The toughest part of writing about San Francisco's Jejune Institute "thing" was trying to describe it, something I attempted to do for this site twice. In a first piece about the citywide game, which was put on by a group called Nonchalance, I went with "[p]art public-art installation, part scavenger hunt, part multimedia experiment, part narrative story." For the follow-up, I added "underground alternate reality game" to the mix. Both summaries missed the mark, partly because of my own inadequacies as a writer, but also a symptom of the project's sprawling originality—it wasn't like anything else out there, and that was part of what made it [...]
The email came with the subject line "SEMINAR ((nfltr8))." It purported to be from a group called the EPWA, a grassroots guerrilla group dedicated to overthrowing the Jejune Institute, an evil group of free-love pseudo-scientists who’ve been vying for control of San Franciscan minds since 1972. The email told me to report to the Institute's temporary offices in the Hyatt at the Embarcadero. There I was to swipe some mysterious objects called “BIOTIC-4CE GLOBES,” which I would find in a screening room. This task, the email said, was of the utmost importance. It was time to take down the horrific Jejune Institute once and for all.
So began [...]