New: Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, but the Go Game Isn't One of Them (Not that it Claims to Be)

This afternoon at work, I snuck into a certain cafeteria. Thus I was there when hordes of interns streamed in for a late lunch. They were late because they'd been at the intern scavenger hunt. I was curious to know how it had gone.

We'd outsourced this year's Hunt to The Go Game. As I hear about treasure-huntish things in the San Francisco Bay Area, I occasionally hear about The Go Game. They don't claim to be puzzle-oriented. So I never was that motivated to try it out. But I was glad that the interns were trying it out so that I could find out whether I was missing something.

The Go Game is not a puzzle game. It doesn't try to be. It derives excitement from time pressure. You get a mission: you have four minutes to trot to a building a few blocks away and note down something about it to prove you were there. Go. Not puzzly, but frantic. You have 15 minutes to re-enact a historical event through the medium of ballet. Go.

It doesn't sound like my cup of tea. But it might be someone's cup of tea. I talked with one intern who'd played in last year's game and eavesdropped on another. Both liked JustPassingThrough's hunt better. Gnarly puzzles are a more Googly fit, I guess.

One impressive thing about The Go Game: the final part of the contest allowed each team to vote on the others' creative creations (e.g., videos of balletic reenactments of historical events). To make this work, the organizers had to show us team photos + videos. To make this more interesting, they accompanied the photos/videos with music and sound effects. I was impressed with the presenter, who quickly queued up semi-appropriate music. It was a good show. I'm glad I snuck in.

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Posted 2007-08-01

 Greg F. said...

If you're still interested in the intern-puzzlehunt-gap, one advantage of the Microsoft intern puzzle things is that they're run by (more or less) the same people within the company every year, so the gnarly puzzles stay at a pretty consistent level. I'd suspect Google has enough excited volunteers to make a cool event happen from the inside and target it towards interns; on the other hand, it is kind of an advantage of the Bay Area that Google has people to outsource to.

04 August, 2007 18:45