Author Archive


Mysterious discovery prompts examination of a secret Disney project

   Posted by: thebruce


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 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:


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 and @storyorbit.


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.


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, 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


Secret agents and bird calls, a Skyfall adventure

   Posted by: thebruce

Friday, October 5, 2012.
Package delivered.

Today, Wikibruce received a package via UPS. Its avian contents were simple. A photo of a barn swallow with a hand-written message on the back, a Sony IC Recorder.

The message on the reverse reads:

Greetings from Innsbruck, Geoff.

Spied this fellow building his nest unusually high in a tree. I believe that means the snow will be better here this year. Including a recording of his lovely little song for your enjoyment. Do with it what you will.

Cheers, J

On powering up the recorder, the display shows one audio clip. It’s named “50-112-251-215”, with a song title “barn swallow” by author “Jonathon Jongsma”.

My package, which I noticed was numbered as #8, is only one of  few delivered to various sources. also received a package today, reporting on its contents, and discussion has begun at the Unfiction forums.

Puzzling clues…

The four numbers resolve to an IP address, When visiting the IP address as a website, “a top secret” website is revealed for the Royal Secret Intelligence Service. It contains a prompt to analyze audio from your microphone as an aural password verification step.

Putting two and two together, when playing the sound barn swallow audio clip, the user is verified and…

…the adventure begins!  Try it yourself, then see where it takes you.

Edited to add this tip: Thanks to ARGN, you can play this audio clip via Youtube after enabling the aural capture. If your speakers are loud enough, the sound should be successfully recognized.

Also of note, viewing the website’s source code reveals a few bits of information hidden as meta data. This text also strangely includes multiple instances of the unicode character 9608:

“For ██ ██ eyes only. If you are not ██ ██ please delete immediately. This ████ provides access to the ██ ██ selection exam which identifies recruits for ████ and ██ ██ in the field. Do not share this link.”

And a strange sequence of the 9608 character:

“██ ████ █ ███ █ ██”

With the next Bond flick Skyfall releasing in theatres on November 9th, could this interactive adventure be the lead-in to a larger ARG-like campaign? Or is this is a one-stop entertainment production?

If you’ve run through the experience, successfully or not, share your experience in the comments below!  Or join in the conversation at Unfiction.

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies, Rabbit Hole


Viral outbreak of BRX announced in the Greater Toronto Area (Press Release)

   Posted by: thebruce

ByoLogyc Inc.
Corporate Headquarters
Toronto, Canada
1 (866) BYO-6090 |
@ByoLogyc |


September 19, 2012 – Toronto, ON – ByoLogyc, in conjunction with Health Canada, has completed studies which have revealed conditions suggestive of a viral outbreak in the Greater Toronto Area. Initial reports, though still early, have indicated a connection between the root cause of the viral outbreak and ByoRenew. Despite recent complications with the HPFB, Health Canada will continue to work with ByoLogyc to aid and assist customer and civilian alike.

Early analysis of collected samples indicates the discovery a new virus, known as BRX. External and internal reviews of ByoLogyc’s systems indicate BRX to be a variant of the transfer virus distributed in ByoRenew pills. These reviews further indicate that BRX was produced as a result of a network-based attack on ByoLogyc’s production infrastructure in late June by an online terrorist organization, suggesting that this organization may have maliciously generated and sought to spread this virus using ByoRenew as a vector.

At this time, ByoLogyc is pursuing legal action against the online terrorist organization, known as EXE, for online invasion and violation of the intellectual property rights of ByoLogyc. We are currently working with both the Toronto Police force as well as the RCMP in the pursuit of justice.

In case of city wide medical emergency, ByoLogyc is prepared and committed to helping the Toronto City Council in both containment and sanitation. To this end, ByoLogycs SCD (Sanitation and Containment Division) stands ready to protect the population.

As a precaution, ByoLogyc will be running a FREE Public Health and Community Wellness Clinic on September 29, at the Church of the Holy Trinity, in conjunction with Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. By holding the Clinic at this time, we hope to reach a wide section of the population and maximize its impact. Visitors to the Clinic will receive a free ByoRenew 2.0 primer pill, which has been custom designed to act as an early-stage vaccine against BRX.

For more information, please contact Marie Leclerc, PR Director at ByoLogyc,

Due to the high volume of inquiries we receive daily, we would like to provide you with the answers to frequently asked questions:

Should I panic?
Absolutely not. Test results from joint studies by Health Canada and ByoLogyc indicate that BRX has low-grade symptoms and low transmissibility. Though symptoms are wide ranging, victims may only experience personality distortion, blurry vision, a craving for high calorie food items, and fatigue.

What is the SCD?
The Sanitation and Containment Division of ByoLogyc is a newly formed department with the singular mandate of ensuring that the BRX outbreak is contained, and effects on members of the public are minimized. ByoLogyc is diverting substantial resources to this operation. The SCD is headed by Renata Reinger, who has been with ByoLogyc since 1992. As the former Chief Custodian, her expertise with chemical and biological containment, as well as superior knowledge of closed and open environment contaminations are assets that ByoLogyc wishes to utilize to their fullest potential.

What is EXE?
EXE is an online terrorist organization which disrupted production at ByoLogyc and is believed to have caused the manufacture and distribution of the BRX virus, using ByoRenew as a vector. They are also believed to have repeatedly accessed and disseminated to the public sensitive materials and documents. Despite sometimes referring to themselves as ByoLeaks, they have no association with ByoLogyc.

Obligatory Disclaimer:
ByoLogyc Inc. is a fictional pharmaceutical biotechnology firm, and the central component of an interactive theatrical production being executed by ZED.Toronto and There is no viral outbreak. Unless you consider a large fanbase and audience enthusiastically enjoying the experience a viral outbreak of excitement!

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is an annual all-night event that takes place in Toronto featuring contemporary art exhibits and productions throughout the streets of downtown Toronto.

ByoLogyc will be there, attempting to stop the spread of the BRX virus.
Will you be there to accept their proposed remedy of ByoRenew 2.0?

Here’s a look back at the VIP launch party from March, earlier this year:

View ByoLogyc’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on Youtube

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Categories: ARGs General, Events, Miscellaneous Products, Theatre


The Baron’s Archive begs attention (updated)

   Posted by: thebruce

When the ARGFest fires are lit and burning, the ARG wheels keep on turning! Late last week, Wikibruce received a package in the mail containing some time-sensitive content, with a message dated July 13.

Unfortunately, by the time it was received, the deadline for retrieval of July 20 had long passed. @Wikibruce then received word from @FelicityVelius that the deadline had been extended two weeks. From July 20, that means the following task must be completed by August 3rd — 3 days as of the time of this writing.

Here, outlined, are the contents of this package…

The “Package”

Lots of stamps

Envelope reverse…


GPS coordinates: 31.526805, -97.170242
These land on a UPS Store in Waco, Texas.

Package contents…


Two envelopes – one addressed to Wikibruce, the other to Mr.Eugene McKinstry.
* Post marked Chicago ILL, Dec 20 10am, 1912
* To 1010 James St., Seattle Washington

Letter number 1…


Friday, July 13, 2012

Dearest Wikibruce:
I have followed your work with interest. Enclosed is a key and directions.

My time is running out, you will not hear from me again.

Open the box by July 20.

Yours, Felicity

The deadline, via contact, has been extended to August 10th.

Letter number 2…


The card reads:

A Merry Christmas
Tis sweet to be remembered, if only with a thought,
So am sending you kind wishes that never could be bought.
( Grace )

The post-it note reads:

This is all I could get out of the Archive. They’ve been at it for a while, huh?

A message to Grace…


Hand-written message reads:

My Dear Colleague,

How blessed we are to reside in a land with a reliably prompt and private post. You will be pleased to hear that our commodity reallocation plan is proceeding according to schedule. Heavy investment in Steel, Rubber, Copper and Crude Oil should serve us well through the close of this Decade. If you have not already done so, our dear friend, Baron R. who I have been told is quite well though advanced in years, suggests a gradual sale of any European consumer based assets before the close of 1913.
To Our Continued Success, E. Harrison

Handling notes:
To be destroyed by or collected upon the death of recipient

Copyright closer look…


No. 4 M.
Copyright, 1912.
Canterbury Series

What we can gather from this mailing is that there is an archive of “European consumer based assets” originally from ~1911-13 that were being distributed, which were likely in the possession of “Baron R” and being handled by “Grace” and “E Harrison” (the writer of the message). The letter was sent to “Mr Eugene McKinstry” in Seattle (per the envelope) in 1912, which was only recently sent to “F” (Felicity) from “D” (unknown). Felicity then in turn mailed the retrieval instructions to Wikibruce.

The question is – how will Wikibruce retrieve the box with the key by August 10th?  Any suggestions?

Felicity also has a blog herself at and lives socially at @FelicityVelius and on Facebook.

I wonder what’s in that lock box…

[Update Aug 1]

Felicity has made contact again and relieved the stress on the deadline. Retrieval must now be done ASAP. *phew*  The wheels are turning…


Categories: ARGs General, Grassroots, Rabbit Hole


Tensions rise as ByoLogyc celebrates their VIPs

   Posted by: thebruce

In this guest report, “Eggz” describes the dramatic events that occurred during a recent special ByoLogyc VIP event…

June 28th was a very special day for ByoLogyc, Toronto’s technological leader in biotech-pharmaceuticals. They had invited a number of their top VIPs, members of their Versatile Intern Program, to an intimate Meet and Greet at Toronto’s Victory Cafe to personally thank them for all their contributions in helping make the future a better place.

Most of the ByoLogyc top brass were in attendance; aloof and reclusive CEO Chet Getram accompanied by CFO Bernice Hammersmith, VP of Human Resources Henry Chan made a rare public appearance and was surprisingly charming and animated. The shy head or Research and Development, Dr Davian Baxter was accompanied by his right-hand woman Adrian Quinn, who furiously took notes and disinfected her hands at every opportunity. Present as well was the lovely Felicity Chapman, party planner extraordinaire who does numerous events for the company, though this particular gathering had been left in the hands of the CEO’s personal assistant Denis Kirkham. Brad Mitchell was on-hand to represent the Markham facility, Marie Leclerc made sure everyone was having a good time, and IT Director Dahlia Joss arrived just before the speeches started, despite a demanding week dealing with the passing of her father and fighting off hackers from the company website.

Denis started off the evening by Giving his glowing praises of Chet Getram, and how he would not be in the position he is now without Chet’s direct guidance. He then ceded the floor to a very anxious Davian, who briefly discussed the latest advancements they have been undertaking in the lab in the final production stages of ByoRenew, though he quickly got off-track talking about how their tests have affected the local population of rats. After bringing Davian back on track, Chet took things over by giving those present an insight into the projected launch and progression of ByoRenew over the next year. ByoRenew prescriptions will be tailored to each individual, and will be able to combat everything from colds to cancers. The next three months would see a roll-out over North America and Europe, the next six months would see a worldwide decline in infectious diseases of all kinds, and in only one year “lifestyle expectancy” would increase everywhere. Simply stated, ByoLogyc has high expectations for their latest product.

The end of the speeches marked a beginning to the one-on-one interviews with Chet and Davian. VIPs were to trade off with one or the other for a more personal talk with the two top brass to discuss their expectations, dedication and interests. A few minutes into the first set of interviews, however, Denis interrupted. Apparently Davian had yet to sign some sort of release, and it wasn’t something that Denis thought could wait to be addressed at the office. Chet was furious, dropping everything he was doing to call Davian over. He called him irresponsible, and that since Adrian is really the brains in the lab that he should have the time to sign a damn paper. Davian, visibly shaking with anger, whispered something to Chet, and stormed out.

And that was just the beginning of the drama for the evening. After some previous confusion with the venue, and it being double-booked with another party, it was discovered that the bathrooms were in a less-than-sanitary state, leading to Denis being reprimanded as well. It also became clear that there were some inter-departmental tensions: some staff questioned Olive’s methods of achieving her latest promotion, and there was the previously mentioned outburst between the execs and the lab, and also with IT. After a loud fight with Denis just a step away from the main party, Dahlia fainted from stress.

Overall, the Meet and Greet exposed to the public the internal politics of the otherwise outwardly “perfect” ByoLogyc family. As the story progresses, and with this week’s ByoRenew launch at the Toronto Fringe fest, it will be interesting to see how these relationships further progress, and to see where the battle lines will be drawn.

In addition to all the inter-employee drama, ByoLogyc provided for perusal a sensitive document to VIPs which previewed the ByoRenew product and upcoming PR material. They were very protective of the documents, however, with Marie and Denis among others watching carefully as members examined the document, ensuring no photos nor notes were taken.

Clearly, this product, being described as “an immune system software update” will either be a life- and world-changing pharmaceutical product, or it’s still in an experimental, unstable, potentially harmful stage. Do they not want competitors to steal their ideas? Or do they not want any issues, controversies, and failures leaked out to public?

Introducing ByoRenew from ByoLogyc on Vimeo.

ByoLogyc will be presenting their ByoRenew product, at Where You Become New during the Toronto Fringe Festival, between July 4th and 15th in downtown Toronto. Tickets are $13 and can be purchased at  This presentation is one of the primary shows being produced by, part of a unique crowd-funded interactive drama series taking place in Toronto and online through to October’s finale event.

Be sure to follow @ByoLogyc and @ZEDToronto for more details, and sign up as a VIP at ByoLogyc for exclusive first access to their special life-enhancing (world-ending) cutting edge pharmaceuticals!

More photos from the event can be found care of, and ByoLogyc.

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Categories: ARGs General, Events, Miscellaneous Products, Theatre


ByoLogyc releases first VIP newsletter, ByoSphere

   Posted by: thebruce

ByoLogyc Inc, biotech corporation based out of Toronto, Ontario has released their first VIP newsletter to its members. Inside are write-ups discussing some of their products, staff, a VIP of the month, event news, and results of social surveys conducted by ByoLogyc over the past couple of months.

Also making headlines is news that quality assurance specialist Olive Swift (@) has been promoted to Vice President of Quality Assurance. A significant promotion, indeed!

Back in March, as a VIP member myself, I was invited to ByoLogyc’s 20th anniversary celebration at the Ingram Gallery in Toronto. There, we got a taste of ByoLogyc’s line of life enhancing products, and had an opportunity to chat and mingle with its staff, including ByoLogyc CEO Chet Getram. Aside from a small disturbance, the event was smooth and enjoyable.

ByoLogyc was also a presenter at NXNEi in Toronto on June 15th, 2012. Their presentation was slick and organized for those in attendance, except for an unexpected hiccup which was dealt with swiftly by ByoLogyc’s IT director Dahlia Joss (@). Video from the presentation can be viewed at Ustream.

ByoLogyc will be presenting a special event at the Fringe Festival in Toronto, July 4 through 15:

“Where you become new”

Come be a part of ByoLogyc’s Versatile Intern Program.
Test their range of lifestyle biotech solutions, meet the company’s movers and shakers, and get in on the ground level of the ZED.TO story which runs from the Fringe through Nuit Blanche into the end of 2012… and the world as we know it.
Warnings: Interactivity & tangible futures.

You, too, can join the VIP program by visiting and signing up at

You can also peruse the first ByoSphere VIP Newsletter here:

Disclaimer, please note:

ByoLogyc is a completely trustworthy, ethical, and forward-thinking biotechnology company, seeking only to improve quality of life – unlike the falsehoods being spread by fringe detractor group “ByoLeaks”.  …Right?

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Categories: ARGs General, Events, Miscellaneous Products, Theatre


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:

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,, 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!


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


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 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


  • 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.

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 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
follow @Wikibrucethere for updates!

Campaign links

Other related links


Categories: ARGs General, TV Series, Viral General


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) – – 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
N37 49.6062 W122 25.3793907

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

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, 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!

Campaign links

Other related links


Categories: ARGs General, TV Series, Viral General


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, 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.



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!

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 and [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
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
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, 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 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, has revealed something new…


Alcatraz on FOX

Some official Alcatraz lore guide videos:

Other Alcatraz transmedia experience links


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


Now playing: Failtech, Glass Heaven, Foundonthetape, Inside Experience

   Posted by: thebruce

Wondering if there are any ARGs running that you might want to  heck out? Here are just a few that are currently running, from grassroots fiction to new promo campaigns, thanks to community members who’ve provided some basic details to help catch up:

Fail Technologies

duke9509 from Unfiction says:

Failtech is in its 2nd episode right now, but it all started with a tip about a Google ad asking for help and pointing to (the episode 1 version can be seen at

From there, it seemed at first that we were dealing with an A.I. gone nutso (think GLaDOS, HAL, or InterdimensionalGames’ “Henry”), and that we were communicating with an employee trying to stop it all – that would be Genus Orein. He had us working through the security levels of their remnant website trying to help them reach “L10” (level 10) in their facility at Antarctica so we could reboot- or otherwise work on the A.I. LAINSY (Logical Artificial Intelligence Networked SYstem).

We found that Genus is one of the higher-ups in the company, and he was at the facility along with Dan who became our contact. Dan’s on the Board Of Directors, and Genus runs a division. Soon we discovered that LAINSY’s screwed up security system was tampered with. Genus was trapped in a bomb containment unit due to incomplete lockdown protocols, but eventually managed to escape. The protocols were reset, and Episode 1 ended.

With episode 2 came the introduction to Scimitar. Later determined to be Alex Sword, the head of the BOD, he had been working with Genus and several others to reset LAINSY so that some special code could be run which would re-enable her to accept a blocked-off command. He was never more specific than that. Genus has apparently also been hearing voices, and Alex hinted that they were aliens. A couple of players ended up “splintering” from the group, fulfilling Dan’s request to reboot LAINSY. This powerdown caused a) biohazardous materials spilled during the facility lockdown to be released into more of the facility, and b) LAINSY’s security mainframe to flood.

Eventually, Alex put together a team of his own and went to Antarctica to find Dan and his crew safe and sound due to the warnings they’d received. Their two teams put on HAZMAT suits and went down through the contaminated facility to drain the water around LAINSY which was now boiling from the core meltdown caused by the accidental “unplugging” of some of her components. Fortunately, they were able to drain the water and salvage enough working hardware to initiate a crippled boot, and also to stabilize the core.

Sometime during these events, Genus began a strange blog at which seems to show nothing but very cryptic drawings and hinting at some sort of coded language.

Glass Heaven

Jain from Unfiction says:

Last Saturday (July 23rd) the mysterious blog of William Jakobsen was discovered at Among other oddities, such as Will’s dog being stolen and replaced by an identical dog, the journal entries revealed a strange religious flyer found in Will’s attic. After decoding the mysterious writing and corresponding with an email address on the flyer we were given tasks to complete in order to earn the three pillars: Joy, Life, and Purity. Once these tasks were completed, the first of the new generation were born. Now we strive to learn more about each other, the Glass Heaven, and the Crystalline Lord. But it’s not all fun and games as an unknown ex-member of the church is interfering with messages from the Glass Heaven warning us of danger.

Will’s life is becoming more and more dangerous as well. Strange men in black capes bearing the prism-like logo of the church are delivering letters of warning to Will’s mailbox. His friend Lizzy is now a new generation member of the church.  And he still hasn’t found his dog.


Paraphrased from the ‘story-so-far’ posted to its Steam community group:

A YouTube channel (foundonthetape) is found with a very unusual video, and four days later another video is posted.

4chan and Reddit are on it, and a code in the middle of one of the videos is solved. It’s a hex string that resolves to “” which leads to a downloadable Halflife: Episode 2 map.

This source map is a singular room (img) with a camera at a fixed location. The player is not a fixed entity and can wander about, knocking over objects etc. Moving into the door at the edge of the room leads to a picture and plays an EXTREMELY loud sound file (typically known as a “screamer”).

Due to the attempted actions of an unsuccessful gamejacker on Steam, another hex code was placed on the foundonthetape channel which resolves to “ email 10.7mb”. Sending an email to this address results in an automated reply of: “stuck im stuck im stuck im stuck im stuck”. This MegaUpload file is another HL:ep2 map, this time a relatively large tunnel maze with various scripting inside.

The Inside Experience

From Lysithea at Unfiction:

Christina Perasso, a self-described Jack-of-all-trades, has been kidnapped. The last thing she remembers is chatting with her Mom, Cathy Perasso. Three days later she woke up feeling like she’d been drugged. Trapped in a spacious single room bedsit with high ceilings, Christina’s only link to the outside is a laptop. The kidnapper is controlling just about everything including the power, water, food and internet connection. Grainy webcam snapshots posted to Christina’s Facebook Wall add veracity to the story. Examining these photos leads to a few in-game websites.

In Episode 2, some federal agents raid the physical location of Christina’s IP address. Instead of a girl they discover a plastic mannequin holding a router and a postcard. A short puzzle trail with more creepy poetry hidden in the source code is uncovered at

The product placement of the Intel-powered Toshiba notebook in this game has been well done. The main character has excellent reason to become increasingly attached to the computer.

The Inside Experience is playing out on Facebook, youtube, twitter, phone and email. The PMs have three basic rules which boil down to TINAG: “have fun with the experience, but the characters don’t know that they are in a movie so please don’t tell them” Many players are hopeful that their Facebook posts will end up in the final movie. As a result, almost everyone is posting in character.


Tags: , , ,

Categories: ARGs General, Grassroots, Miscellaneous Products


Test Subjects Needed: The Genesis Countdown

   Posted by: thebruce

This is your time. The world needs you. You must act now, before it’s too late.

On Friday July 15, at 12:00pm Pacific time, another countdown will reach 00:00 – a second opportunity for willing test subjects to volunteer themselves to the cause.  But what’s in store this time?


On June 30, the first countdown reached zero opening the door to a hectic nation-wide scramble — a mission labeled “Icefly”. In 15 cities across the United States, over the course of many hours, subjects were directed to specific physical locations in each city at set times, revealed randomly every hour. The first to arrive at each had to complete a task which would allow them to fulfill their portion of the mission — to rescue an Icefly. Watch this road report from one volunteer:

View on Youtube


Weeks earlier, mysterious instances of the phrase “TEST SUBJECTS NEEDED” began appearing at the end of 5 Gum TV commercials. Additionally, a number of E3 2011 attendees were handed envelopes containing branded paraphernalia, and print ads for 5 Gum began appearing including in the lower corner a small white wasp-like insect (which is now believed to be an icefly) along with a coded phrase. Whether in the form of morse or a QR code, this message led people to

This website hinted at a sensory experiment, one asking for volunteers – test subjects. Users were prompted to complete a word association test, and then asked to sign up and provide contact information and a mailing address. Candidates were then permitted to create a unique, custom badge for their profile.

Following on June 13 at the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee, a surreal event occurred. Between concerts, crowds of energetic people were treated to a gentle rainfall of glowing blue blinking lights. It was a scene quite reminiscent of some depicted in various 5 Gum commercials – individuals staring up into large swarming clouds of dots, objects. As the blue lights slowly hovered to the ground, the Bonnaroo crowds picked them up and examined them.  On their wings were QR codes that led to

View on Youtube

In the days and weeks to follow, subjects world-wide who had signed up at began receiving packages in the mail from (package sent to Wikibruce shown at right). Black or silver packaging contained another “icefly” – the origami helicopters with blinking LEDs that fell at Bonnaroo.

By now, had been thoroughly examined. It displayed a timer that was counting down to June 30, at 12:00pm pacific. Once the countdown hit zero, Mission: Icefly began. When these first 15 successful test subjects completed their missions, a URL appeared in a corrupted video leading people to a new location, and a call to action narrated by Terry O’Quinn.

This monologue explains the importance of our senses, and specifically HSP – Heightened Sensory Perception.  The backdrop for the narration is footage of individuals who lead the charge for the discovery and laboratory examination of an icefly that was buried in arctic ice – possibly for untold ages.

Having watched the entire video, users were directed to a chilly arctic landscape, in which stood a single lone door. This door, locked as of this writing, is the frame for a second timer; a new countdown leading to 12:00pm pacific, July 15.

Those 15 volunteers who rescued the iceflies took them home. These mechanical artifacts, when plugged in, began blinking in morse code, SURVIVALCODE.COM — the website that reveals more about … well, what this is all about… sort of.

While this campaign was discovered to be a partnership between veteran ARG creators 42 Entertainment and edgy gum franchise 5 Gum from Wrigley – the full extent of the campaign is as yet unknown. Skepticism about the campaign, as well as wild theories and speculation about its promotional content have run rampant, including hopes for connections to X-Men, Halo 4, even Bungie’s next video game; but they are just that: rampant speculation. Regardless, the project has been met with great excitement from the growing fan community, who’ve also created Facebook fan groups to connect and coordinate.


So, what will happen this Friday the 15th?

With the creation of user profiles on came the revelation of a ‘game’, of sorts. A “Game Code Activation” feature allows users to input special unique codes that are found in specially marked packages of 5Gum. These codes, when redeemed, can be applied towards the collection of “keys”: Constellation keys, or Facility keys. Even their purpose, once again, is still unknown. But with the existence of what appears to be the beginning of a comic-book style story revealed in the form of ‘logs’, these keys may be used to unlock additional exclusive content, answers to mysteries, or perhaps rare prizes.

And what of the mysterious Traelek Institute? Mentioned by name in the initial prelude log comics, it’s believed to be the location of the classroom scene shown in The Genesis video, with Terry O’Quinn’s character appearing as a lecturer. Is it an evil organization? Or a high tech corporation that promises to save the world?

At the very least, if this is simply a promotional campaign for an upcoming 5 Gum flavor, it’s certainly pushing the edge of gum marketing, and has convinced thousands to run out to their nearest gum-selling stores on the hunt for icefly-labeled 5Gum packs. The campaign has been filled with high production quality, the hint of a grander story, a greater mystery and threat to humanity, promises of future events, challenges and puzzles, and of course a recurring appearance by adored LOST star, Terry O’Quinn.  It’s the making of another 42 Entertainment-style mass-market Alternate Reality Game, in the footsteps of The Dark Knight’s Why So Serious?, and Tron: Legacy’s Flynn Lives campaigns.

Test Subjects Needed.
Friday July 15th, 12:00pm PDT...  Will you be the hero human-kind needs to survive?

It can’t be measured, proven, or even defined — but it warns us when we’re in danger.
And it’s warning us now.
Human kind is at a crossroads.
If we want to survive, we must heed the call and explore the depths of our shared consciousness.
This is a time for heroes… for seers, for sages.
This is your time. The world needs you.
You must act now, before it’s too late.

  • You can keep up to date with the ARG happenings at Wikibruce by bookmarking and visiting the community wiki:
  • You can also join some of the community in IRC chat on the handy wiki page, or directly at:, channel #testsubjectsneeded
    (come by the chat especially on Friday at noon pacific time, 3pm eastern, to follow along live with the countdown’s events!)

Additional links:


Other media coverage:

Test subjects disclaimer:

These are not conventional experiments. Qualified test subjects volunteering their person for sensory based research will undergo enhanced amplifications as sensory reliant human beings. The outcomes of these experiments will provide experiential data on the effects of said studies on the body and mind of test subjects: the very finest and most rigorously obtained data from healthy test subjects chosen for their special capacity for excelling in said experiments. The specific nature and details of these activities will remain strictly verboten to test subjects excerpt at times when it becomes explicitly and unequivocally necessary, such as when the test subject is close to imminent transformational occurrences. Those involved will show an extraordinary commitment, cooperation and discretion in conducting these unconventional experiments, with a peculiar yet outstanding dedication that sets them apart. Following all instruction when and where given throughout the course of this series of experiments will afford test subjects opportunity to open and expand their sensorial faculties and ensure safety during the complete overhaul of their sensory capacities and capabilities. Test subject senses may not function as they are commonly understood to, and therefore may result in accelerated stimulation during, throughout, and indeed long after the conclusion of these unconventional experiments. Please remember that those with advanced understanding of the flexibility with regards to common laws of physics (E.G. gravity, inertia) are kindly asked to refrain fro participating in the unconventional experiment. Necessary parties, such as authorized test subject researchers, scientists, biologists, audiologists, optometrists, or test subjects, anthropologists, on an ad-hoc basis. Also note that we guarantee that no warranties or assurances are or will be provided to test subjects regarding the sensory capacities of any individual qualified as a test subjects, and any association test subjects may find between their experiences during these experiments and such phenomena as: heightened consciousness, sensory euphoria, ambidexterity, reverse color blindness, auditory night visions, tactile revelations, olfactory enlightenment or hair growth are completely coincidental. Adhering to all instructions when and where given throughout the course of this series of experiments will afford you the opportunity to open all doors and unexplored facilities in your realm of understanding. When the counter above hits zero the time will come for you to volunteer your services to the Human Preservation Project. Test subjects are needed now. You are needed now.

Tags: , ,

Categories: ARGs General, Miscellaneous Products, Rabbit Hole


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

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


Categories: ARGs General, Books, Viral General


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.


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

View footage on Youtube


Categories: ARGs General, Books, Viral General


Snow Town called – it wants its books back (updated)

   Posted by: thebruce

Apparently someone has been checking out books under another name. Whoever you are, please step forward. Four books have been checked out from the Snow Town Library in Maine, prompting a Ruthie Randolph to send four overdue book notices to Wikibruce. If these books aren’t returned, additional fines may be incurred.

Please, call 207-330-6677 and rectify the situation with the librarian. I won’t be in Maine any time soon!

In digging a little deeper, it seems we may actually have a serial book-reader on our hands. Jane Doh at also reported receiving overdue notices — for these same four books.

Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K

Read on for an outline and to dig a little deeper into this Snow Town mystery…

Read the rest of this entry »


Categories: ARGs General, Grassroots, Rabbit Hole


SAVER Corporation ramps up recruiting efforts

   Posted by: thebruce

SAVER Corporation needs you. It’s a simple statement, one familiar to many as the call to action of todays armed forces. Here at SAVER, it is as true as ever. SAVER Corporation is seeking open minded individuals to help in a number of ways, to face many different challenges.

SAVER Corp, operating out of Portsmouth, Virginia has begun a recruiting drive seeking individuals who are interested in joining their ranks as they “face challenges relating to the defense of this nation.”

Back in August, SAVER announced a new initiative in their recruiting, wherein the corporation would be searching for RPG players. “From the weapons we use, to the people using them, we must be ready to take any and all measures to assure we are prepared.” This of course is their reasoning for seeking out people who can “approach cases and threats of a supernatural origin with an open mind”.

The corporation is looking for people to fill roles covering:


Researchers are our additional eyes and ears. Researchers agree to be contacted from time to time and asked advice on a wide range of topics, such as the best methods to put down an individual who was deceased, but continues to advance our agents in a violent way. The best researchers respond promptly, and can be promoted quickly for excellent work.


Those who work in Development are tasked with coming up with the next greatest weapons, or defensive gear – or at least the names of such things in the beginning. The best developers come up with very creative names, or even ideas for new weapons that can be researched. Developers can be promoted regularly based on prompt feedback and the unique ideas they bring to he table.


Media Specialists are those who can get the word out about SAVER Corporation and our mission. The best Media Specialists will often spread the word about the company via there blogs, posts in forums, messages on twitter, etc. Media Specialists can be promoted regularly based on the volume of their messages, and their ability to adapt their message based on new challenges.

SAVER is present on Twitter as @SaverCorp, and activity has recently picked up. If you are interested in submitting an application, visit and email with your request.

Do you have what it takes? Can you become a beneficial asset to the defense initiatives at SAVER Corporation?

Visit www.Saver.Co for more details and to sign up!


Categories: ARGs General, Grassroots


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’)


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)


Operation Tron profile badge code (12)

Ces Ra.
Bill H.
Ares L.
Alec M.

Samtracker / 89 Pin + Stickers (2)

Antonio U.

Space Paranoids pin (7)

Stacy L.
Kuan S.
Alexa b

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

Elt (Large)

FLYNN LIVES lapel pin (10)

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

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

Bud F.
Venar T.

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

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

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

Ces Ra.

If you are a raffle winner…


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, 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


TRON Week! – Finale, photo challenge

   Posted by: thebruce

Flynn Lives!
TRON week becomes TRON weekend! Day 5 is here, along with the Tron: Legacy opening weekend. To finish off the week of raffling Tron and Flynn Lives paraphernalia, the final challenge will be more..challenging.

As noted on Day 4, entries for these items will be accepted through Monday evening. The challenge: Take a photo when you go to see Tron: Legacy this weekend, but make sure you capture in it as much TRON-related content and as many people as you can muster! The more you get in the photo, the more entries you earn for the draw!

Day 5/Weekend photo challenge/raffle instructions

Here’s what you need to do to have a chance to win one of the items up for raffle…

  1. See TRON: LEGACY over the weekend (up to and including Sunday night screenings).
  2. Earn entries into the raffle by submitting ONE photo (and not a collage) as evidence. The photo must contain something as visual proof of being at the theater for the this film (ticket stub, something Tron-branded, etc). You can submit as many photos as you like, but only the most recent will be considered for the draw.
  3. You can earn multiple entries into the raffle by qualifying for any of the following ‘achievements’:
    1 entry:
    for submitting a qualifying photo (identifiable as being taken at a Tron screening at some point over the weekend)
    1 entry: if the photo clearly contains at least one piece of TRON-themed clothing (eg, a costume)
    1 entry: if the photo includes at least one piece of FLYNN LIVES ARG-specific paraphernalia
    1 entry: if the photo shows a waiting line to buy tickets or enter the theater
    1 entry for each person: in the photo wearing TRON or FLYNN LIVES gear and posing for the photo (you included if you’re not taking the photo)!

Photos should be submitted to
Submissions will be accepted through
Monday 6pm Eastern (3pm Pacific)
Include your name and your contact email.
Only one photo per person will be considered, so shoot and choose wisely!

Sample photo contents:

Here are some sample photo submissions, so you have an idea of the challenge and how you earn:

  • A photo taken in the theater holding your TRON: LEGACY ticket stub will get you 1 entry
  • A photo of you at the theater with someone dressed in a Tron costume will net you 4 entries
  • A photo taken by you at a midnight premiere screening showing a long waiting line, as well as a group of 10 friends (or random people) posing for the picture, including someone dressed in a Tron costume, a few people wearing Flynn Lives T-shirts and everyone else wearing a pin (clearly visible) from the ARG (whether their own or borrowed), will net you 14 entries!

Simply put, take as Tron-themed and creative a photo as you can when you see the movie this weekend! Did you already see the movie and feel like you missed out on the photo op for the draw? Simple:
Go see the movie again! (and take a camera this time)  ;)

Disclaimer: I may post your submitted photo in a subsequent article here, unless you inform me otherwise not to.

If you have any questions, do feel free to ask!

Raffle Items

The best were saved for last, of course!  There are multiple of the following items available to be won.  Names will be drawn sequentially, and given the choice of one of these:

Names will be drawn randomly and contacted as long as supplies last. There are at least 5 posters, and at least 1 Bit.

Good luck, and HAPPY TRON WEEK!

The other draws are also still available and entries (comments to the relevant articles) will be accepted until Saturday at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern:

  • Day 1: End of Line Club Coaster, FANExpo Blue ID disc, Operation Tron Profile Badge code
  • Day 2: Samtracker 89 pin+sticker, Space Paranoids pin, Flynn Lives T-Shirt
  • Day 3: Sabotaged!
  • Day 4: Flynn Lives pin, ‘Home of Tron’ Flynn’s Arcade token, Encom Guest Badge

Above all else, have fun!

See you on the grid…

(some sample raffle photos already submitted)

To catch up on the Flynn Lives ARG, visit the community wiki at and join in with the community at Unfiction!

You can also connect with Flynn Lives on Facebook.

Tags: , ,

Categories: ARGs General, Movies, Viral General


TRON Week! – Day 4, and final instructions (raffle closed)

   Posted by: thebruce

Flynn Lives!
TRON week returns! Day 4 is here, with more items and information about the final raffle that will last for the weekend to be drawn on Monday!

Having now seen the film at two screenings, I can very much re-iterate: This is a movie worth seeing.

Each day this week a number of items were listed on, along with a simple “skill testing question” to ensure at least some level of Tron knowledge or fandom. Now on to today’s raffle details (Day 5 and weekend raffle instructions follow below)

Day 4 Raffle Details:

Post your answer(s) to the items for which you’d like to be entered into the drawing  in the comments below, along with your name and email.

  • You can enter as many times during the week as you like, and for as many items as you like, but only one entry per item!
  • If more than one of any item exists, more than one name will be drawn (eg, multiple t-shirts listed below means multiple names will be drawn).
  • Entries (comments to the relevant articles) will be accepted until Saturday at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern. Names will be drawn, contacted, and announced shortly thereafter.
  • Make sure you include your email address with your answer!

Raffle entry is now closed!

For item 1: Flynn Lives pin

  • 10 pins are available
  • Trivia Question:

    Who is heard in the following audio clip, and to whom are they speaking:
    (listen) Raffle Audio 1

For item 2: ‘Home Of Tron’ Flynn’s Arcade token

  • 5 pins are available
  • Trivia Question:

    Who is heard in the following audio clip, and to whom are they referring:
    (listen) Raffle Audio 2

For item 3: Encom Guest Badge (San Francisco press event)

  • 5 badges are available
  • Trivia Question:

    Who is heard in the following audio clip, and what’s the significance of this scene:
    (listen) Raffle Audio 3

Good luck!

Check out the other items from TRON week:

  • Day 1: End of Line Club Coaster, FANExpo Blue ID disc, Operation Tron Profile Badge code
  • Day 2: Samtracker 89 pin+sticker, Space Paranoids pin, Flynn Lives T-Shirt
  • Day 3: Sabotaged!
  • Day 5: Blue FLYNN LIVES poster, ARG Launch Bit

Raffle entry is now closed!

Day 5/Weekend photo challenge/raffle instructions

Well, Tron: Legacy premieres tonight first with midnight screenings. Are you planning to see Tron: Legacy at any time this opening weekend?  Because that’s the only way you’ll be entered into these final item raffles!  Get ready for the challenge!

Here’s what you need to do to have a chance to win one of the items up for raffle…

  1. See TRON: LEGACY this weekend (up to and including Sunday night).
  2. Earn entries into the raffle by submitting ONE photo (and not a collage) as evidence. The photo must contain something as visual proof of being at the theater for the this film (ticket stub, something Tron-branded, etc). you can submit as many photos are you like, but only one will be considered for entries.
  3. You can earn entries into the raffle by qualifying for any of the following ‘achievements’:
    1 entry:
    for submitting a qualifying photo (identifiable as being taken at a Tron screening at some point this weekend)
    1 entry: if the photo clearly contains at least one piece of TRON-themed clothing (eg, a costume)
    1 entry: if the photo includes at least one piece of FLYNN LIVES ARG-specific paraphernalia
    1 entry: if the photo shows a waiting line to buy tickets or enter the theater
    1 entry for each person: in the photo wearing TRON or FLYNN LIVES gear posing for the photo (you included if you’re not taking the photo)!

Photos should be submitted to through Monday 6pm Eastern (3pm Pacific). Include your name and your contact email. Remember, only one photo will be considered, so shoot and choose wisely!

Sample photo contents:

Here are some sample photo submissions, so you have an idea of the challenge and how you earn:

  • A photo taken in the theater holding your TRON: LEGACY ticket stub will get you 1 entry
  • A photo of you at the theater with someone dressed in a Tron costume will net you 4 entries
  • A photo taken by you at a midnight premiere screening showing a long waiting line, as well as a group of 10 friends (or random people) posing for the picture, including someone dressed in a Tron costume, a few people wearing Flynn Lives T-shirts and everyone else wearing a pin (clearly visible) from the ARG (whether their own or borrowed), will net you 14 entries!

Simply put, take as Tron-themed and creative a photo as you can when you see the movie this weekend!

Disclaimer: I may post your submitted photo in a subsequent article here, unless you inform me otherwise not to.

Want to know what’s being raffled? More details about the draw will be posted tomorrow, but for now here’s a hint; and there is more than one of one of these items…


Raffle entry is now closed!

If you have any questions, do feel free to ask.

Above all else, have fun!

See you on the grid…

Tags: , ,

Categories: ARGs General, Movies, Viral General


TRON Week! – Day 3?

   Posted by: thebruce

Flynn Lives!
TRON week continues, but Day 3 has been sabotaged! Something in the grid has caused a problem, blocking access to my home computer wherein all the details for the raffle are stored.  Unfortunately, as I won’t be able to tend to the matter until later tonight (on returning from another Tron: Legacy screening this week, care of Norelco), this means that today’s raffle items list will be postponed until tomorrow.

Day 4 will be up at noon eastern Thursday and will also include today’s items, along with some more questions.  Be prepared for Day 5 though! The best is being saved for last, and the ‘skill test’ will be a little more challenging…

Be rezzed to see Tron: Legacy this opening weekend – it is well worth the wait!

Check out the other raffle items from TRON week:

  • Day 1: End of Line Club Coaster, FANExpo Blue ID disc, Operation Tron Profile Badge code
  • Day 2: Samtracker 89 pin+sticker, Space Paranoids pin, Flynn Lives T-Shirt
  • Day 3: Sabotaged!
  • Day 4: Flynn Lives pin, ‘Home of Tron’ Flynn’s Arcade token, Encom Guest Badge
  • Day 5: Blue FLYNN LIVES poster, ARG Launch Bit

Raffle entry is now closed!


To catch up on the Flynn Lives ARG, visit the community wiki at and join in with the community at Unfiction!

You can also connect with Flynn Lives on Facebook.

See you on the grid…

Tags: , ,

Categories: ARGs General, Movies, Viral General