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Scene at MIT: Mystery MIT

Held virtually for the first time due to the pandemic, this year’s MIT Mystery Hunt took the form of a puzzle-filled multiplayer game on an alternate-reality MIT campus.
Video game rendition of MIT's McDermott Court with a building covered in icing and rainbow sprinkles
Building 14 got a helping of sprinkles in this year's MIT Mystery Hunt.
Video game rendition of 77 Massachusetts Avenue
Mystery Hunt rendition of the crossing at 77 Massachusetts Avenue
Video game rendition of MIT's Lobby 7
Mystery Hunt rendition of MIT Lobby 7

Like many annual activities, this year’s MIT Mystery Hunt was completely virtual for the first time. Participating hunters needed to retrieve items sent into a parallel universe and bring them home. To do this, players wandered around in a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game in which MIT was rendered into a fantasy world that the organizing team began developing last spring.

Says longtime participant Stephanie Howell, “It was amazing luck that Galactic Trendsetters were already working on an MMO of the campus before we realized how long social distancing was going to need to remain a policy. I’m honestly not sure if a hunt could have happened if the creating team had to change gears to something completely online. It certainly wouldn’t have been this well put together.”

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