Archive for April, 2009

Dateline Oct. 24, 2002: 13 Clues and a Book for Push, Nevada

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

We have the 13 clues and the information for the Final Clue.

The book is The Push Nevada Experiment. Enoch posted it this evening.

OK, pay attention:

  1. $1,045,000
  2. Television
  3. Orange
  4. Peter Pan
  5. G
  6. Morse Code
  8. Five
  9. Longitude
  10. Underwear
  11. Southeast
  12. Bodnick
  13. Eliot

Click on the clue that is a link and you’ll know where to look for the final clue.

For the Final Clue WatchABC’s Monday Night Football
October 28th 9 PM ET
Don’t Be Late

Final Clue repeated during The Toyota Halftime Show

Dateline Oct. 24, 2002: Alias Mission Codeword: Crow is live

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

he Weissbot is ready to go with Codeword: Crow.

Step 1: Find Pol Woleski.

Good luck agents!

Dateline Oct. 24, 2002: Combines Real World Interaction and web-based Fiction

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

deaddrop is pleased to bring you this breaking press release.

NEW YORK “A unique new entertainment vehicle ‘’– will go live on the Internet on November 1, 2002, it was announced today by noted entrepreneur Steve Massarsky, now president of S E C O N D S T A T E, which owns the property. The launch of the game will be supported by an extensive cross-promotion with Lycos, the online media company. is an interactive, real-time, parallel reality that breaks down the barriers between the ‘real’ world and the constructed world. The constructed world is built around the mysterious disappearance of the plot’s main character, Ed Sobian, which the audience/participants actively investigate, uncovering clues and prizes along the way.

Transcending traditional entertainment genre categories such as gaming or television shows, moves beyond these traditional definitions in several notable ways:

1. Main characters are played by real actors, who then play out their roles in scenes scripted for the ‘real’ world. These scenes are then filmed and incorporated into the story line on the site. For example, a participant might win tickets to a ‘real’ Broadway show, and find that they are seated next to one of the characters from the storyline.

2 The main characters are active in the real world. For example, several of the characters have opened accounts and are actively selling items on E-Bay, and one character has a profile posted on

3 The entertainment experience has a truly unique prize and promotions structure. As the audience/participants investigate, they periodically uncover objects in the course of investigating that are woven into the storyline, such as rare coins, collectible antiques, and other consumer products such as an automobile. The individual who comes across these objects actually wins that item in the real world, and when they claim it, they encounter a ‘real world’ merchant who has been scripted to interact with the prize winner in accordance with the storyline.

4 Audience/participants are actively involved in creating and influencing future plot twists and turns. Numerous official and unofficial supporting web sites and discussion boards exist where back-stories, side stories, and new story elements are ‘discovered’ and posted. See, for example, and

5 Multiple entertainment mediums are incorporated, including Internet gaming, video, publishing, and live ’street theater’.

6 The highly cognitive has strong appeal to both genders, with the beta group showing strong participation by both men and women.

“I’ve searched for the past five years for an entertainment property as compelling as, which is absolutely unique in today’s entertainment marketplace,” commented Massarsky. “It’s like falling into a John Grisham novel. Participants are simultaneously investigating the mystery, and influencing the future direction of the storyline. In an added twist, the fictional and real worlds intersect through our unique prize and promotions structure, our staged ’street theater’ events, and by making the characters appear to have lives in the real world.”

The Lycos cross promotion, slated to launch in conjunction with the November 1 kick-off, will include banners, live chats with characters from the storyline, dedicated discussion boards and key word referrals. Additionally, Lycos will be incorporated into the storyline as a location where various clues might be found, and actual clues and prizes will be planted throughout the Lycos site for participants to uncover.

Steve Massarsky is a successful entrepreneur who has received extensive press coverage. In 1989, he helped found and then built the third largest comic book company in the U.S. at the time, Valiant Comics, which he sold in 1994 for $65 million dollars. Massarsky got his start in politics, as director of entertainment in the McGovern presidential campaign. Massarsky then segued into the rock and roll arena, were he gained prominence as manager of the Allman Brothers Band, and discovered rock artist/actress Cyndi Lauper. Massarsky earned a law degree in 1975, and practiced entertainment law for several years, representing Nintendo, Aerosmith, Leonard Cohen, Psychedelic Furs, Cabbage Patch and Willie Mays, before launching Valiant Comics.

About S E C O N D S T A T E

Headquartered in New York, privately held S E C O N D S T A T E is a multi-media company creating web-based entertainment products. The company was founded in early 2002 by Massarsky in association with other partners, including filmmaker Waldemar Korzeniowsky.

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Dateline Oct. 24, 2002: Alias Operation Cornerstone Walkthrough Online

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

I’ve finally posted it here[Content to be reposted soon].

A special thanks to equi_design for allowing me to repost her work.

The mission is another scavenger hunt with no real puzzles. There are three codewords for the Weissbot. Codeword: Flower gets you started.

Dateline Oct. 23, 2002: Academic Paper on Virtual Economies and how they might affect the real world

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

How will virtual worlds affect real world economies? This question and many others are discussed in the scholarly work below. There are several million people interacting in these cybersocieties interacting and trading goods. The issues raised are fascinating from both an societal and practical perspective.


Several million people currently have accounts in massively multi-player online games, places in cyberspace that are effectively large-scale shared virtual reality environments. The population of these virtual worlds has grown rapidly since their inception in 1996; significantly, each world also seems to grow its own economy, with production, assets, and trade with Earth economies. This paper explores two questions about these developments. First, will these economies grow in importance? Second, if they do grow, how will that affect real-world economies and governments? To shed light on the first question, the paper presents a brief history of these games along with a simple choice model of the demand for game time. The history suggests that the desire to live in a game world is deep-rooted and driven by game technology. The model reveals a certain puzzle about puzzles and games: in the demand for these kinds of interactive entertainment goods, people reveal that they are willing to pay money to be constrained. Still, the nature of games as a produced good suggests that technological advances, and heavy competition, will drive the future development of virtual worlds. If virtual worlds do become a large part of the daily life of humans, their development may have an impact on the macroeconomies of Earth. It will also raise certain constitutional issues, since it is not clear, today, exactly who has jurisdiction over these new economies.

The entire article (PDF format) can be found at

Dateline Oct. 22, 2002: Possible game tied to next Bond movie

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Not sure if the tie-in is official or if it’s even a game, but Irwando at Collective Detective posted a link to a possible game that looks intriguing.

The trailhead is at You’ll need to register your email address and take a little quiz (not a hard one, I promise :). You’ll get a welcome message in a few moments.

The official start appears to be October 28.

I checked the whois and noted that the the site is registered to Remko Posthuma in Amsterdam.

Dateline Oct. 22, 2002: TerraQuest ARG Planned with $250,000 Prize

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

MindQuest, based in Henderson, Nevada will be releasing their first interactive adventure, TerraQuest. This game, intended to run for about six months, will blend mystery and online interaction and reportedly offers a quarter million dollar prize. All the while offering a compelling and immersive experience for the players.

From the official website [formerly]:

This fall, MindQuest will release its first interactive game, TerraQuest will be an interactive Internet game that blends the elements of mystery and intrigue with the quest of a lifetime. Players from around the world will be competing to be the first to solve the game and reap the rewards. For approximately (or “more than”) six months, this game of skill will challenge the intelligence, creativity, and dedication of the players, while it delivers an outstanding entertainment value.

About MindQuest
MindQuest Entertainment is an online interactive entertainment company that creates and produces games that are based upon skill and intelligence, rather than reflexes. As the first company to offer an online interactive game with substantial cash prizes, MindQuest will offer compelling entertainment to people over the age of 18 and from many countries around the world.

Founded: January 2002
Founder: Keith Griffin

Dateline Oct. 21, 2002: Gold Treasure Hunt I Solved. $10K awarded

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 has announced the winner of their first Gold Treasure Hunt. Way to go, Drew Giles of London, England. He won two round trip tickets to Savannah, Georgia to claim his prize of 2 1/4 pounds of gold valued at $10,000. had 30,000 people start the hunt and plans on hosting Treasure Hunt II in the near future.

The puzzle took merely 1 1/2 weeks to develop and took about as long to solve. 9 finalist had the correct city and were provided the final clue.

The complete solution can be found at {Dead link).

The correct, winning answer was In the flowerbox outside of The Six Pence Pub, 245 Bull Street, Savannah, Georgia USA. Finding the solution involved identifying a number of obscure references on the Internet and recognizing three different clues relating to movies filmed in Savannah.

Dateline Oct. 17, 2002: ABC Blows Wrap Up of Push, Nevada

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

ABC made two major changes to the rules to accommodate the shortened scheduled. First, the final six clues will be listed with the final episode. Second, ABC now allows disclosure of clues solely on the Internet if they so choose.

I, for one, think the changes really stink.

The revised rules on the ABC Push Rules Page are finally available and the way it is being handled is completely insulting to anyone who has invested time in the game.

The change allowing clues to be published on the Internet or other media is pretty big and could easily allow the game to be resolved suitably. All ABC would need to do is extend the time limit for the final solve from 7 days to a time sufficient to let players discover the six missing clues. They then use their existing web properties to wrap up the game and give everyone a bit of closure.

Instead, they’ve decided to hand the missing clues out to everyone. No mystery, no pretense, no chance for fun. If I wanted a game like this, I’d be playing Blue’s Clues along with my four year old daughter.

It’s bad enough they’ve been spoonfeeding the clues in each episode. Now, with the remaining clues being handed out, I feel the entire time I’ve spent has been wasted. Someone with 15 minutes on their hands can easily obtain the clues from the broadcasts just by perusing message boards and the winner may as well be selected by sweepstakes instead of pretending we have a game of skill.

My vote: Two thumbs down. The thrill of the chase is gone. I think Live Planet and ABC have a lot to learn before they jump into any similar ventures.

Dateline Oct. 14, 2002: Marketers grumbling over Push, Nevada

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Media buyers responsible for product placement in the soon to be defunct show Push, Nevada are now beginning to understand the risks involved with product placement contracts. With the premature cancellation of Push, advertisers feel that their products did not receive the exposure needed to show off specific features of their autos and cell phones.

In addition, due to sweepstakes laws, the show is running longer than warranted by advertisers to allow the $1 million prize to be awarded leaving the sponsors with advertising commitments and little audience to justify it.


$4 million fee
In addition to the product placement deal with LivePlanet, Toyota and Sprint each bought three 30-second spots in the show from Walt Disney Co.’s ABC. Over the course of the series, this translates into about a $4 million deal for each advertiser above the placement fee.

The series was to run a scheduled 13 episodes. But after its premier, the show moved into the prime Thursday night lineup at 9 p.m. against hits Will & Grace on General Electric Co.’s NBC and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on Viacom’s CBS. Ratings tanked. For its Oct. 3 episode, Push posted a weak 1.5 rating among adults ages 18 to 49, leading the network to cancel the series after its seventh episode.

That’s not soon enough for media buyers. “They should have canceled it now and taken it off [completely],” said Steve Sternberg, senior vice president and director of Audience Analysis of Magna Global USA, “rather than announce its cancellation now and show three additional episodes.”

Typically, networks pull shows with consistent ratings declines after three episodes.
Another veteran media executive said if the show ended sooner, advertisers could have taken back money or received make-goods sooner.

Sweepstakes rules
But ABC and LivePlanet have to keep the show going because the plot line, which follows the travails of IRS agent Jim Prufrock, ties in with a sweepstakes that awards $1 million to a viewer who solves the murder mystery in the show. Sweepstakes laws state the money must be given away.

“We want viewers of Push to see the outcome of Prufrock’s investigation, and airing it through the seventh episode will give closure to the storyline,” said Susan Lyne, president of ABC Entertainment, in a statement. Revised contests rules will be revealed soon on

Push has the distinction of the first cancellation of the fall season, and ABC is still working on its turnaround.