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MIT Mystery Hunt 2009: FOR NERD EYES ONLY

I just wanted to say, “For Nerd Eyes Only” because I had a moment where I heard Sheena Easton singing it in my head. This is why I need to get out more and engage in social activity with other humans.

Last weekend, I had the extreme pleasure of getting an in-depth look at what Brainiacs do when left to their own devices. The event was the infamous MIT Mystery Hunt, where I was able to observe packs of Snow Nerds in their natural habit: an icy technical college. MIT is a wonderful campus. It’s where nerds are bottled at the source! I didn’t know what to expect before I arrived, but nothing–and I mean NOTHING–could have prepared me for the intensity of this competition. Puzzles wrapped in puzzles wrapped in other puzzles with nothing but coffee, snack foods and sleep-deprivation-induced diarrhea to keep them going. I can only imagine what would happen if this gaggle of Cerebros tried to solve, say, world hunger. I think the government needs to step and give them the ol’ “Spock’s Brain” treatment…

I had a lot of fun and these folks were very nice and accommodating, despite the fact that I was lumbering around with a video crew, asking questions and getting in the way and stuff. While I enjoyed my time with Team Codex, were I to compete for reals I would probably be more at home with Team Silly Hat Brigade.

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  1. squid says:

    video not loading

  2. Chris Hardwick says:

    Michael, I tip my antlers to you in appreciation. You have the right idea. I mean, if you won you’d have to plan the whole thing next year. That’s practically another full time job, I would assume. Vive le Silly Hats!

  3. Michael Kearney says:

    Michael Kearney, Captain of the Silly Hat Brigade here. I’m glad you enjoyed meeting our team, and should you ever decide to make the trek down to Boston, we’d love to have you. We’re a team made up of people from all across the country, who don’t plan on winning the hunt anytime soon, and are more focused on enjoying ourselves rather than proving our superiority. Come take the ultimate nerd challenge and learn that most of those puzzles aren’t nearly as hard as they look.

  4. Randbot says:

    Sorry you didn’t have more time in Mass. — so close and yet so far!! I concur that MIT is super-neat to hang out in, though.

  5. that is like cool but very nerdy. i would like to try that just to see how dumb i really am. lol

  6. Spooning nerds during a scavenger hunt can be dangerous. I can’t imagine my brain being tested on something like this. I have a hard enough time finding “Armor Class” in my Players Guide, let alone finding some coin on a campus full of mind wizards.

    Chris, these guys do this EVERYDAY, you can’t just jump in there like that without some sort of brain condom to protect yourself. Watch a couple National Lampoon movies first, to numb the cortex, so you can take the initial intelliblast. I know you’re smart and probably a genius, but these nerds can kill with a single thought.

    My sister went to the same type of school (only for Biology), FIT in Florida. One time when I was visiting her, we were in the library and I felt out of place since I was ONLY one NOT wearing a pocket protector. I should have come more prepared.

    You’re either braver than I am (which isn’t hard to achieve), or smarter than me, because my head would have exploded trying to keep up with those super nerds.

    Great stuff!


  7. jholowacz says:

    alien cryptology rocks.