If you haven’t heard of The Vanishing Point Game, I’ll fill ya in. It’s a new viral marketing campaign that Microsoft has started, presumably to hype the launch of Windows Vista. A few weeks ago in the mail, Ryan and I received a note with a little box. The note explained that we were now decoders and that something was hidden in the box. First, we had to find a way to open the box! After opening it, there was a slim 256mb USB Drive that had a video, and a cipher key. We were to go to www.vanishingpointgame.com before “zero hour.” Lots of blogger’s have received these, and the puzzles keep getting more complicated!
Realizing this was a marketing campaign for the launch of Vista, we were going to hold off reporting about Vanishing Game until we reviewed Vista on the Velocity Micro Media Center we were to be receiving. We received the machine, but it must have had a rough shipment because it was D.O.A. We’re still waiting on the replacement, but thought we should get movin’ with this game!
Our cipher code pictured to the right pulled up a sudoku looking puzzle, while other keys have pulled up a list of several cities and dates. The first date on the list said Las Vegas, Nevada. Monday, 8 January 2007, 6:30:00 PM. So, outside of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas on Monday, more clues were given that leave those playing the game with more questions to figure out. The next date on the list is January 13, 2007 in Los Angeles, California at 9:00 am. At that point, I’m sure more clues will be given. Other locations where clues will be given include Sydney, Australia; Miami, Florida; Austin, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; Singapore; Berlin, Germany; London, England, Toronto, Canada; San Francisco, California; and Seattle, Washington on Saturday, January 27th. GPS coordinates are given for each city to figure out the exact location.
I just checked back at the Vanishing Point website and now they have the option to Register to play. Each week, twelve puzzles will be posted along with footage of a real world event. The puzzles are solved using that event along with an online element. You can get points for solving puzzles (10 points for easy, 20 points for medium, and 50 points for hard puzzles). Checkout the prizes:
- Grand Prize – A trip to Space via The Rocketplane XP Vehicle. Along with the trip, you also get a Windows Vista based AMD powered Dell desktop PC, 24″ Widescreen monitor, Zune digital media player, an Xbox 360 gaming console, three games for Windows game titles, a Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000, Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007, and $50,000 cash to help defray the cost of taxes.
- 15 loaded AMD based computers with Windows Vista Ultimate, devices and games
- Devices (75) – Windows Vista Ultimate, and an Xbox 360, Zune, or iRiver Clix
- Software (150) – Windows Vista Ultimate, or Office Ultimate 2007
- Games (250) Three games for Windows game titles
The video below shows the latest clues given from Loki at the Bellagio on Monday. Two minutes into the movie, the clues begin. If you’re wanting to get in on it, I suggest heading over to the Neowin.net forum dedicated to solving this giant puzzles. There are already 156 pages dedicated to this game!