This is the story of a man named Stanley. Stanley worked for a company in a big building where he was employee # 427. Employee # 427’s job was simple: he sat at his desk in room 427 and he pushed buttons on a keyboard. Orders came to him through a monitor on his desk, telling him what buttons to push, how long to push them, and in what order. This is what employee 427 did every day of every month of every year, and although others might have considered it soul rending, Stanley relished every moment that the orders came in, as though he had been made exactly for this job. And Stanley was happy. And then one day, something very peculiar happened, something that would forever change Stanley, something he would never quite forget. He had been at his desk for nearly an hour when he realized that not one, single order had arrived on the monitor for him to follow. No one had shown up to give him instructions, call a meeting, or even say hi. Never in all his years at the company had this happened, this complete isolation. Something was very clearly wrong. Shocked, frozen solid, Stanley found himself unable to move for the longest time, but as he came to his wits and regained his senses, he got up from his desk and stepped out of his office.

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Byrdr Mystery

Byrdr Mystery is an Alternate Reality Game created to support and promote Ridiculous Fishing, the 2013 iOS game by Vlambeer, Greg Wohlwend, and Zach Gage.

Prior to launch of Ridiculous Fishing, a website called byrdr.com began taking email subscriptions, promising to informing users when Ridiculous Fishing would be available. That didn’t happen.

All of the following emails were written by me.


3 days before the launch of Ridiculous Fishing, the following email showed up in users’ inboxes:



A few hours later, email #2 arrived:



This was followed shortly afterward with a correction from James Eagler:



The next day however, another email leaked its way out of Eagler’s inbox:



In response to this leak, Byrdr issued an official press release to clear up any and all confusion about the status of Byrdr:



Shortly after this official press release, Eagler reached out to Byrdr users with a personal appeal:



But it turns out Eagler had made a mistake:



Good and bad news for Byrdr was on the horizon:



After everything that had happened, Eagler had a lot on his mind, and turned to deep introspection:



And the action at last came to an end with an email from the Internal Investigations Department that offered the final word on Byrdr, its existence, and its value to users all over the world:



The emails stopped, Ridiculous Fishing was released, and one or two more mysteries lingered over at the Byrdr website.

And where is James Eagler right now? If I had to guess he’s off on a boat somewhere enjoying a Mai Tai and waiting for the fish to bite.