The Rick Astley Code

The best gun-free story of the week is the tale of "Robert Valdemar," the prankster who created the Internet equivalent of 52 Card Pick-Up:

A few days ago a post appeared on the Something Awful forums noting a curious website called Notes to Mary. The notes are a series of threatening letters from a high schooler named Robert to his crush, Mary. The goons figured out pretty quickly that they had an ARG on their hands and went to work on solving the puzzle. Several other forums picked up on the game. Robert began interacting with players, sending them strange messages and several series of numbers that appeared to be some sort of code. A Flickr pool was started. Players even created an IRC channel to swap clues and information in real time. The Notes to Mary site offered a link to a login. All effort was made to crack the user/pass combo. Finally, several days after the game began, users were finally able to log in. The game was solved. The players would be rewarded for their hard work. Where did the login lead? Here.

"Robert" had just pulled off the most epic rickroll in intertubes history. The author of the game had never really intended for it to be a game at all. He just thought it would be funny to put up some creepy notes and see what sort of attention they got. When SA goons decided it must be an ARG he decided to play along. The numerical "codes" he sent out? Random numbers and dates plucked out of the air. Three hours before the solution was to be revealed he set up the redirect to the rickroll video.

[Hat tip: Bryan Alexander.]

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  • Episiarch||

    This. Is. Awesome.

    PRANKD

  • ||

    I can't wait for the movie.

    ADAM SANDLER IS... RICK ASTLEY!

  • ed||

    I'll admit I had to look up "rickroll."

    The meme is a bait and switch: a person provides a Web link they claim is relevant to the topic at hand, but the link actually takes the user to the Astley video. The URL can be masked or obfuscated in some manner....The second a person clicks on the link given and are led to the web page, they are said to have been "Rickrolled".

    Now I get it. It's an advanced form of masturbation.

  • Episiarch||

    ADAM SANDLER IS... RICK ASTLEY!

    NutraSweet is AWESOM-O 4000?

  • ||

    OK, OK... you can play Rick Astley, Epi.

    The bouffant better be just right, though.

  • Episiarch||

    I'm so glad you came into my life, A.W.E.S.O.M.-O. You're the best friend a guy could have.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Sweet.

  • ||

    NutraSweet, Nigel. At least attempt to get my Epigrammick nickname right.

  • Episiarch||

    A.W.E.S.O.M.-O, I thought you were programmed to do whatever I tell you. Yeah, that's pretty good. Get it up there good and deep.

  • Nigel Watt||

    NutraSweet, Nigel. At least attempt to get my Epigrammick nickname right.



    I was being polite and focusing on the article instead of the kissy noises coming from you two in the corner.

  • ||

    OK, Nigel. Now that we have that cleared up I think we can move forward.

    Although, being jealous when other people have friends is no way to make friends of your own.

  • Episiarch||

    Hey yeah. I can tell you anything. Let's see, well, for one, I have what's called a "hesitated colon", which means I sometimes can't control my sphincter.

  • ||

    hahaha gbs go back to it lol

    something awful sure is something awful am i rite

  • ||

    Awesome. I give it a 9 out of 10 because rickrolling is a one-off of duckrolling. Otherwise, brilliant.

  • jimmy||

    what the hell language was that excerpt written in? man, when i was young we had something called "playinmg outside." and get off my lawn, you damn kids!!!

  • ||

    Robert = Urkobold®?

  • ||

    I can't wait for the movie.

    Oddly, I was just thinking if M. Night Shyamalan is hurting for twist endings, he could just have a "Rickroll" at the conclusion.

  • LT Nixon||

    Rick Astley is plenty enough of a reward for me!

  • Bingo||

    Hahahaha GBS is so dumb.

  • David||

    RICK ROLLED. LIKE NOBODY'S BUSINESS!

  • Dello||

    The Rick Astley Youtube video has north of 15 million hits. Christ, I hope Rick is gettin' paid!!!

  • Robert Valdemar||

    Oh he's getting paid alright. In internet dollars.

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