You’ve watched Midnight Madness, perhaps even on videocassette. You might fondly recall (and miss) The Oregonian’s Rose Festival Medallion Hunt. Maybe you used to subscribe to Games Magazine. And you feel a twinge of jealousy whenever you happen across a report on the MIT Puzzle Hunt, the Microsoft Intern Game, BATH, or BANG.
In recent years, coupled with the rise of The Amazing Race television reality-competition show, we have noticed an increase in puzzle hunt activities at the local-casual level. Organizations like Shinteki market the activity to corporations as team-building activities. Running clubs and tour group companies are putting on small scale city-based puzzle hunts, like the Stumptown Challenge.
Coming up on the second Sunday in September is a multi-city, near-simultaneous puzzle hunt. Called D*A*S*H* (Different Areas, Same Hunt), this is a single-day event that will run in the cities of Portland, Seattle, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Washington DC. Puzzle designers in each city have contributed one clue to the event, and each city’s hunt will use each of the clues to point to locations in that city. This is a foot- and public-transportation race for teams of 2-5 people. The deadline for registration is September 10th.
I’ll be there with a team of three people smarter than I. I encourage you to join us!
Ouroboros was one of the designers of the 2009 ARGFest-o-Con FestQuest, which happened in Portland last July. He and Ben Foote ran in the 2008 Stumptown Challenge, with a competitive finish against a field of serious runners.