Wrap your head around this one:
The big gaming geek news today is that there are official Katamari Damacy shirts available in the US. This is a Big Deal(tm) because Everybody Loves Katamari Damacy. (Before anyone else asks, yes, I’ve ordered a handful of shirts to help the perpetual shuffle of t-shirts in my wardrobe.)
But notice the site the shirts are being sold on – Panic. To 95% of the computing world, the name means little, but to us huddled in the Macintosh corner, Panic is revered for making a lot of kick ass software, including the best FTP client on OS X. Panic was founded in part by Cabel Sasser, who was the originator of the Cloudmakers. The Cloudmakers, you ask?
In April 2001, the very first [alternative reality game](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_Reality_Game) was unleashed on the world. Codenamed “The Beast”, it was a promotion for the film *AI*. The Cloudmakers were the group of roughly 7,000 players who worked together to crack the case. The whole thing drew a lot of media coverage and, as a result, served as a launching point for all ARGs that followed in its path. The team that created The Beast would later go on to do (you guessed it) [ILoveBees](http://www.ilovebees.com/).
I’m not sure what this all means, mind you – but it was a fun stream of consciousness while it lasted.
(Personal aside: My connection to all of this? Besides being in the Mac shareware industry for a good four years, I played for a good long while in the follow-up to The Beast put on by Cloudmakers (including Cabel) called [Lockjaw](http://www.wired.com/news/games/0,2101,46672,00.html). I even shilled it [on this very blog](https://vjarmy.com/archives/2002/02/lockjaw.php) back in 2002.)