Larry Hosken: New: Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, Even the Prelinger Library

So I finally visited the Prelinger Library, after having heard about it for months. The front door was locked. I wasn't expecting that. But it made sense: the Prelinger Library shares space with other places. A dance studio. A room full of copying machines? They probably don't want just anyone wandering around in there. But when I called up on the intercom, Freya the librarian buzzed me in.

When I walked into the library proper, I glanced sideways for a catalog, but Freya was talking to me about the collection, handing me a pamphlet. I was happy to receive a pamphlet about a library that specialized in ephemera. But I was here on a mission: continuing on the Games of Nonchalance. I told Freya the name of the work I was interested in, and she knew just where that was. And so I sat and flipped through false ephemera for a while.

I looked up: Freya was back, saying something about sharing. Freya was talking to Heather. You remember Heather, Heather of "Girts and Heather", intrepid 2-tone playtesters, the couple I'd played the first episode of these Nonchalance Games with. I'd played the episodes out of order, but apparently I was now catching up with Heather nonetheless.

Heather and I chatted a little about the game. We all had more fun with the 3rd episode than the 2nd. Maybe because we'd all tried to do the pieces of the 2nd episode in the least-convenient order? Perhaps. Or maybe it was lack of food. Anyhow. We studied.

I glanced through the stacks as I walked towards the exit. Who reads these things? The Prelinger Collection collects things unlike what I'm used to. I believe in archives, I'm glad someone is willing to watch over this stuff. Still, it was strange; to see these old items, written with no sense that anyone would want to preserve them. I write computer documentation; my subject matter fades to oblivion; I don't read my old stuff. I doubt anyone preserves it; I do not resent its fading.

The library has a guest book. I bent over to sign, looked up at previous visitors: before me today, one visitor. Last visitors yesterday: a couple there for the Games of Nonchalance. Maybe that's a hint as to who visits this place. What will happen when the Games of Nonchalance are done, when this game's collection of false ephemera becomes true ephemera?

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