

ERR6871:UNKSRC:—————————————————//got it! quickly: I got the word from a trustworthy source, the three tokens are located at // 43.64500, -79.38675 north of the MTCC, on an inside ledge // 43.65058, -79.39063 st.patrick’s market square, nw corner of center ledge, dirt’s edge // 43.65283, -79.38751 University & Armoury, behind nw bench, edge of wood chips // I hope they’re found // good luck, gotta g–//

The tokens are specially identified, so if you find one at any point, please hold on to it and contact me by any means available. I’d like to award you with some Flynn Lives memorabilia!

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

26
Feb'10

Tron Legacy ARG gets YOU in the game!

   Posted by: thebruce

Flynn Lives!
It’s prompting nostalgic retro-flashbacks to the 80′s, all this hype for the upcoming film Tron: Legacy – a sequel to the classic cult sci-fi adventure from 1982 Tron. But the new face of Tron presented by 21st century technology and special effects has the fan-base in a tizzy. It’s having a similar effect as the recent reboot of Batman had; and perhaps it’s not unconnected that the same marketing team behind Batman’s Why So Serious campaign is heading up Tron’s Flynn Lives campaign.

Visit the
TRON ARG WIKI
at Wikibruce.com

Last year at the San Diego Comic-Convention, a very successful live event (with online components) was the platform for the public revelation of a life-size ‘Light-cycle’ and the first public teaser trailer from the film (watch the official video recap here!). This event opened the door for fans to start following FlynnLives.com – hoping, wishing, and praying that whatever happens between then and the movie’s release would also award them with some sweet Tron swag! If the Comic-Con event was any indicator, Tron fans would be in for a wild ride over the next year.

Tron: Legacy Bit NO mailed rabbithole packageSure enough, in early February 2010 I, along with other people all over the globe began receiving small packages in the mail containing a palm-sized “Bit” as seen in the original Tron, with a hand-written phrase written on the inside lid of the box reading “/zerohour“. From this, the website FlynnLives.com/ZeroHour was discovered with a binary-coded countdown to 11am EST, February 24th – Zero Hour.

ZeroHour binary countdown clockThe Tron community erupted with theories, as over the next few days a mysterious message was slowly revealed below. A list of cities appeared, located within the United States, Canada, France, UK, and Australia – but there were no instructions accompanying them.

An email was distributed just before “Zero hour” hit reminding people to watch their nearest city. Right on schedule, three cities first lit up linked with instructions to meet a contact at a specific time and place in each city. What happened was a feeding frenzy of F5′s and website refreshes for the next 9 hours as all 27 cities lit up three at a time. At the drop points, the first person to arrive and say the code phrase to the waiting contact (and only the first person!) would be given a cell phone by which they were instructed to locate a deaddrop containing exclusive Tron collectible swag – as well as codes to be entered online.

At this point, FlynnLives.com allowed anyone to create a profile, including contact information. This implied potential phone calls, text messages, even physical mail to be distributed in coming months. Once signed up and connecting the profile to a facebook account, players discovered they could earn achievement badges – bragging rights. Additionally, those lucky enough to be the first to each ZeroHour location and enter at least one of the discovered codes online also received a special achievement, and their name listed as one of 66 special operatives.

Flynn Lives sample badge: Gridlock Rendezvous

At the end of this ZeroHour event, players online and offline were rewarded with a new desktop background, and instructions to visit PitCell.com at 4:00pm EST the next day — to be the first to register for an exclusive, limited IMAX screening in one of five listed cities: Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, London, and Sydney. Of what the screening is – still a mystery.

Going to an IMAX screening?
Add your name to the list
if you’d like to meet up
with others in your area!

The next day, when this second zero hour hit, once again the refresh-frenzy began. Word had spread over the course of the day through mainstream media, and people worldwide were waiting in anticipation for the moment the (FREE!) ticket registration for this IMAX event would open. In an unbelievable record (where is Guinness to confirm?) The Los Angeles IMAX event was flagged SOLD OUT in under one minute. New York quickly followed suit about 5 minutes later. Toronto and London were next in short order, and Sydney selling out closed the deal.

Sample ticket to Feb 27th, 2010 IMAX screening

A leading theory at this point is that individuals who grabbed a ticket in time (which is good for two people) will have access to view a special IMAX 3D scene from Tron, much like the 6 minute prologue scene for Batman: The Dark Knight. But details about the Tron screening as of this writing are still up in the air.

That’s not the end of it, however. After the updates, more was discovered online. Additional mysteries and strange codes, a hidden discussion forum with reference to Encom International, and what appears to be a deeper story still to be unraveled.

With tron: Legacy not slated for release until December 17th, 2010, this hype campaign is sure to kick up a notch or few in upcoming months, and those who miss out on this IMAX event shouldn’t fret about missing out entirely. Sign up for a profile, and watch for any opportunity to get in this game! One thing to keep in mind is that this kind of catering to a market fanbase is best and most successful when free, and only as good and enjoyable as the fans, players, and community make it.

You can join the search for Flynn in numerous ways:

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies, Rabbit Hole

19
Sep'09

A payphone rings in New Mombasa… do you answer it? Do you?

   Posted by: thebruce

Master Chief: Bobble HeadPerhaps this article would be better entitled: Why I love Halo: An Epic Analysis.

I’m not a Halo fanatic…relatively speaking. I’m not shy about being an enormous fan of the Halo franchise, but I don’t own a Master Chief costume, nor have I ever worn one. I don’t know every little intricate detail of the Halo universe. I can’t ramble off stats, ID numbers, the name and rank of every known character. I don’t play the video game most of the day, every day, and it’s a fat chance I’d “pwn” anyone in multiplayer these days if I did. At all. I’m what you might consider a discoverer, or a story enthusiast.

Halo: Combat EvolvedI was an early adopter of the original Xbox back in 2001, due solely to previews of Halo: Combat Evolved. At that point, I was a gamer. My friends at first were annoyed with my constant raving about Halo, yet many eventually caved and began playing as well – and soon, much more than me. My game-playing fanaticism and multiplayer skill slowly faded as I was drawn further into the mystery, the story world that had been created by Bungie Studios.

I would not hesitate in the slightest to refer to the Halo franchise as “Epic”.

Quite often I compare the potential scope of this universe to that of Star Trek or Star Wars. To me, for a story to be epic, it must have potential to become a ‘part of the whole’, a story told within what feels to be a much, much larger untold story. For an epic to be successful in my opinion, it needs to employ a certain formula. It needs first to be told from the perspective of an individual, or providing only a very small portion of the larger picture, and still make a personal connection with the audience. If done right, this story alone would capture its audience.

Consider recent entertainment franchises like Terminator, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or even the Chronicles of Riddick. Each begins by telling a self-contained story from a single perspective, while leaving many questions unanswered in the end. Sarah Connor has to survive against a deadly killing machine from the future. Neo strives desperately to discover and understand what the Matrix is. The little hobbits in peaceful Hobbiton have their worlds turned upside by an unknown, evil force. Harry potter learns about a strange, magical, hidden world. The convict Riddick uses his extreme skills to survive and escape a deadly planet. Each of these tease at a larger universe with untold stories, but begin with an engaging tale of discovery or exploration of something unknown.

Enter Master Chief, Spartan John-117.

Master Chief gazesPresuming one knows nothing of the previous, indirectly related Marathon titles – with Halo, we begin from the Chief’s perspective, opening up not only in the middle of a war we know nothing about, but making that first, eerie discovery of a foe that threatens much more than we could imagine (I will never forget watching for the first time the cinematic cutscene in which the Chief discovers the Flood). Already, the premise is clear that this isn’t just a self-contained video game story, but actually only a very small window into a universe filled with history and a future, conflict, and characters that truly feel as if they have backstories and full lives.

( Continue to the next page )

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Categories: ARGs General, Books, Movies, Video games

21
Apr'09

Detecting Star Trek chatter

   Posted by: thebruce

Star TrekAbrams’ next big screen gem will officially be hitting theatres in 2 1/2 weeks, and the virals are finally ramping up.

Long ago, the website NCC-1701.com was activated, displaying four security camera angles of what appeared to be the construction of a very large vessel (the Enterprise, of course), and it drew throngs of interested followers. This week, however, the website went offline (rather, it now redirects to StarTrekMovie.com) after many months of inactivity, to the disappointed sighs of many fans looking forward to some high quality visuals and experiences.

Replacing it, however, is a very subdued, mysterious multi-lingual chat session occurring between five individuals, believed to be operating under the pseudonyms Si, Ca, Al, Fe, and O. The mystery has ongoing coverage at the fan site TrekMovie.com, first reporting on April 10th about a number of binary-URL websites that were discovered.

Later, an individual named Malak0 reported finding a device in France, and wanted to return it to its owner, but no one could convince him they were the rightful owner. TrekMovie.com covered it on April 15th.

Once again, the website containing the chat between the five individuals was updated with more chatting, as outlined on April 17th.

Most recently, these chatting individuals were discovered to have transferred to Twitter in order to better converse.  Primarily, User #4 and #5 have been active.  This was reported April 20th.

(You can also follow the ARG happenings by tracking the twitter keyword #startrekarg)

Today, however, Malak0 decided to share a video where he shows off the strange PDA-like device.  The video is entirely in French, and begs an English translation (or whatever language you may otherwise prefer).

If you are able to translate the video, please comment below. (update: A full english transcript has been added to the wiki)

I had previously set up a wiki, prepared to update with happenings at NCC-1701.com, but it is still a great tool to keep up to date with the happenings of this particular viral.  You can read the chat transcripts and catch up with other details at:

startrek.wikibruce.com

You can continue continue conversing with the Trek community at any of the articles linked above, or you could also join the discussion and coverage at Unfiction.

Star Trek

 

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

24
Mar'09

Resist or be Terminated

   Posted by: thebruce

Skynet Research

SkynetResearch appears to be having some technical difficulties. From an email sent earlier today:

ATTENTION: ALL VISITORS TO SKYNETRESEARCH.COM

Skynet Research is experiencing technical difficulties on our corporate website. A networking error has generated interference in the audio presentation. Do not be alarmed. Skynet Research is doing everything in our power to resolve this technical issue as quickly as possible and resume normal operation.

Visitors to the SkynetResearch.com website should ignore this interference entirely.
Do not attempt to discern, repair, or otherwise tamper with the audio signal broadcasting during this time. Failure to follow this command can lead to further corrupting of the impacted data and cause further difficulty.

Skynet Research is also aware of rumors circulating that there is another explanation for this interference on the website www.ResistOrBeTerminated.com. This is false information. Skynet Research has no affiliation with this particular URL, and Skynet Research suggests all Internet users avoid www.ResistOrBeTerminated.com altogether.

Thank you for your patience, and you can be rest assured that Skynet Research will soon return to providing services that improve life for all human beings!

We are committed to making your life different,
Skynet Research

Visit SkynetResearch.com and you’ll find a strange distorted sound in the background.

Some quick audio manipulation to slow the sound down to a fraction its speed reveals a radio transmission from what sounds like a resistance ground assult team.

Listen
(1.2MB)

An attempted transcript of the audio reads:

This is recon team (—- three) to base. Base, do you read? Requesting extraction. (pause) I say again – we’re overdue by three days. We’re (—–) and we’re ready to debrief. Say (again) – we’ve completed reconnaissance. We’re prepared to (set) all tech comm units on (skynet attack). Current coordinates: (Romeo 2#####). Repeat. Immediate extraction for four man team. One (injured). We’ll attempt next contact at 0900 hours. (——) *cut*

Update: Full transcript revealed and added below.

This update has revealed a new website, ResistOrBeTerminated.com, which looks to be updating with news about Skynet Research.

Things are starting to heat up, it seems!

And now, more ‘behind the scenes’ information 

Some clever users at Unfiction have uncovered some preview content from ROBT.com, that wasn’t yet supposed to be available for the public.

…Content that indicates this ARG may very well be tied to the upcoming video game Terminator: Salvation (Wikipedia), scheduled for release May 29, 2009 on all major consoles and PC – as well as the Terminator: Salvation movie opening May 22, 2009.

Nevertheless, while the video game is looking very nice, and the movie even moreso, there’s certainly something going on with Skynet Research here and now!  So go check it out!

UPDATE:

Here is a leaked video clip from the Terminator: Salvation movie…

UPDATE x2:

Unfortunately, the leaked video clip has been removed from Youtube by request. In other words – expect to see it again soon!

UPDATE x3:

ResistOrBeTerminated.com has been updated with an image containing single frames from the leaked video:

As well as a new video from Bre Pettis

UPDATE x4:

ResistOrBeTerminated has posted an analysis of the reduced audio, filling in the holes:

This is recon team Strider Three to base. Base, do you read? Requesting extraction.   I say again – we’re overdue by three days. We’re (garbled) and we’re ready to debrief. Say again – we’ve completed reconnaissance. We’re prepared to set all Tech Comm Units on Skynet Attack. Current coordinates:  Romeo (garbled). Repeat. Immediate extraction for four man team. One injured. We’ll attempt next contact at 0900 hours.

Tags:

Categories: ARGs General, Movies, Video games

6
Feb'09

Smorgasboard of News and Updates!

   Posted by: thebruce

In an attempt to cover quite a number of running projects and games, here are a few launches, news items, and announcements to pore over.

Serious Games

Akoha – Come play it forward!
Self-labeled as a “social reality game”, Akoha is physical card-based game with ‘act-of-kindness’ missions to carry out on or with friends. You can get cards by buying decks, or by being given a card by someone who just completed a task. The visual explanation explains how players registered at akoha.com can see each card’s history of good deeds (including video blogs, testimonies, etc), who’s done what, when and where, and players can also earn karma points for carrying out these tasks. With enough karma you can begin creating other missions for people to carry out. Akoha is currently in a beta testing phase, but it’s a “big, bold and crazy kind of idea”, and it’s Canadian!

Ruby’s Bequest
Ruby’s Bequest is a new game from Institute for the Future telling the story of the (fictional) town Deepwell and its residents, and providing “a unique immersive experience in which thousands of people will help forecast the future of caring in the United States.”. Sponsored by United Cerebral Palsy and AARP, the game will play similarly to World Without Oil, where 7 years will pass between the month starting from launch, March 9th to the April 10th conclusion. Find out more information and join in at RubysBequest.org

Movies/TV

Terminator: Connor Chronicles or Salvation?
A website has recently appeared on the radar: SkynetResearch.com. Little to nothing is known about it besides what’s currently visible. More weight seems to be placed on this being related to Terminator: Salvation, slated for May 22 release, as the site is owned by Warner Bros, according to the Privacy Policy linked in its footer. What do you think?

Who’s Watching the Watchmen?
Much has been revealed since TheNewFrontiersman.net was discovered and its contents opened. The New Frontiersman, reporting on ‘hero’-related news in a very mid-20th century manner, also has a twitter account you can follow, a Youtube channel to watch, a Flickr account to view, and a newsfeed to read. Content galore! A true alternate reality – Nixon on Mt. Rushmore?
Watchmen is slated for release March 6.

Video Games

FEAR 2 Level III Testing
FEAR 2′s viral campaign recently executed a live event in New York City, with the Armacham Mobile FEAR Lab experience. Silver case recipient J.C Hutchins was on the scene to record the report the entire experience. Read about and watch his test and experience at JCHutchins.net. Visit Armacham.com (don’t be afraid!) and see what upcoming dates are listed on the calendar… FEAR 2: Project Origin is slated for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, February 10th.

Singularity’s Mir-12
Russian spies, conspiracies, sci-fi, gorgeous women, it’s all here: visit MIR-12.com to find out what happened to Natasha Norvikov, and follow the ongoing investigations. If you can read Russian, you’ll have a much easier time! Raven software is releasing their first person shooter Singularity on Xbox360, PS3, and PC soon.

Halo Mysteries Return:
Mbaraki.2552
– Reported yesterday here at Wikibruce, new mysterious content has appeared in Bungie’s weekly updates in the Halo 3: ODST sections. The latest insert: “IDENT PROC 13262.0 MBARAKI.2552″ appeared in Jan 30th’s news.
* B.Net group Compound Intelligence discussion (membership req’d)
The Way Their World Ended – a twitter account named intimation, believed to be run by a form of AI, made contact with some people earlier this year. A dream-style puzzle was solved leading to the website thewaytheirworldended.com with weekly updates. Explicit references have been made to Halo, and past ARGs Iris, and I Love Bees. Speculation is mixed as to whether this is official or a grassroots ARG.
* Unfiction discussion

More Mirror’s Edge?
Hot on the heals of EA’s release of Mirror’s Edge, a new mystery has arisen hinting at an upcoming Mirror’s Edge 2 (confirmed to eventually become a trilogy). Pirandello/Kruger teases a red door… which soon after led to Newstream Energy. The investigation is ongoing!

Grassroots / other

Are you 23?
Disney’s launched a countdown of their own, located at Disney.com/23, for March 10, 2009. What’s so special about the number 23? (Besides Jim Carrey’s movie of the same name) Speculation, as it pertains to Disney, makes note of points such as Disney’s founding in 1923, or Steve Jobs’ purchase of Pixar in 1986 (23 years ago). The leading speculation which seems to be gaining ground is that it’s related to the March launch of Disney’s “Club 23″ (or D-23?) program. A revealing post on a Disney site has since been removed, but you can read the message here.

Ice Shock – Descendant
M.G.Harris was fairly open and public about an upcoming ARG for her book “Ice Shock“, which I reported on via ARGN.com back in November. She has now revealed the name: The Descendant, in a recent blog post. You can watch a 60-second trailer for the upcoming ARG at TheMGHarris.com fan site. Harris has slated its launch for March this year.

Yellow Curtain returns!
The Yellowcurtain wiki was recently updated with the news: “ATTENTION: Countdown for Yellow Curtain Episode 3 is ON!” While Episode 3 was apparently scheduled for launch January 15th, it may have been pushed a few weeks. Visit Yellowcurtain.com, watch anashel’s channel, or join the Facebook group for updates.

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Categories: ARGs General, Books, Grassroots, Movies, Video games, Viral General

19
Jan'09

The IBBC hasn’t yet been stopped – new money drops!

   Posted by: thebruce

wb_stiThe IBBC is still up to no good.  Last week, stoptheinternational.com got a sizeable makeover.  Drop points – money caches – appeared splattered all over the United States and Europe, with specific dates and times.  Seven US locations were intercepted, their packages retrieved in the limited 3 hour time alloted for them. Only one location wasn’t retrieved – in New York City.

No worries!  The map still lists a truck-load of drop locations coming up, scheduled for times through January 21-22, and January 28-29 in the US and Europe.  Check the list below to find out if there’s a money cache drop planned near you – and if you’re in a city within range, be sure to ‘drop in’ and find the cache!  Reports of money totals, in various domestic and foreign currencies, have ranged from $80 through over $500 USD.

Be sure to visit stoptheinternational.com to get fully up to speed on the money being tracked, and the case against the IBBC.  Get a login, and join in the adventure.   You may also have a chance to win a car.  (Note: the car contest is only open to residents of the US, UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany; but the money can be found by anyone!)

Boston money cache combo lock - look for these!Remaining locations listed chronologically (note timezones), bold means the drop is live!:

(update: a report indicates that while the drop info is made live early, the locks themselves may not appear until the original scheduled time)

(Update 2: drop times may change at any time – Last updated  12:00amE, Jan 29)

USA (Wed Jan 21st)
(collected) - Tempe
(collected) – Miami
(collected) - Detroit
(collected) – Atlanta
(collected) – Ann Arbor
(collected) - Mesa
(collected) - El Paso
(collected) - Scottsdale
(collected) - Oakland
(collected) - Phoenix
(collected) - San Francisco
(collected) - Seattle

Europe (Thu Jan 22nd)
(collected) – Paris
(collected) – Barcelona
(collected) – Berlin
(collected) – Rome
(collected) – London

USA (Wed Jan 28th)
(collected) – New Orleans
(collected) – Pittsburgh
(canceled) – Oxford
(collected) – Washington, DC
(collected) – Tampa
(collected) – Kansas City
(collected) – Columbus
(collected) – Salt Lake City
(collected) – Tucson
(collected) – Denver
(collected) – Baltimore
(canceled) – Dayton
(collected) – Newport
(collected) – New York
(collected) – Detroit
(collected) – Atlanta
(failed) – Ashville
(collected) – Raleigh
(collected) – Gainesville
(collected) – Miami
(collected) – Boston
(collected) – Philadelphia
(canceled) – Cincinnati
(collected) – Chicago
(collected) - Minneapolis
(collected) – Mesa
(collected) – Boulder
(collected) – Durham
(failed) – College Station
(collected) – Madison
(collected) – Milwaukee
(collected) – El Paso
(collected) – Seattle
(collected) – Portland
(collected) – Providence
(collected) – Austin
(collected) – Houston
(collected) – Phoenix
(collected) – San Francisco
(collected) – Las Vegas
(collected) – San Diego
(collected) – Los Angeles

Europe (Thu Jan 29th)
1pm GMT – Paris
1pm GMT – Madrid
1pm GMT – Berlin
1pm GMT – Rome
2pm GMT – London

Addlepated's money cache contents, Austin TXDON’T FORGET! – if you plan to intercept a money drop:
1) Make sure you check the website to find out the exact location of the money cache in your city when its counter hits zero!
2) Make sure you check the website to make note of the combination lock code so you can open the money cache!
3) Play nice!  You may not be the only one to get to the money cache at the appointed time. People like when people share ;)

Tags: ,

Categories: ARGs General, Movies

16
Dec'08

Star Trek on the big big screen

   Posted by: thebruce

While we eagerly watch the Enterprise being built on Earth, awaiting the day when that welder gets tired or just runs out of metal to weld, lots of nuggets are being revealed from other locations about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming film.

  • Intel’s been busy with their Star Trek / Intel branded Star Trek experience at BoldlyGo.Intel.com, revealing a load of exclusive eye candy.
  • And the official website StarTrekMovie.com has just recently been updated with a wealth of new content to boot.

On December 15th, Paramount announced that Star Trek would arrive in theatres May 9, 2009, and be presented in in IMax.

Approximately one year ago, the viral campaign for The Dark Knight called Why So Serious (a phrase of the Joker’s that still sends shivers down my spine!) had fans flocking to specially selected IMax theatres across the continent to view the movie’s prologue (the 8 minute intro sequence) in pure, specially filmed, IMax glory.

So while you tap your fingers at the “viral” NCC-1701.com, and wonder what JJ Abrams has up his sleeve for Star Trek marketing (if anything!), take a gander through this press release.

J.J. Abrams’ Vision of the Greatest Space Adventure of All Time to Run in Select IMAX Theatres

LOS ANGELES, CA, December 12, 2008 ­ Paramount Pictures and IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) today announced that Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams (“Mission: Impossible III”, “Lost” and “Alias”), will be simultaneously released to both IMAX® and conventional theatres worldwide on May 8, 2009. Star Trek, which chronicles the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members, will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Paramount Pictures will be the exclusive distributor of the film to IMAX theatres worldwide.

Star Trek is one of the world’s most successful science fiction entertainment series and media franchises. Created by Gene Roddenberry, the Star Trek phenomenon has lead to six television series, ten feature films, dozens of computer and video games, hundreds of novels and fan stories, as well as a themed attraction in Las Vegas. Star Trek has also inspired a following of millions of “Trekkies” of all ages that span across the globe.

“We’re excited to share the enhanced IMAX version of this film with the millions of dedicated fans who have been anticipating this release since production began,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman, Paramount Pictures. “The IMAX Experience adds that extra level of excitement to an already action-packed film, giving moviegoers a premium ‘event’ at the multiplex.”

Added J.J. Abrams, “I’m thrilled that audiences will be able to experience this new, epic world of Star Trek ­ with an incredible cast and mind-blowing visual effects ­ on what is, obviously, the most remarkable film format in the world.”

“Star Trek combines top Hollywood story-telling talent with space exploration, and each is very conducive to The IMAX Experience,” said IMAX Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. “Expanding our relationship with Paramount Pictures to include this film strengthens our 2009 slate, and with the continuing rollout of digital IMAX theatre systems, we will be able to offer the fan-base more locations to experience the epic first journey of the USS Enterprise in the most immersive way.“

“Both Star Trek and IMAX have taken audiences to far away places they would normally not be able to go, and in this case, it’s space ­ the final frontier,” added Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. “J.J. Abrams has created a powerful movie that has fans worldwide feverishly anticipating its release. We are thrilled to partner with Paramount Pictures to bring J.J.’S exciting vision of this incredible space adventure to IMAX screens.”

From director J.J. Abrams and screenwriters Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (“Transformers,” “MI: III”) comes a new vision of the greatest space adventure of all time, “Star Trek,” featuring a young, new crew venturing boldly where no man has gone before. Star Trek explores the early Starfleet careers of future Enterprise officers Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Amanda Grayson (Winona Ryder), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), McCoy (Karl Urban), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekhov (Anton Yelchin). A Romulan, Nero (Eric Bana), and a much older Spock (Leonard Nimoy) are influences, as well as Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood), the first captain of the USS Enterprise.

About IMAX Corporation

IMAX Corporation is one of the world’s leading entertainment technology companies, specializing in immersive motion picture technologies. The worldwide IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event Hollywood films around the globe, with IMAX theatres delivering the world’s best movie presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX® 3D, and IMAX DMR, technology. IMAX DMR is the Company’s groundbreaking digital re-mastering technology that allows it to digitally transform virtually any conventional motion picture into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. IMAX’s renowned projectors display crystal-clear images on the world’s biggest screens, and the IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences for consumers. As of September 30, 2008, there were 320 IMAX theatres operating in 42 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, IMAX®, MPX®, and The IMAX Experience® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information on the Company can be found at www.imax.com.

Maybe a few rounds of Slusho will give a boost to those construction workers…

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Categories: Movies, Viral General

25
Nov'08

L.A. evidence retrieved, operation archived

   Posted by: thebruce

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November 18 – agents in Los Angeles intercepted an evidence package containing details incriminating a large banking corporation, the International Bank of Business and Credit.  Within the evidence package was a pile of marked blood money, and a CD labeled with the code Rgy5H4Jt8saw, with scanned documents of communications between the IBBC and Global Eyes Development Fund, and two audio recordings.  This evidence package and its contents are documented here.

Yesterday, the mail system had delivered to me a package containing an archive of surveillance carried out for the agents who retrieved the Los Angeles drop.  An official video debrief is available here, containing these assets.

(1) The package was shipped by Fed Ex, and arrived Monday November 24, 2008.

(2) Inside was a worn, sealed envelope labeled CLASSIFIED

(3) It contained an opaque black bag, with a blank Evidence label, having “STOP THE INTERNATIONAL” scrawled across its face.

(4) Inside the black bag was a letter from Louis Salinger, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, Division S07, and his portrait. The letter described the package and its purpose, pointing us to stoptheinternational.com where we’re encouraged to help find the necessary pieces of evidence to stop “the international”.  Attached to the letter was a USB key, containing the two audio files available here, and the video debrief available here.

(5) Also inside the black bag was a sealed evidence bag, “control number S 2010382″.  It was labeled: “Surveillance photographs of Los Angeles operation. Objective: Retrieve currency and evidence drop. Mission status: Successful.”

(6) Inside the evidence bag were five surveillance photos from the Los Angeles operation, and a photo of Welhelm Dexler of Global Eyes Development Fund, on which was written: “NOT what he seems!!”.

(7) Additionally, the evidence bag contained a folded up map marked with four drop locations – Los Angeles, New York, London, and Berlin. It included a hand-written note saying: “Our informant has hidden vital evidence around the world!”   Also bundled with the map was a set of three marked bills– blood money, the serial IDs of which must be entered at stoptheinternational.com.

  1. USD: L21557562A
  2. Italian Lira: T8877069H
  3. Hong Kong Dollar: GR105373

To date, blood money bills have been discovered placed at numerous locations across the country and world to be retrieved and reported by those who are dedicated to helping stop the international.

Upcoming evidence drops:

  • New York, November 25, 1:00pm EST  (completed)
  • London, Date TBA
  • More to come?

Help Louis Salinger stop The International.  Help retrieve the necessary evidence to take down the IBBC and its illegal international business practices.

Then go see the movie!

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

19
Nov'08

Blood money incriminates international bank

   Posted by: thebruce

Not long ago, a report came in from Germany about a mysterious letter received from “Louis Salinger”.  Patrick Möller reported the mail, and the steps he was prompted to then carry out.

Pointing the browser to folgedemgeld.de (‘follow the money’), he was greeted by Louis Salinger, chief inspector of Scotland Yard. After being given information about an investigation into the “International Bank of Business and Credit“, he was told to travel to Treptower Park in Berlin to meet a contact who would give them more information.  At the park, however, they discovered a CD with the words “STOP THE INTERNATIONAL” scrawled on its face (appropriately, a website bearing the same phrase is where ‘folgedemgeld.de’ leads), and containing a wealth of information.  (see his photos here, UPDATE: or the very nicely composed official mission de-brief)

Earlier this week, another recipient came forward – gupfee, from ARGNet – who reports having received a very similar package as to that which Patrick was led.  Inside the package were a number of items, including a USB key with photos and a message from “Colin Newbrink”.

Download- Colin Newbrink’s Message

You’ve never heard of me, but my name is Colin Newbrink, and I’m in a bloody mess. Please, listen, I need your help. I don’t know how all this happened – I’m in hiding, my family’s in danger.  Somehow, I’ve stumbled upon a conspiracy so big and terrible.

But let me tell you how all this started.  I work with the London branch of a good works organization, called Global Eyes Development Fund. We fight poverty, remove land mines, bring aid and education to developing nations, in a continued quest to transform, to right wrongs, and help the needy.  At least, that’s what I thought for the five years I ran the office… until I went to Africa in September.

I saw something I wasn’t supposed to see. This “coordinator” from headquarters – Harriet Matar – I thought she was there to arrange travel plans. But… I still can’t believe it… I saw her give this suitcase of cash to some very bad guys. I mean bad. A group known to be seeking the overthrow of a democratically elected government.

I start digging.  Turns out Global Eyes is a front.  The real power behind it is the IBBC.  So I go to my mentor and friend in Berlin, a man named Wilhelm Wexlar, who’s on the globalized board. I told him everything – what I saw, what I discovered. He listened. He was shocked as I was. He told me he’d make some phone calls, try to get to the bottom of this. So, I have an ally.  But who knows who else is listening.

Ever since I left that office, I’ve been followed and tracked – I see eyes everywhere. Even my wife told me that strange men have been showing up around the flat in London. So I panicked. I know it sounds paranoid, but I know this is happening.  I’ve taken my wife and two children to a secure location and returned to Berlin, stashing evidence against The International to make sure I have some leverage.

If you find this disc, I pleas with you to get it to the proper authorities. I am told that Louis Salinger of Scotland Yard has been investigating this IBBC. I think he’s your man.

BCX-04 BCX-05 BCX-06 BCX-07
BCX-08 BCX-03 BCX-10 BCX-11
BCX-02 BCX-09

Since reporting these packages, people have discovered StopTheInternational.com.  On this website is a field where serial numbers of money flagged in their database can be entered.  There’s also a map showing specific drop locations of evidence against the IBBC – the first location being Berlin, retrieved by Patrick.  Other locations flagged for drop events are Los Angeles, New York, and London.

Los Angeles‘ drop is scheduled to occur, according to its countdown, at 1:00pm PST on November 19.

Other websites found so far to be related are TheIBBC.com, and GlobalEyesDevelopmentFund.org.

Suffice to say, this may well turn into a worldwide hunt for blood money, plus much more!  Others have since reported finding blood money conspicuously located near them.

 

Here’s the juicy bit:  There is substantial rumour this is the next project to come from the minds at 42 Entertainment (who also brought us alternate reality games and campaigns promoting properties such as The Dark Knight’s “Why So Serious”, Resistance 2, Gun’s “Last Call Poker”, and Halo 2′s “I Love Bees”)

It’s also fairly clear that this is a new campaign for the upcoming movie The International, starring Clive Owen (IMDB). The movie is scheduled for a February 13, 2009 release.

Some other recipients of blood money reported online include: Movieweb, Firstshowing, Despoiler, Patmo, ARGN

UPDATE (11/19): The Los Angeles cache has been recovered (read the first hand report).  Much like the Berlin cache, new files and images have been revealed, including the answer to the mission: find a login to the IBBC secret archive, and report it to Salinger.

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies, Rabbit Hole

9
Oct'08

infected

   Posted by: thebruce

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

16
Sep'08

What is the last thing you want to see?

   Posted by: thebruce

A rainbow?  Aurora Borealis?  The Titanic?
I Am Blind.

Someone is.
Recently, ARGN received a mysterious message on its tipline (download and listen here) with an computer-emulated whispering voice saying:

Alone in the darkness. Send your mailing address to 1003@iamblind.org

The email address we’re not sure of yet, because all attempts to email it have resulted in bounced responses.  Perhaps someone else might be figure out an alternate transcription of the email address?

The website, however, contains the single phrase, barely visible: “I am blind”.  Placing your mouse pointer over the phrase causes another sound bite to be played.  This one sounds like a recording in a crowded area such as a mall, where a number of voices are overlaid of people answering this simple question:

The last thing I want to see is…

What does it mean?  One theory is that it’s a viral campaign for the upcoming movie Blindness, releasing Sept 26th.

The final response, however, feels eerily significant:

I would try to remember each day, and maybe if I was successful enough, maybe it would be like I could see again.

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies, Rabbit Hole

25
Jun'08

Always good for a laugh

   Posted by: thebruce

The Joker’s just released his HaHaHa Times volume 3.  Once again making light of serious Gotham news, and yanking Batman’s chains.  Check it out

Wednesday morning, on hovering the mouse over the upper left corner of the most recent Gotham Times, the paper slowly smolders to reveal the link to the Joker’s spoof.

Throughout the paper, in typical Joker fashion, are circle words and letters.  The letters spell:

Herrings are red
Corpses are blue
You’re on the right track
But you don’t have the clue

And the words: party, chaos, level, aren’t, twice, world, level, Dent’s, Dent’s, faced, urban

Where’s the Joker taking us now?

UPDATE:
Shortly after, people began receiving text messages from the Joker, containing image attachments labelled 1A.jpg through 6F.jpg.

After aligning all these image attachments in a grid once they were reported in, it was noticed that each image was made up of four smaller patterns.  Replacing each of these patterns in the 12×12 grid with a letter produced a substitution cipher!  The solution to that puzzle was another clue:

color me impressed just use the second letter of the fourth word to the right of each circled five letter word to find out where to go from here

That takes us back to the new HaHaHaTimes from the Joker.  Looking for each five letter word, then the fourth word after each, and the 2nd letter of each of those words results in the Joker’s next game – Red Balloons.

Now, while it’s a fun game in and of itself (YMMV), it’s similar to the Joker’s previous game – LaughTilItHurts - there’s a ticket slot.  The game requires pushing the clowns’ noses to blow up the balloons to exploding within the allotted time.  But if you look closer, the clowns’ eyes turn blue at a certain ‘pressure’.  Try getting each clowns’ eyes blue simultaneously!  If you’re successful, you’ll be given a ticket, and a pass to Inept Lackeys, where the Joker left us a new message:

Hired goons are so unreliable these days. That’s why I only employ the ones who graduated at the top of their class from Clown College (and being opera-lovers didn’t hurt, either). But Maroni’s got his hands full with inept lackeys like little Stevie and Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?  I’ll tell you where they are: sittin’ pretty with a smile on their face. They tried to reschedule their pick up service at Pasquale’s, but things didn’t go according to plan.

HAHAHAHA.

Analyzing this message, and the number of subtle opera-related hints, composer Giuseppe Verdi seemed to be fairly important.  Calling Pasquale’s business number, 1-877-678-7277, forwards you to voicemail, where you have the option of providing a 5-digit administrative PIN.  Guess what?  “verdi” is 5 letters.  Entering 83734 gets you into the voicemail.  The first and only voicemail says:

Hey, Frenchie – me and, uh, Rosolio ain’t gonna to make it to, uh, Sunday Night Crepefest. Something came up – in the Gotham River. I think his name was…Fred. Anyways, we’ll be there Monday night for our ‘box of pastries.’ Baker’s dozen this time, capiche?

This eerily seem to explain what may have happened in regards to to this security feed at the end of LaughTilItHurts

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

19
Jun'08

The Joker say: Laugh till it hurts

   Posted by: thebruce

It certainly hurts, playing the new and frustratingly unending game that’s shown up at Whysoserious.com, care of the Joker.

Earlier today, holders of the Joker’s cell phones received a new text message, though a few variations were reported.  One read:

Welcome to Short-Attention-Span Theater: Align This Tutu Hurl (-un)

The letters of the strange phrase form an anagram which leads to whysoserious.com/laughtilithurts - a typical fairground race game where you spin a wheel, and move ahead a number of spots, trying to beat out 3 other cars.  There’s a ‘skill shot’ spot, however, which if hit, doubles the spinner value and moves your car ahead faster.  So you play.  And play… and play… and scream at the universe… then play some more.

Until you realize that hitting the skillshot spot continuously in a row leads to a colour pattern on the spinner - make note of the colour pattern (of Blue/Yellow/Green/Reds): “bgygbrgbyrygbgybbrbyg”, and manually click that same pattern on the spinner itself (any number works).  The machine spits out a ticket!  Clicking eventually leads to a new location – whysoserious.com/laughtilithurts/static.htm

Security footage of Acme Security Systems – CAM 4131 Dock 138.  Watch carefully.  Before the video ends, you’ll see a familiar face.

The trail continues… watch for updates!

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

16
Jun'08

Dark Knight sightings on the rise

   Posted by: thebruce

What kind of stunt is Gotham City Pizzeria trying to pull?  Sponsored by Dominoes Pizza, reports are they’re selling their pizzas in new boxes that have cut-out Batman custumes for people to run around in.  And this, just on the heels of Gotham Cable News‘ report of Batman sightings, and asking the public to send in their pictures and videos?  This is just asking for chaos!

Also, Gotham Tonight’s first episode, originally airing only on Comcast On Demand, is now available on GCN.

UPDATE: Free pizzas are to be delivered as part of Gotham City Pizzeria’s one-day-only promotion – today!  Go to their availability map to find out where the free pizzas are available!  Get ordering!  Only 245 will be available across the country!

Check back for updates…

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

13
Jun'08

Gotham Tonight: the votes are in!

   Posted by: thebruce

Gotham Cable News is now airing the first Gotham Tonight episode via Comcast on demand.

Someone has already captured it on video and posted it to Youtube for easy viewing…


Original Video- More videos at TinyPic

Update: Comcast also has a new, exclusive trailer for Batman: The Dark Knight.  (available for now on Youtube)

Update: Additional website updates…

Owners of the Joker’s cell phones are also receiving messages, with attached pictures.

Update: The SMS picture puzzle has been solved. (spoilers below)

The three groups of cellphone owners received from three sets of 6 related images.  Group 1 received images representing names of Dominoes games; Group 2 received words anagrammed from Commercial; Group 3 received fractions all multiples of 3/8, multiplied by 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 – the missing fraction in the pattern is for 2, or 6/16.  Together, the clues seem to indicate a Dominoes Commercial 6/16.

Gotham Cable News is reporting that Gotham Tonight will be airing online at noon on Monday (June 16th).  Will we see a Dominoes commercial on the air?  What does the Joker have up his sleave?

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

9
Jun'08

Gotham City requires your vote!

   Posted by: thebruce

The Gotham City Election Board is asking for your vote!  Polls are now open, and voting is available through June 12th.   Be sure to register first.

Update: Text messages were received on the TDK cell phones – “Clowns, are you ready for some laughs? (y/n)”.  Answering “y” prompted this reply – “You put a smile on my face. Hope you’re not superstitious.”

Other sites have also been updated:

SHH reports from Hutch:

I discovered @ Verizon Wireless a new phone coming out from Nokia (the 6205 is the model) entitled The Dark Knight edition. It features the Dark Knight logo on the back, as well as exclusive content inside the phone (including quotes like the Jokers laugh as a TXT Alert, wallpapers, screen savers and the trailer all preloaded in the phone). It launches June 15 online only and as a limited edition.
(Engadget link)

Follow along at the wiki: batman.wikibruce.com!
Join the hype at Superoherohype

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies