Gaming the Game

SB: So you wanted to see if you could be as believable as the rest of it

CELIA: –And when the CMs would seek justification from the PMs they could easily say,"That's not us."

SB: Except they couldn't until it was over.

CELIA: Exactly. Like I said, my ruse was losing credibility by the minute. And of course, I couldn't keep up with all the developments.

SB: God, who could? It got huge!

CELIA: At first I could make silly references but deeper into the game — there was no way. And celia became a joke but in a weird way earned a footnote in the entire game, kind of like pop trivia.

SB: Very true. Most of the cloudmakers would know instantly if you mentioned 'celia' what you were talking about.

CELIA: So, I guess I'm being a little vain by returning to #evanchan tonight. It was fun and exciting, though.

SB: I can imagine, and exciting to be a part of the history too. Would you ever come clean and tell people who you really are?


SB: Fair enough.

CELIA: Celia still has a mystical aura around here.

SB: Would you ever go to any CM gatherings as a CM?

CELIA: I'm afraid I'd be flamed.

SB: I don't think people would be that vitriolic anymore. They might be interested, but maybe it is better to preserve the mystique.

CELIA: Well, I'm sure you're recording this chat log, so you can share my story. It's been two years now. But i am the real celia — or at least the one that made the references to the 'fawn' and 'I am the walrus' two years ago today…and i messed up with those little nuggets, as well.

SB: How so?

CELIA: I was copying and pasting Alice in Wonderland excerpts from web pages and pasting them into this area where you enter your text for chat. Somehow — and this is pretty slick — the leaders of the game referenced what web page the text was extracted from. The same for the Beatles lyrics — I believe I copied and pasted them from 'Steve's Beatles' lyrics page.'

I'm trying to remember the participants name who I gave the flight info to. It started with an 'O.'

SB: Oli?

CELIA: Yes! Yes! Is he in London? Someone was in London?

SB: That or Australia, I can't remember.

CELIA: And I remember listening to Virgin Radio online.

SB: What's that?

CELIA: So, I told someone from London to turn their dial to the station. It's a pop radio station. I kind of made a Matrix-type move and began typing the lyrics to the song as it was playing. It was freaky right then because this was the first week or so, early on in the game when we were getting the phone calls and voice mail. So, this just added to the 'reality,' like I was there in London listening to the same radio as one of the players.

SB: People were probably open to anything at that point.

CELIA: Yep, but you know that's the only online game I have played.

SB: It's spawning a whole genre. Have you followed it at all?

CELIA: When people began callling me a troll — i had no clue what that meant, until discovering that people do this in similar games. I quit showing up after that, because I knew I wasn't trusted and just a joke, but when I did make frequent visits back, I would just keep up the vague facade and get booted in like 45 seconds. I did see that EA's "The Game" was canceled last year [due to] lack of funds. Other than that, I don't follow it all that closely.

SB: You mean "Majestic?" There've been a few other games and some volunteer efforts are starting to get mainstream press again.

CELIA: Yep, Majestic, which was like the movie 'The Game.' I think it would be fun devising the clues [and] storyline.

SB: Some Cloudmakers went off after the beast and made their own game; some of the players of that game went off and made their own group. Maybe that game is going now and we don't even know.

CELIA: That's what I appreciated about the evan chan mystery: all of the clues were multi-layered; the deciphering could be a bitch.

SB: Yes! Like that morse code dripping faucet that translated to an enigma code.

CELIA: But the symbolism was amazing.

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