Perplex City was a cool alternate reality game (ARG) launched in 2006. Players received cards in the mail, each of which contained a puzzle. Solving the puzzles yielded clues for finding the ultimate prize, "The Receda Cube," which was buried somewhere on Earth. The makers of Perplex City promised a £100,000 reward for the finder of the cube.
One especially difficult puzzle card (#256) had a photo of a man standing in front of a river. The text on the card said "find me" in Japanese. An online hint said, "My name is Satoshi." The puzzle proved difficult to solve and people started working together to solve it. The website Find Satoshi described how it was finally solved this year.
Perplex City players identified the background of the photo as being in Kaysersberg, Alsace, France. (View the exact location on Google Streetview here.)
The FindSatoshi.com website was started in November 2006 by Laura E. Hall as a way to consolidate information about the search for Satoshi for quick sharing. (There were also several other sites by enthusiastic community members, as we all were eager to solve this puzzle!)
Laura was coincidentally near Kaysersberg in December 2007 for a work trip and was able to visit the town, standing on the same spot that Satoshi stood on for his selfie.
Mind Candy confirmed additional information about the hunt:
- First, Satoshi had willingly agreed to participate in the game.
- Second, he had to be contacted directly. If he saw the site, he wouldn't reach out.
- Third, he had been told a password, which he would reveal to whoever contacted him.