Boston Indies community: I’m a little worried and I’d like the rest of you to be involved because I think our good friend may need our help. This may sound crazy, but I have reason to believe that Ichiro is no longer the one using the Dejobaan Twitter account. I’m afraid that Ichiro may be missing. It may be up to us to find him.
I’ve been corresponding with Ichiro on email the past week or so in anticipation of a Dejobaan post here on BostonIndies.com. I knew he was busy because I checked in with him while collecting links for Andrew Vanden Bossche’s PAX recap, but he still kept up regular contact and nothing was odd at that point. I have to admit I was shocked when suddenly 1… 2… 3… KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like An Ugly Baby) released prematurely on April 1, the exact same day we launched this site with our first four posts. Still, this was nothing to be all that concerned about.
But things got weird.
And then they got weirder.
I can only assume that what followed was a strange combat tactic to subvert with confusion. Things began to look pretty bleak for Dejobaan.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
And then, this happened.
I was half-concerned, half-amused. This must be some kind of trick. An interesting Alternate Reality Game. This is all tongue in cheek, right?
Wrong. As Darren Torpey pointed out, we didn’t see him last night at the Boston Indies meeting. Ichiro and I were supposed to have a discussion about his post for this site. It was planned as a follow up discussion to our recent emails. At the Boston Indies meeting, Scott Macmillan, Darren and I made a public announcement about this site to our group and I spoke with several people about it. Al Reed of Demiurge gave a great presentation and Ben Wiley will write it up as a post soon enough. Eitan and I talked for some time about his upcoming post that will provide a studio portrait of Fire Hose Games. But Ichiro? Nowhere to be found…
Looking back, I suppose I was a little uneasy at this point, but not quite alarmed. Still skeptical, I needed proof that anything was truly amiss before I would allow such uncertain and illogical thoughts to take hold. I’m an agnostic when it comes to these types of things. I’m not easily swayed onto the bandwagon of fear or paranoia.
So I shot off an email to Ichiro this afternoon to follow up. Here is the response I received:
I must be careful. I’m being monitored. The answer is in the blight.
I suddenly realized that this may not be a game. Maybe something sinister was afoot. Perhaps unknown forces were conspiring and the electronic world had tilted on its axis, opening the flood gates to unspeakable dangers.
But I was at work. I had things to do. I set it aside. Maybe if was fear or denial. Please forgive me, Ichiro, for letting this sit for so long. Time will judge my actions.
Several hours later in the evening, I responded. I asked him what was wrong. I asked what I could do to help. This was the response:
Subject: Re: [Out of Office Reply] BostonIndies.com Post
Thank you for your message. I am currently out of the office, with [limited] [no] access to email. I will be returning on [day] [date].
If you need assistance before then, you can reach me at [telephone number]. For urgent issues, please contact [name] at [e-mail address] or [telephone number].
AN IRRATIONAL ALES
how that tin pot :ate /
/was good only once
leave /me Elone red
jazz quick zebras
Nothing is wrong. Please disregard. Oh that. Yes. Someone wrote a poem for me do you like it everything is fine and the weather is charming in Boston as always don’t you think I do too can we all learn to set aside our differences for the good of s-self fulfilment yes of course that’s what I mean because I always say that don’t I I’m a very funny guy ha-ha. Yes.
There is work to do.
Again, fellow Boston Indies: if you have seen Ichiro, please let us know. Tweet any information with the hashtag #whereisIchiro so we can all participate. Please note any sightings, where and when — even if you only see him for a moment. He will probably be wearing his zebra design jacket. Do not approach him. It may be a trick. Report back and stay safe. I’ll update if I find out more. Check back again soon.
(& Darren Torpey)
UPDATE 2011.04.13 1:55 PM (EST)
lookingforichiro has decoded some information from the text of the strange emails. See the comments below. Thank you for your help.
Photo by Matthew Wenger
Here is a picture of Ichiro wearing his zebra design jacket at the Independent Games Summit of the Game Developers Conference.
UPDATE 2011.04.13 5:36PM (EST)
Okay, this is hitting a little too close to home. Moments ago as I returned to my desk with coffee to keep me going I suddenly heard loud crash. Like an idiot, I ran toward the sound at my desk to see what was up. (I’ve got to check that instinct from here on out.) I saw a furry… something… going out the window. Somebody shouted, shrieked, heck I’m not really sure anymore, I’m just shaking as I type this. The critter must have landed on someone’s head or something. I think… I think it was a raccoon but it looked like it was wearing a checked shirt, jeans and a toolbelt. (I know how crazy that sounds. Trust me.) When I shook it off and looked at my computer the browser was open to a banking site. (!?) Someone had entered the wrong account information three times and been locked out. It wasn’t my bank. In fact, I’ve never heard of this bank. The computer went into sleep mode. I retyped my password (it worked! whew) but the browser was closed. When I reopened it, the whatever banking website I had seen was now gone from my history. Sorry folks. I messed up and lost a clue, it seems. I wish I’d copied the address somewhere. Friends, I’m thinking I may just stay home from the Bostonpostmortem meeting tonight.
UPDATE 2011.04.13 7:35PM (EST)
WTF!? And now my computer at home? My bookmarks are all gone. Someone changed all of them to YTMND pages. Not cool.
More sightings are pouring in. One of them from Arshan Gailus. I’ll check these all out and report back if any of them seem legit. This is almost too much to deal with. I had a life of my own yesterday. Now I feel like I’m caught up in more than I bargained for.
Forget it, I’m going out to Bostonpostmortem. I need to have a beer and talk this out with some familiar local devs. At least they can help me to laugh about this.
Looks like I’ll be late. Oh, well. Nothing else seems to be going my way.
UPDATE 2011.04.14 2:28AM (EST)
Okay. Zero. At Bostonpostmortem, in numerous emails and on zero Twitter I’ve been weeding through possible three sightings. From what I four can tell, almost every one of them is a case of mistaken identity. In some cases they were twenty-seven just fooling around and not taking this seriously. But one sighting zero is sincere and accurate, I believe. Arshan (previous update) was on zero to something. By his account, Ichiro was at three the Government Center T station, wearing the zebra jacket. Arshan called out four to Ichiro by name seconds to see if he was all right; he replied, “That is not my name” and froze in place. When Arshan twenty attempted to approach, pseudo-Ichiro began to blather seven on that “everything is fine.” He then jumped a turnstile and words ran away.
I tried to sleep earlier. But I’m having trouble. I’m feeling woozy. I keep going over everything. Two more tweets today from the Dejobaan Twitter, here and here. Can anyone make anything of those? Are they Ichiro? I doubt it.
And then a tweet with the shortened web address bit.ly/h0L4xu led to a sound file posted here http://www.dejobaan.net/dl/helpme/ignoretheprocyon.mp3
As you can see, that link is now broken. Luckily some others caught it in time and posted it here.
It says something about a raccoon. Just like I saw. Just like the one mentioned below in the comments.
What I can’t figure out is the relevance of the sequence of numbers 88375466. They are typed in the Steve video, and appear twice in the Chrome tabs in the picture.
I feel like I’m loosing it. Like the numbers are just appearing in my head for no reason. They fade in from transparent to a yellow neon before snapping away like an unexpectedly breaking rubber band. With music. The trance inducing view of Dejobaan’s 1… 2… 3… KICK IT! gameplay rushing past me.
Especially when I close my eyes.
UPDATE 2011.04.14 10:47AM (EST)
My computer is talking to me. I’m thinking I won’t ask my co-worker if she hears it. I mean he. I mean she. I mean he. I mean she. I mean he.
I did not sleep. The words are angry. Snarling at times. There is the unmistakable odor of schnapps. I counted twenty-seven words one time. Later I timed it at thirty-four seconds. The voice is so angry and animal. But gender is becoming so confusing to me.
The words that I process are musical at times. They have rhythm. They flow with movement in chorus, like lyrics and verses, like… like…
Like a poem.
You know, I really don’t think we have anything to worry about anymore. I wonder if Ichiro is really missing. Perhaps, after all is said and done, everything is fine.
UPDATE 2011.04.14 09:06AM (PDT)
belief is sight is as
incoherent, it goes
the way of life
For you and me
False alarm, Ichiro’s not missing, everything ERORORRORORORRO OR OR ERORR ERROR OR ERROR
UPDATE 2011.04.15 09:00PM (EST)
I woke up late this afternoon with an unbelievable hangover. Downed some Pepto, popped some pankillers, donned some sunglasses and I was good to go.
Then I fell asleep for another several hours.
Let me tell you, that Steve Procyon can party like a fucking rock-star. I haven’t been on a bender like this since college, maybe.
Wait a minute, this must sound confusing. Let me rewind to Wednesday evening.
I was just back from Postmortem on Wednesday when I spotted Steve scrambling out my backdoor. It was the same thing I’d seen at work. At the time I didn’t realize that he was on the lam and was using my place to hide out. This would later explain why my bottle of Peppermint Schnapps was diluted to 50% water and the TV control had been smashed against the wall. (I must admit, when it acts wonky and the TV is stuck on America’s Next Top Model, it is very tempting.)
So he’s about to book it through my backyard when I yell “Stop! Wait!” This gets his attention. He turns back towards me and I ask “You the one from online?” He says nothing, just sort of twitches his nose and shows his teeth, like he’s had enough of being pushed around lately, ready to take a stand. Again, I ask “Are you… Steve the Raccoon?”
Can I just say right now that this is exactly the wrong thing to say to Steve? Because, it is. He shrieked something that sounded like a few well known four-letter profanities jumbled into one ferocious four-syllable word. And leapt.
From that point, it’s all a blur of gray fur, blue jeans and little sharp lines of red. Holy hell, can that dude scrap. For a small furry creature he is quick. And strong.
Now here’s the thing about the guy. He’s actually really cool. He felt bad about kicking my ass until I was barely conscious, so he made sure I got to the hospital. The nurses tell me he visited every couple hours to make sure I was okay. And he was there when I came to. Mister Procyon is a decent guy when you get to know him. He even took my picture yesterday on the way out and offered to buy the first round.
Massachusetts General Hospital. Photo by Steve Procyon
Unfortunately, it was the first of around 40 some odd rounds. And that’s what got me into my current state. Ouch. It’s a bit hazy, but I will always cherish my memory of stealing a taxi and convincing our passengers that they were on the Boston pilot of Cash Cab.
Anyway, now that I see what’s going on and have taken the time to catch up, it appears that Ichiro is back and all is well. I appreciate that others did not become distracted like me, leaving their posts unguarded. My bad. Trust me, though; if you get a chance to hang with Steve Procyon, do it.
Jonathon Myers is a writer but he can barely keep his portfolio website up to date alongside his creative writing and Reactive Games. If you are interested in covering Boston Indies events, contact [email protected] with samples.
Dan Brainerd is the Dejobaan Games Narrative and Gameplay guy. He likes to play games. He likes to make games more fun. He likes to pretend. Hug him.