Archive for the ‘Viral General’ Category

10
Jul'13

Mysterious discovery prompts examination of a secret Disney project

   Posted by: thebruce

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opt199488SMALL

im-ag-i-neer’ing, n. Imaginative concept in Design, Architecture, Engineering and Entertainment – Sym. See Disneyland

ameliaLast week, a girl named Amelia set out on a mission to uncover a mystery she happened upon while sifting through old belongings of her grandfather’s – Carlos Moreau. With the hope of creating a documentary about his life, about the stories he’d tell her as a child, she discovered a series of photos and writings of his, from back in the day; from the 50′s and 60′s to be more precise.

One of her big discoveries was information about a short story he named “Orbit’s Story” (which he later sold to Walt Disney, and to which he never returned). With this in mind, Amelia set up a blog site at storyorbit.com where she continues to share her discoveries, and also began the @storyorbit twitter account for a little more personal touch with her followers.

Invitation-JShe then discovered a letter sent to Carlos dated April 24 1964, from WED Enterprises Inc, inviting him to visit the World’s Fair in New York, and regarding a “special project”. The logo used by WED Imagineering is an illustration of the Tower of the Four Winds.

wf-picsFurther discoveries include photos taken in and around the “It’s a small world” [IASW] ride at the World’s Fair. The picture Amelia shared of the stack of photos included a couple of hand-written notes, also implying a secret “special project”.

One of the notes also included the phone number (607) 218-5820, that of a company named Lott Family Construction. Calling the number prompts an automated voicemail message from a rather non-technical individual, directing callers to the company’s website: LottFamilyConstruction.com.

lott-logo

This appears to be the company under which construction of the IASW exhibit was commissioned. Further research reveals that the name of its founder, Michael T Lott, does actually appear on a window on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom!  Walt Disney and his crew had created fictional companies to purchase land in Florida, and Lott Family Construction may well be one of those companies (in case you haven’t got it yet – read, “M T Lott”)

However, it also seems that not only is it Michael who records the voicemail message, but you are able to contact the company – and Michael – through email. Is Michael Lott real and alive?

Something is fishy about this “special project”, and its connection to It’s a small world, and the Four Winds sculpture which greets people at the exhibit’s entrance.

The Lott Construction website’s client list includes a number of interesting projects, such Mystery Manor and Deluca Fields listed under Special Projects, which follows Cultural Landmarks including Progressland and “it’s a small world”.

Email responses from Michael Lott include a small disclaimer in the footer about privacy and security, but also instructions for clients about about how to access information about their ongoing projects – found on their website by simply appending the project code to the web address. Does this mean there are ‘secret’ projects we can explore on Lott’s website?

june23-1952Next, Amelia shared a photo of another letter, this one dated June 23, 1952 – Disney’s first contact with Carlos, interested in his Orbit’s Story – over 10 years prior to Carlos’ invitation to the World’s Fair.

What exactly did Disney do with this mysterious short story of Carlos’?

Amelia continues to research her grandfather’s old possessions, looking for more hidden, secret information, and you can follow her progress at storyorbit.com and @storyorbit.

META

Interestingly, speculation arose from Amelia’s followers regarding suspicious similarities in the discoveries so far… The letter from Walt Disney Productions to Carlos was dated 1952 – which happens to be the working title for Disney’s upcoming 2014 Damon Lindelof film Tomorrowland, taking place in 1964.

Back in January, in an eerily similar set of events, following a tweet by Damon Lindelof teasing a photo of a box only labeled “1952″, director Brad Bird tweeted a picture of the box opened, which revealed a whole mess of really cool old…stuff.

[tweet https://twitter.com/BradBirdA113/status/294241097444634625]

Could this be a new big ARG for Disney’s sci-fi flick Tomorrowland? All signs and theories point to Yes!

The official (meta) website for this campaign called “The Optimist” describes it:

Walter Elias Disney was an optimist who believed in creating a living blueprint for the future. He and his Imagineers – those creative and skilled professional wizards who combine imagination and engineering – made fantasy into reality and built the magic of the Disney Theme Parks. But, what if that was just the beginning?

Amelia, a young filmmaker, has stumbled upon a revolutionary secret…and she needs your help. Collaborate with other curious individuals around the globe to solve a mystery that traverses the web, Disneyland® Park, and beyond before culminating at the D23 Expo.

The D23 Expo takes place in Anaheim, California August 9-11, 2013, which makes this a 6 week experience. The film isn’t slated for release for over a year. So, what will await the community at the end of this journey?

Back in October last year, Vulture.com also intimated:

We hear that the collaborators are planning an elaborate, very J.J. Abrams–like advanced marketing campaign that will start before filming even begins. The idea is to stage a treasure hunt for intrigued moviegoers that will gradually reveal clues about and build intrigue for the film right up until its release, and which may or may not be related to the contents of the box.

It’s wonderful how much curious fans have already researched and discovered about the real history of Disney! There are some fascinating little-known facts being uncovered. Be sure to follow along with the community:

And here a few related reports of interest from other sources:

 

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Categories: ARGs General, Events, Movies, Rabbit Hole, Viral General

5
Jun'12

The launch of a new high culture fashion trend?

   Posted by: thebruce

Monday was a slow day… But then it started looking up when a package (beware, this word will be used extensively throughout this report) was found delivered to the doorstep of Wikibruce! This package was bulky, but light and soft. My eyes were drawn to the corner, whereupon a 2×3 collage of… well, perhaps you should take a look at the photos below, and see what you can make of it…

The “Package”

Shipped from Toronto, this, umm, package sports on its cover a colourful array of pantalons in various states of undress.

The note…

 

A note that reads [sic]:

To Who It Concers: I Like The Cut Of Your Jibb. Join My Team Dont Delay!! Apply Today!!!

Yours Jud

The package also contained another single strip (pun not intended) collage of states of undress.

Tighty Whities…

 

Unfolded from within its envelope was a pair of fresh tighty whities. And, smack on the sweet spot, yes indeed – a QR code. Just when you thought they couldn’t be placed anywhere worse.

They put a QR code on it.

The QR code on it…

 

A closeup of the QR code on it – on the package, within the package.

Blinded by its majesty, I threw caution to the wind and scanned the QR code on it. This in turn led me to:

PutAQRCodeOnIt.com/splash.html

On this website, plain and simply, the visitor is greeted by this snippy little video:

View on Youtube

Lo and behold, at the end of the video, they put another QR code on it.  This one, of course, begins a trail of happytime QR codes which reveals a series of web pages:

(the following has been updated since initially postedapparently a mistake in the puzzle was fixed)

Now, firstly, each of these QR codes are comprised of both blue and black dots. Each these (including the home page) have blue dots spanning a central horizontal column.

Out of healthy curiosity, one can choose to combine the blue dots, as depicted in the result below. (only 3 have been combined in the image below, so you get the idea)

It seems pretty clear that a word is forming in the center.  Which, conveniently, may well play into this next puzzle:

The final page of the above trail, putaqrcodeonit.com/hiding, presents a hexagonal dial leading to six private, locked videos, each requiring a password. The webpage title reads “cyche“.

Could the blue dots form the password?

Viral Verdict

There’s something creepy afoot here. Someone has a thing for underwear, and QR codes. This may be a very volatile combination… on the other hand, it could be the start to a highly entertaining promotion for a new high culture fashion trend.

Yet these questions remain:

  1. Who is “Jud”?
  2. Who is on his/her team?
  3. Where is he/she hiding?
  4. What are the video passwords?
  5. Should I wear the tighty whities?
  6. What secrets am I hiding?

I leave these up to you (most of them), oh wondrous ARG community!  Tear this thing apart. Get to the bottom of it all. No time to waist bandying about!

If you have any input or solutions, please post your comments below, or visit the Unfiction forums and join in the discussion.

Don’t forget to wear your tighty whities!

Tags:

Categories: ARGs General, Grassroots, Miscellaneous Products, Rabbit Hole, Viral General

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 15 8:14pm)

#markofthespiderman : @Rev_Ian “Stencils http://t.co/bPcSqXD8

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Categories: Movies, Tweets, Viral General

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 15 8:10pm)

#markofthespiderman : @GuestUser17 “going to add some decorations to the city :)”

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Categories: Movies, Tweets, Viral General

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 15 7:22pm)

Want to join a live community chat for tonight’s #markofthespiderman events? Bookmark: http://wikibruce.com/chat/markofthespiderman/ Keep updated with news!

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Categories: Movies, Tweets, Viral General

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 15 11:58am)

Ger ready — #markofthespiderman events planned for 8pm Wed/Thu/Fri: Atlanta+Seattle, Denver+LA, NYC+Phoenix accordingly! #args

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Categories: Movies, Tweets, Viral General

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 15 10:43am)

Excellent overview of #markofthespiderman up to yesterday’s live drops:http://www.mentorless.com/2012/02/15/motsm-v-day-with-spidey-recap-and-what-is-to-come/ /via @mentorless #args

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Categories: Movies, Tweets, Viral General

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 15 10:35am)

A quick recap from @CSojda on the NYC #markofthespiderman experience yesterday (pics) – http://wdefender.blogspot.com/2012/02/amazing-spider-man-arg-campaign.html #ARGs

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Categories: Movies, Tweets, Viral General

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 14 8:11pm)

Word from @GuestUser17: “Got my call just now. Something going down tomorrow night. No details yet.” #markofthespiderman

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Categories: Movies, Tweets, Viral General

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 14 2:57pm)

Photo of #markofthespiderman drop contents, c/o @adamsteinhttp://twitter.com/adamstein/status/169495467636424704/photo/1

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 14 1:40pm)

Current #markofthespiderman deaddrop stats: Atlanta 2/5, Denver 1/5, LA 0/5, New York 4/5, Phoenix 1/5, Seattle 1/5 // Still more coming!

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Categories: Movies, Tweets, Viral General

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 14 1:39pm)

#Markofthespiderman deaddrop tweeters: @NYCwebslinger @caughtinATLweb @WebbedinDenver @Phoenix4Spiderm @SeattleWebHeads @SpiderManMarkLA

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 14 10:57am)

#Markofthespiderman drop contents via @GuestUser17: “two cool sweatshirts, a phone, and instructions. Can’t say more than that right now”

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Categories: Movies, Tweets, Viral General

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Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Feb 14 10:37am)

Atlanta! Denver! LA! NYC! Phoenix! Seattle! Get ready — #markofthespiderman drops being revealed all day: http://markofthespider-man.com/ #args

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Categories: Movies, Tweets, Viral General

26
Jan'12

Legends Of Alcatraz: It Begins

   Posted by: thebruce

On January 27, something is happening at Alcatraz…

After JJ Abrams’ new TV series premiered on January 16th, visitors to LegendsOfAlcatraz.com were presented a short puzzle. Solving this puzzle revealed a cryptic announcement for an event that would take place at N37 49.6062 W122 25.3793907 – Alcatraz Island.

The announcement [image] indicated a time of “9:14″, and the dates January 27, 28, 29. On Wednesday, more details were provided:

We now know that the event will take place Friday evening, of January 27th. “It Begins.”

Dr. Soto has arranged exclusive night-time access to the Rock for those interested in helping him solve mysteries for his new book – “Legends of Alcatraz”.

The first 302 volunteers to check in when and where we say on Friday are selected.
Don’t miss this special once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

What to bring:

  • A flashlight
  • Warm clothes
  • A comfortable pair of shoes

Note:

  • This event will last approximately 2-3 hours. Food and drink will not be permitted on the island so please eat before you come.
  • Parking is not provided.
  • If under the age of 18, you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Valid ID required.

302 people – that’s number of guards and prisoners who ‘disappeared’ from Alcatraz in 1963.

Diego himself posted a new update to his comic shop’s tumblr, linking to an organization that re-enacts history. Could this be a hint of something we might see Friday night?

I can’t wait for them to do this again. Fort Point has a “Civil War Living History Day,” organized by the Friends of Civil War Alcatraz.

http://www.friendsofcivilwaralcatraz.org/LHD.htm

Attendees to Friday’s event will likely experience quite a memorable adventure, even if only for the visit to Alcatraz Island itself, at night. If “Diego” is indeed there, then expect more than just a simple tour of Alcatraz.

Can’t be there and want to see what happens during the event? Wikibruce will also be there!

  • Follow @Wikibrucethere for live updates from Alcatraz Island.
  • Follow the hashtag #legendsofalcatraz to see what people are saying.
  • Connect to IRC and join the channel #alcatraz on the server irc.chat-solutions.org to chat with others in the community — or use the Mibbit IRC interface embedded below.

Hopefully we can share the experience as best we can for those who won’t be there.

The fun starts Friday evening…

IRC Chat via Mibbit: #alcatraz on irc.chat-solutions.org
follow @Wikibrucethere for updates!

Campaign links

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Tags:

Categories: ARGs General, TV Series, Viral General

23
Jan'12

Something’s happening at Alcatraz…

   Posted by: thebruce

How well do you know your Alcatraz history?

After the 2 hour premiere episode aired last Monday on Fox, the website hinted at in a puzzle from the mailed rabbit hole packages (and tweeted by @AlcatrazLegends) – LegendsOfAlcatraz.com – was updated with a message and input prompt related to the spaghetti riot of 1950.

Alcatraz Spaghetti Riot, 1950
Inmates had to find ways to communicate under the watchful eye of the prison guards. Scholars still wonder how they managed to coordinate exactly what time to stage their uprising.

Users were prompted to provide the correct answer… but how?

Looking closely at the blackboard message, there are a number of letters missing:

These spell out “CMXIV”, or converted from roman numerals: 914

Entering 914 into the prompt leads to an event announcement.

9:14 01_27.28.29_2012
IT BEGINS.
N37 49.6062 W122 25.3793907
STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS:
@ALCATRAZLEGENDS
#LEGENDSOFALCATRAZ

Clue: Coordinates

The GPS coordinates N37 49.6062 W122 25.3793907 point to Alcatraz Island, and some have even attempted to narrow it down to a specific location within the prison. If the precise coordinates are indeed of any importance, here’s my estimate:


(diagram courtesy alcatrazhistory.com)

Clue: Time

“9:14″ – Is this in the morning? At night? As of this posting, no further details are known, but likely more will be revealed this week through @AlcatrazLegends and the hash tag.

What we do know

Something is happening at Alcatraz at 9:14am or pm, on the 27th, 28th, or 29th.  If you’re in the area, make sure to plan your trip to the island soon – Visit AlcatrazCruises.com, with ferries launching from Pier 33 regularly. Let’s hope we get some more details before Friday!

Tune in tonight on Fox at 9pm EST for the latest new episode of Alcatraz – and don’t forget to bookmark LegendsOfAlcatraz.com!

Campaign links

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Tags:

Categories: ARGs General, TV Series, Viral General

18
Jan'12

A rabbit hole into the mystery of Alcatraz

   Posted by: thebruce

What do a dying white flower, a Ford Mustang lapel pin, and a comic book store have in common?

They’re three of a hand-full of cryptic items received by a number of media and community outlets, including Wikibruce.com, tied together only by the historic – and mysterious – prison island of Alcatraz, as portrayed in the new TV series from JJ Abrams.

Alcatraz is historically known as the “The Rock” – an island situated in San Francisco Bay converted to a maximum-security prison, touted essentially as an impenetrable, and inescapable fortress. Supposedly.

In 2007, I had the privilege of visiting the prison when the ARGFest alternate reality gaming conference took place in San Francisco. The tour was a chilling, exciting look into history, providing a glimpse at the troubling and unsettling lifestyles of those who were sentenced and trapped within its walls.

It’s not surprising that Alcatraz has greatly interested creator JJ Abrams whose TV series premiered January 16th, which explores a mystery about the island and its inhabitants. And of course, JJ with his metaphorical mystery box has once again begun a viral/transmedia campaign to help extend the show and its story beyond our television set.

On Friday the 13th, Wikibruce received this package, laid out below, containing some mysterious artifacts from Abrams’ world of “Alcatraz”. If this extended experience is planned to be anywhere as expansive as the LOST Experience, it’s a good bet there is certainly much more to come during the life of the TV show.

The Package


This package was shipped from Burbank, CA. It’s unlikely that the source of the shipment is of any significance, being primarily to hide the viral creator identity (999-999-9999 is certainly not a mistake!).

The Box…


 

The metal box inside the packaging had no lock, and is a brushed metal texture.

Its contents:

1. A tour brochure “Discover Alcatraz” from 2011

2. A decrepit white flower

3. Alcatraz branded key

4. A Ford Mustang lapel pin

5. Newspaper clip from SF Intelligencer, March 22 1963

6. A postcard sent by “Susie” to “Nana Feinstein”

7. A souvenir lenticular postcard

8. Torn corner of page 65 from “Inmates of Alcatraz”

9. Torn magazine page with a book review and 2012 Ford Mustang ad

The Flower…

 

Other reported packages have contained a still live-looking flower, but have been reported it as either a white lotus, or a daisy.

There is a yellow chrysanthemum flower connection with the film Escape From Alcatraz:

We are first exposed to this flower in the yard during the prisoner’s sole hour of recreation each week. Doc, a venerable, old felon, paints a self-portrait with a flower in his breast pocket. Upon probing by Morris, we learn that it is a metaphor for his spirit. While the warden can take away all of his rights, the one thing they cannot take away from him is his flower. As long as he has his flower, his will to live, and, to some extent, to escape, will continue. To some, this symbolizes the never-ending struggle to escape from the island. Yet, to all, it provides them with a symbol of hope that they too will not wilt under the severity of the penal system.
~source: Return to Alcatraz

The Key…

 

Replica of an Alcatraz cellhouse key. All packages’ keys appear to be identical.

Ford…

 

A Ford Mustang tri-bar lapel pin.

Ford, clearly a corporate sponsor of the show, will undoubtedly be appearing repeatedly in any Alcatraz-related content, as seen in the Mustang ads below.

The Newspaper Clip…

 

San Francisco Bay Intelligencer, March 22 1963. The article of interest: “The Final Lockdown” by Gretchen Juerera. This article is dated the day after Alcatraz was closed and all inmates reportedly transferred.

Reverse: teaser ad for the announcement of the 1964 Ford Mustang.

(transcripts below)

The Final Countdown

ALCATRAZ. The very name connotes solitude, fear and punishment.

Thousands of America’s worst criminals were sentenced to hard time in this notorious penitentiary; many died there, others served out the full term of their respective stays, but nobody ever escaped. It was a severe locale that offered little to no promise of hope or redemption.

Last night, however, all USP Alcatraz prisoners vacated the premises once and for all.

What was the government’s official reason for closing the facility? In a word: money. Estimates indicate that it was costing over ten dollars per day to house the typical inmate. Compare that to the three-dollar per capita cost at other federal institutions. The financial strain was becoming too exorbitant to bear; shutdown was inevitable.

Prison officials declined our interview requests, citing their prohibitively hectic schedules. Instead, Warden Edwin James issued the following statement to the press:

“This is an immense undertaking. We are completing the transfer paperwork on 256 inmates and working to find comparable positions for all 46 of our federal employees who will be displaced by this transition. But rest assured; our relocation initiative is taking every precaution to preserve the safety of all individuals involved, especially the civilian population at large.”

So, what will become of the ominous rock jutting from our majestic bay? City planners are remaining tight-lipped on the matter, but one thing is for sure: it is indelibly seared into the landscape of our past, our present and our future.

1964 Ford Mustang teaser:

The most exciting thing on TV tonight will be a commercial

Get your first good look at next year’s most exciting new car.
The new 1964 Ford Mustang!
Tonight

Susie’s Postcard…

 

A postcard depicting Alcatraz Island. Other packages received different postcards, however they all had the same message from “Susie” written (individually hand-written, I might add) on the backs.

Alternate versions can be seen at Comingsoon.net and Movieweb.com [img]

The message references the scene near the beginning of episode 1, where a young girl (who we can assume to be Susie) breaks away from her tour group, and spots the episode’s antagonist Jack Sylvane lying in a cell.

Dear Nana,
Alkatraz is fun. It smells old here. I went to a part where I wasn’t supost[sic] to go and a man was sleeping in the jail cell. I screamed and mom and dad found me. The guard told the sleeping man to leave. We all went home on the ferry.

Love, Susie

Souvenir Postcard…

 

This postcard is a heavier stock lenticular postcard, from 2008. The two scenes, seen by pivoting the card vertically, depict Alcatraz cell block C circa 1960, and as it appears ‘today’ (2008).

No further writing is on the clean postcard.

The Inmates…

 

This torn corner of page 85/86 is from the book “Inmates of Alcatraz“. On the front, p65, is the mug shot of Jack Sylvane, the episode 1 antagonist. The page itself appears on-screen (src: WelcomeToAlcatraz), though slightly different in page layout. Jack’s prison ID reads:

U.S. Penitentiary
Alcatraz
2024
04 27 56

On the reverse is another inmate who we know as episode 2‘s antagonist, named Ernest Cobb. His ID:

U.S. Penitentiary
Alcatraz
2047
08 25 60

Nancy’s Book Review…

 

And finally, the artifact most relevant to the online campaign, a book review by Nancy Gleinen. This is page 34, torn from a magazine named “Commerce Quantified”. Nancy reviews the book Inmates of Alcatraz, by Dr. Diego Soto. Letters throughout the article are circled, however, and when put together spell “legendsofalcatraz”

This quickly led people to LegendsOfAlcatraz.com, a landing site boldly branded for the TV series. At the time of the show’s premiere, it contained a countdown to the airing of episode 1.

Inmates of Alcatraz appears in the TV show as the book that led officer Rebecca Madsen to Diego, who she considered a specialist in Alcatraz knowledge, as she sought help to locate the criminal (and ex-Alcatraz inmate) Jack Sylvane.

On the page reverse: Poetic symmetry – an ad for Ford’s upcoming 2013 Mustang. “All legend. Zero compromise.”

Nancy’s Non-Fiction Nook
Literary reviews by Nancy Gleinen

With his enthralling Inmates of Alcatraz, Dr. Diego Soto goes behind the bars and unlocks the twisted lives of a population formerly lost to history.

If you want a healthy dose of murder, regret and intrigue, don’t resort to watching soap operas – head out to your local bookstore and pick up the latest entry in Soto’s already impressive oeuvre that I like to call ‘Alcatraz revisited.’  He goes beyond the usual suspects (your Capones, your Machine Gun Kellys, your Birdmen) and paints an intimate portrait of dozens of forgotten inmates, each story leaping from the page with ferocity and renewed urgency. It’s as if they’re reanimating before your very eyes!

Despite the human-centric title, the book also delves into the foreboding setting of Alcatraz Island. ‘The Rock’ has never been so jagged, menacing and craggy – every vista provides a skewed take on humanity, Soto-style. He finds a way to transform the irregular outcropping into a shiv of brilliance. It is the judge, jury and executioner in this sordid tale of amorality run akok; no matter how notable the real-life characters in this book may be, they will never overshadow the prison itself.

But don’t take my word for it – Soto’s whimsical prose speaks for itself. Here’s an excerpt from the opening chapter of Inmates:

“Everything about USP Alcatraz is larger than life; the people, the history, even the daily operations boggle the mind. For instance, the feds shipped about a million gallons of fresh water from the mainland every week. Imagine: bringing water to an island. Trip out on that.”

Trip out, indeed. Soto bites into his subject matter like a jubilant piranha, shredding all preconceptions and injecting new blood into the burgeoning subgenre of obscure historiography. He revels in every scrap of evidence, reads them like decaying tea leaves and translates the whispers of the past into thunderous declarations of the now. Suffice it to say, Inmates of Alcatraz is my Book of the Week!

Diego “Doc” Soto is also the owner of a comic book shop called “Doc’s Comics and Collectibles”, which appears a few times in the show. He’s a somewhat social author, in that he’s also set up the twitter account @SotoDoc, though hasn’t used it in months. Additionally, he set up a very minimalistic tumbr blog for his store at docscomics.tumblr.com. Inside, we find an embedded commercial for his Inmates book — watch here:

View on Youtube

From the episodes themselves, keen-eyed observers noticed a number of easter eggs and potential leads. For example, one of JJ Abrams’ staple easter eggs is the inclusion of the name “Kelvin” in his projects – his way of dedicating his work to his grandfather who influenced him as a child. Two instances have already been spotted.

Additionally, in episode 2 a QR code was spotted next to Jack’s new cell block’s label “AZ 2024″. As of this writing, no one’s recreated a scannable replica of the code to determine what it reads.

We’ve also been led to an official twitter account and hash tag to follow – @AlcatrazLegends / #LegendsOfAlcatraz

Viral Verdict

Having watched the 2 hour premiere, it’s clear that the package contents were intended to tease at elements of the 2 episodes’ plots – from Jack Sylvane and Ernest Cobb to the very minor role of the young girl on the prison tour. The fact that much of the box content is available today for anyone visiting the island doesn’t lead me to believe that there any additional hints or unresolved threads. I’ve even combed over every artifact with a black light, hoping to find a hidden message, somewhere, but come up blank.

The existence of the (abandoned?) twitter account, and Diego’s tumblr blog implies that transmedia- possibly ARGish- content was, and likely still is on the drawing board. However, where LOST’s campaign provided mysteries and clues from the get-go, it seems that this rabbithole package has been fully resolved, being simply a teaser for the 2 hour premiere episodes.

The show itself has interested me, however, with a healthy dose of crime action, humour, and mystery (though somewhat diluted by preview videos and detailed looks at the series plot), but it left with a decent cliffhanger, beckoning me to return and watch the next episode.  My primary hope though, is that with the apparent structure of the plot dealing with returning inmates – and guards – the extended experience will provide an independent parallel plot with its own characters and real-world mysteries and events tied in to the show, akin to the extended experience provided by the creators of Heroes.

Are authors Nancy Gleinen and Gretchen Juerera just one-offs? Will we see Diego’s book “Inmates of Alcatraz” appear in full for sale on Amazon or in book stores? Will Susie and Nana make a reappearance? Will we have more of Diego’s comic-book store activities entertain us? Will we help solve an inmate mystery and track down a criminal in the real world?

Stay tuned! — Since the show aired, LegendsOfAlcatraz.com has revealed something new…

 

Alcatraz on FOX

Some official Alcatraz lore guide videos:

Other Alcatraz transmedia experience links

Tags:

Categories: ARGs General, Rabbit Hole, TV Series, Viral General

24
Mar'11

The Black Helix ramps up for a live finale event

   Posted by: thebruce

The Black Helix is a project that began one month ago with a mysterious kidnapping, and the promise that the events that followed would be written by the players, culminating in a live finale event, all to published in a followup eBook online. That finale event is upon us – here’s the official word:

Black Helix is drawing to a close this weekend with 527 participants on Facebook (and over a thousand players who over the last four weeks have joined the hunt both online and offline to find Jess Harrington and discover the meaning behind the Black Helix.

On Saturday 26th March at 3:30pm GMT they will have their last chance to affect the final novel and find the truth. The unique role playing event will unfold LIVE over the internet and players decisions will dictate the closing outcome. Four players have been chosen and will have a once in a lifetime chance to interact with the story characters in a real world role playing experience. These chosen players will also work together with online participants in real time to help solve the last few puzzles together, uncover the truth behind the Black Helix and possibly find out why Jess was kidnapped. Its still not too late to join the hunt and take part in this unique LIVE event! To watch and take part visit http://www.theblackhelix.com

There’s a video of the story so far [below] and the ebook of the story that will include the gamers taking part will be published in the summer.

View on Youtube

Tags:

Categories: ARGs General, Books, Viral General

24
Feb'11

What is The Black Helix?

   Posted by: thebruce

Beginning Friday February 25th, 2011 at 8:00pm GMT, players will have a chance to participate in and “become a part of an unwritten story”

The Black Helix is an ambitious project being launched by The Design Zoo.

This is an ARG that’s scheduled to run for a full month, the goal being to have players effectively create and become a part of this “unwritten story”.  Then, as the culmination of the ARG, The Design Zoo intends to publish the final story online in the summer of 2011 in what they believe to be the “world’s first crowd sourced ARG novel/story”.  The final story will integrate all the players, players’ actions, research and sub plots from the ARG, forming a unique “transmedia book” that all players will feel a part of.

The Black Helix is being touted as being one of the largest Alternate Reality Games to come out of Northern Ireland, and will incorporate online and offline elements, with an interactive narrative, games, phone calls, real world tasks, and a “final role playing event”.

What is The Black Helix? Block the following text to read a sneak-peak of the starting plot.

The story starts with a 27year old PHD science student being kidnapped from her apartment and her whereabouts is now under investigation.

We are looking for individuals and friends to help uncover the truth behind the kidnapping. You must join the hunt both online and offline to discover her whereabouts, but don’t be fooled into thinking that your actions won’t go unnoticed. All is not as it seems.

Do you feel you have what it takes to uncover the truth and become part of an unwritten story?

Word is already spreading — bookmark keep an eye on these websites and resources:

The project is supported by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund from the Northern Ireland Arts Council.

The Black Helix is scheduled to launch at 8pm GMT, Friday Feb 25th.

UPDATE!

The Black Helix has launched. And with it, the kidnapping:

View footage on Youtube

Tags:

Categories: ARGs General, Books, Viral General

21
Dec'10

TRON Week raffle results and winners

   Posted by: thebruce

Flynn Lives!

TRON: Legacy is now in its box office infancy, and still pushing forward. Its promotional ARG “Flynn Lives” has effectively come to a close with players receiving in the mail a special delivery from Zack consisting of a very appropriate collectible pin bearing the phrase: “FLYNN LIVES”. A subdued, yet meaningful ending to the campaign within which many of us spent the last two years immersed.

Wikibruce was along for the ride, hosting and providing an informational resource and guide wiki – for the community, and by the community. As a thanks for your collaborative maintenance, and because the community is simply an awesome group, I was able to put together this raffle to distribute a few of the remaining items I have to give away – but not without a bit of a verification to ensure the recipients were fans who would treat these items with the love and respect they deserve!

Below you’ll find the answers to the (supposedly simple) trivia questions posted each day last week (except the 3rd day when plans were sabotaged by some sort of…rogue process, or something).

Below the answers, you’ll find the list of winners, and a collage of some of those daring enough to be TRONitized on opening weekend in a strive to earn entries for the final raffle items.

Enjoy!  And congratulations to all the winners :)

TRON Week Raffle Trivia Answers

Day 1

End of line club Coaster (2)

Q: What is Yori’s user’s name?

A: Lora Baines (accepted just Lora, or Laura, but not Laurie!)

FAX Expo blue ID disc (1)

Q: Who directed the original 1982 film Tron?

A: Steven Lisberger

Operation Tron profile badge code (12)

Q: What is ‘Tron Guy’s real name?

A: Jay Maynard

Day 2

Samtracker / 89 Pin + Stickers (2)

Q: A) What business had its home in this building?

A: Flynn’s Arcade (also accepted real world answers as the question wasn’t clear: Culver City’s first hospital, or now a restaurant called Akasha)

Space Paranoids pin (7)

Q: B) What vehicle is being driven in this scene?

A: Light Runner (there was a surprising number of ‘light car’ answers, but that is wrong :) as is just ‘runner’)

FLYNN LIVES T-Shirt (8)

Q: C) What’s the name of this character?

A: Gem (a Siren played by Beau Garrett)

Day 4

The following questions required two answers each, but as some only gave a partial answer, I counted up to two entries for each answer.

FLYNN LIVES lapel pin (10)

Q: Who is heard in the audio clip, and to whom are they speaking?

A: Dumont, to Tron

‘Home of Tron’ Flynn’s Arcade token (5)

Q: Who is heard in the audio clip, and to whom are they referring?

A: Tron, about his user Alan1 (or AlanOne, but also accepted just Alan Bradley)

Encom Guest Badge (San Francisco press event) (5)

Q: Who is heard in the audio clip, and what’s the significance of this scene?

A: Yori, as heard in the deleted love scene from the original Tron (required Yori, and either that it’s the deleted scene or the love scene; not just what they were discussing!)

Opening Weekend challenge

FLYNN LIVES blue poster (5) and No Bit (1)

For this draw, fans were required to photograph their trip to see Tron: Legacy during opening weekend, earning entries into the final draw by how TRONified they were with those around them.  The winners have been selected and will be asked sequentially if they want a blue poster or the No Bit. Once the No Bit is claimed, the rest will receive the blue poster.

Click here to see some tronitized fans (big image!)

Raffle Winners

If you’re on the list below (first names or aliases provided with your entries), you will be contacted by the email address you supplied. If I don’t get a response in a timely manner, or you wish to pass your win, the next name drawn in line will be contacted.

And the winners are…

End of line club Coaster (2)

Monica O.
Jeff E.

FAX Expo blue ID disc (1)

KiltDaddy

Operation Tron profile badge code (12)

Celina
Velocity
Ces Ra.
Eolith
Bill H.
Flagusco
Scott
Korpolfr
Matt
Andrew
Ares L.
Alec M.

Samtracker / 89 Pin + Stickers (2)

EchoLeader
Antonio U.

Space Paranoids pin (7)

Opticon
Stacy L.
Daniel
Phazen
Kuan S.
Alexa b
eolith

FLYNN LIVES T-Shirt (1 Large, 7 XL)

Elt (Large)
Rogi
Leovinus
RHT1
EchoLeader
KiltDaddy
Ashley
Robert

FLYNN LIVES lapel pin (10)

Bud F.
Rob T.
Derek B.
SanyuMiyazaki
Kevin G.
Skip C.
Shadow
Renderinfo
Alec M.
Megan O.

‘Home of Tron’ Flynn’s Arcade token (5)

Broklynite
Bud F.
Vinny
Ashley
Venar T.

Encom Guest Badge (San Francisco press event) (5)

Cesar Ro.
Kevin G.
Bud F.
Chris H.
tlsbill

FLYNN LIVES blue poster (5) and No Bit (1)

Ces Ra.
KingdomKeeper
tlsbill
badhand77
SkekTek
Gazbot

If you are a raffle winner…

Congratulations!

If your name is listed above, I’ll be contacting your for a mailing address. If you’ve had a change of heart, or you’ve perhaps come into possession of the item you just won since you entered, you’re more than welcome to pass up your item to the next name in line to be drawn.

And finally…

Thank you for your support of Wikibruce.com, the Tron/Flynn Lives wiki, and other ARG wikis. You are what make the community an amazing place to hang out in! (dangling participle’d!)

  • Go and connect with more of the community at the Unfiction Forums
  • Happy holidays!
  • Merry New Year!
  • Now, go and see TRON LEGACY again! :)

See you on the grid…

Flynn Lives!

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: ARGs General, Movies, Viral General