I’m a sucker for anything ARGish. An ARG, for those who don’t know, is an Alternate Reality Game. It’s a game played online that tries to blur the line between fiction and reality. The game designers (called ‘puppetmasters’ in ARG slang) try their best to make you wonder “Is it real?” — in fact, the theme seems to be “This Is Not A Game.” My first was the very first ARG — the promotional game for the movie A.I., which has come to be known as “The Beast.” I’ve played a few others since, and anytime I can get involved, I do it.
So when I got the press release for The Silver Key, I knew I had to get it. This is a CD that is it’s own ARG. Every part of the packaging is a clue to the location of a silver key; whoever finds the key will win themselves $1,000, plus $1 for every copy of the CD that is sold. The songs are clues. Everything about the CD is a clue, and as far as I know, the search is still on.
But the question remains – should I get the CD if I’m puzzle-impaired, and have no hope of ever finding the silver key? And the answer would be yes. The sounds seems to be a mix of many musical influences — my initial reaction was the Beatles, but I can also hear some REM and They Might Be Giants. The songs are fun musically, and the lyrics are fun as well, even if they can be a bit cryptic at times (of course, that’s the point – they’re clues, after all). Even if you have no intention of trying to find the key, you can still enjoy the music for what it is — fun, somewhat trippy rock that will make you smile and hum along.
And no, I’m not telling you how I’m doing on deciphering the clues. $1,000 is $1,000, after all.