Thank you all for the kind attention on my birthday yesterday. My ego is sufficiently stroked for another year. Instead of having you donate to a good cause, or waste money on cards, I instead offer a homework assignment with a series of suggestions. You can ignore it, modify it, or attempt it in your own time, at your own pace, and with your own subjective guidelines. I won’t know, and I probably won’t care. However, it might have the potential to make someone else’s day, and that’s something I can get behind.
The homework assignment I suggest is something I call “brickroading”, based on a tertiary character in a 16bit RPG called Earthbound (link to a more lengthy description and explanation below).
Here’s how you might accomplish it, should you choose to:
1. Select an item that you own. It can be as big, small, expensive, cheap, meaninFUL, or as meaningLESS as you please.
2. Conceal this item. You could put it in an evelope, or perhaps wrap it in tin foil, or brown paper. Maybe you put it in a cigar box and glue the lid shut, or maybe you put it in a mason jar stuffed with shredded newspaper. Maybe you wrap it in a layer of painter’s tape. Maybe you glue it between two pages of a book.
3. Include a note with the parcel. You could write, “This is yours now” on a sticky note. Maybe you write, “Finders Keepers” on an old postcard. Maybe you put your business card in the package, in the hopes that the finder will contact you, or maybe you don’t leave a note at all. This is your game, after all.
4. Hide this item out in the world. Perhaps in a public place, like above the ceiling tiles in the bathroom of the restaurant you visit this evening. Perhaps behind a bush, or in a tree, on your walk into work from the parking lot. Maybe there’s a landmark nearby your house, or an abandoned building with a broken window you could slip it through. Maybe you throw it under the crawlspace of your own home, or tuck it into a dark, distant corner of your attic.
5. Take joy in the fact that you’ve left treasure for someone else to possibly discover. The item that once belonged to you will now have a life, a journey, and a story, of its own. Maybe someone will find it tomorrow, or maybe it will take 50+ years, or maybe you hid it so well that it will never be found. Regardless, you’ve lightened your own load, and made the world just a little bit more exciting by injecting the potential for adventure into it. Good work.