Archive for April, 2009


Cheers and farewell, Dave Szulborski

   Posted by: thebruce

April 23, 2009, ARG designer, beloved husband, father, and friend Dave Szulborski passed away. 

As announced by Dee Cook at unfiction:

Dave Szulborski passed away last night after a long and incredibly courageous battle with leukemia. He leaves behind his wife Marianne, his baby son Tyler, and many many friends both online and in the real world.

If you are interested in attending the funeral services, here’s the information:

Sunday night, visitation at Long Funeral Home, 500 Linden Street, Bethlehem, PA from 6-8 PM.

Monday morning, memorial service at St. John’s Windish Lutheran Church, 617 East Fourth Street, Bethlehem, PA at 11 AM.

If you would like to send along your respects:

It was Dave’s wish that in lieu of flowers, people contribute towards his son’s education. You can do so by sending a check to the following:

Long Funeral Home
500 Linden Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Make the check payable to Long Funeral Home, and put “Tyler Szulborski Education Fund” in the memo.

Also, there is a memorial page posted at the funeral home site where you can write in the guest book, and there will be an obituary posted on The Morning Call tomorrow.

Last, Dave’s wife Marianne would love to hear from you and keep in touch with the community. Her email address is She said that she is going to put some of the strings of cranes in with Dave to rest.

I personally met Dave only a couple of times, through the annual ARGFest events.  Last year, Dave S. graced us with his presence in Boston, and providing the Keynote address: “The Story Inside: Making ARGs for Fun and Profit”.  Fun always came first.

Two years ago, I had the privilege being selected as Dave’s Secret Santa at Unfiction.  I was floored, and immediately felt that pressure of hoping to find a gift that would be greatly appreciated (knowing, of course, he would appreciate any gift at all).  I gave him a copy of a book he was hoping to read at some point. And as is quite common, I made up a special puzzle for him to solve on receiving the book.  I never found out if he solved it. As a matter of fact, I never even found out whether he liked the book or not.

I was also privileged to be on the receiving end of some of Dave’s ARG swag from a game called Monster Hunters Club for the foreign film The Host.  My name was drawn randomly from entrants to receive – to save – an old collectible monster figurine or action figure.  On my doorstep a short while later was some unique ARG swag from the game.  Don’t worry, Dave.  Bionic Bigfoot will be safe from harm.

It was only two months ago, precisely, that I blogged about Dave’s condition, happy that was back out of the hospital and doing fine. Funny how fast things can change.

The few times I met him and spent time with him, he made an enormous impression. I recently bought his book “This Is Not A Game“, and am slowly reading through it. Dave was a brilliant, creative, intelligent game creator.  Others who’ve known him on a far more personal level and who’ve worked with him are expressing the same sentiments. He was a wonderful leader and inspiration to us all.

This article can’t possible describe all that Dave has done, or even come close to paying a satisfactory homage to the man.  So I resign to simply share my personal reflection of his influence in my life.

Dave, you will surely be missed.

(Please review the announcement above for information about Dave, memorials, donations, and others sharing about Dave)


Categories: Puppetmasters


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 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 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, 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. 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).

[kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”425″ height=”344″ allowfullscreen=”true” fvars=”fs=1″ /]

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, 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:

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


Tags: ,

Categories: ARGs General, Movies


NASA Presents: The Presence

   Posted by: thebruce

On April 3rd, NASA made a startling discovery – the Chandra X-Ray Observatory photographed what could only be described at “The Presence” – a strange phenomenon photographed in recent years. 
Described by Gradiosity:

A buddy and I were getting our asses kicked by a couple cops after they caught us tagging a wall. I remember hearing this crack like thunder right overhead. Next thing I knew, we were all standing there, looking up like baby birds. One of the cops was crying. We were all shaking. It was like realizing I’ve spent my whole life underwater and finally looking up and seeing *real* life on the other side of the surface. The cops just left us, just forgot about us. But we didn’t notice because we’d forgotten about them.  (source)

And now, has The Presence been captured by NASA’s Chandra Observatory?  CNN has also reported NASA’s finding.  You be the judge…

Year Zero: The Presence

This, on the heals of two nebulous tweets reportedly posted on April 2nd from Trent Reznor saying:

At this stage in my career, there’s few profession-related situations that truly make me nervous. Walking into one right now.

YZ is alive.

The second tweet has since been deleted.

The Presence first made its appearance in an ARG by 42 Entertainment, partnered with Nine Inch Nails, for their edgy album Year Zero.

Yes, this is a real astrophotograph, a real nebula.


Categories: Viral General


A big box of Babel Research (updated!)

   Posted by: thebruce

(updates appended below; most recent update: Sep.25.10 – Please see disclaimers at the end of the article before commenting)

Today, big things happened. The Box was opened. (ongoing updates appended)

The viral nature of this production certainly did its job. The original video on youtube had a description which was consistently updated every few days. But the description was a countdown. It now reads:


So what happened? We still don’t know… but something. All content indicates that events are taking (have taken?) place in the year 2018, August 6th. Supposedly this is when the events of the video take/took place.

Read on to find out all that’s been discovered, and dig in to the story…

Read the rest of this entry »

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Categories: Grassroots, Viral General