Thursday, April 18, 2013

Let the House of Usher "Egg" Hunt Begin!

Location: Undisclosed Location

For the House of Usher simulation, we've always included clues in the virtual House itself. Now for what may be the finale for the project, at least in my courses, I've put some real-life clues here and there on our campus. I suppose this is what game-theorists call (awkwardly) "gamification" in classes.

Students will hunt campus for the clues, the first four of which appear here. If they find a light bulb they get a point and a quest that will help them in the Usher simulation.

Even before we read Ernest Cline's light-hearted cyberpunk (that's not a typo) novel Ready Player One, I was calling them "Easter Eggs," in honor of the little gifts that coders leave in games.

In Cline's novel, those seeking the eggs became "Gunters." Alas, the craft store was all out of plastic eggs. They had little containers shaped like plastic light-bulbs for the clues, an appropriate metaphor.

Here are the first four clues, Gunters!

  1. “Above the Court of the Five Lions, and in a place of honors, there is an egg with a song to awaken the dead”
  2. “Climb many stairs to go to a room of Gargoyles. A treasure is there and a magical word”
  3. “In the Jungle, the mighty jungle....” If you can finish this sentence, you may well find an egg to help you on your quest.
  4. “Do not go here to kiss, the legend says, unless you intend to marry him or her. Look carefully, and below the surface for the egg.”

More on the way! Happy Hunting!

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