Microsoft's new alternate reality game

BB pal and game researcher Jane McGonigal, my new colleague at Institute for the Future, just emailed me some details about the new alternate reality game Vanishing Point that she worked on with 42 Entertainment. From Jane's email (photo by Scott Beale):

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The plot involves a mysterious Microsoft employee named Loki whose job is to entertain the smartest people she can find with really difficult puzzles–and then give them really strange prizes. The game started when dozens of technology bloggers (blogroll of some recipients is here) received puzzle boxes in the mail with mysterious thumbdrives inside; they used clues on the thumb drives to find a series of online countdowns leading up to live puzzle events everywhere from Singapore, Sydney and Berlin to London and San Francisco. (Laughing Squid's Scott Beale was one of the recipients and posted his photos of the game pieces here. -pesco)

The first live puzzle event, at CES in Las Vegas yesterday, revealed that one successful puzzler will be sent on a sub-orbital space flight. Geeks in space! Another player will win the "immortality prize"–they'll get to have their name inscribed on each AMD Athlon 64 FX chip manufactured in 2007. Players are compiling evidence on a wiki and sleuthing out clues collaboratively on several different forums, like Neowin and Unfiction. As of now, the puzzle revealed at the Las Vegas event–-you can watch a video of all the clues here–it's still unsolved.

Link to Vanishing Point wiki, Link to more photos at Laughing Squid

Previously on BB:
• Jane McGoniga's new game: Cruel 2 B Kind Link

• Ministry of Reshelving puts 1984 in its proper place Link
• Future Salon: alternate reality games Link
• Technology Review's 2006 Young Innovators Link
• Jane McGonigal joins Institute for the Future Link