Have you ever wanted to spend to go on a scavenger hunt at the New York Public Library? Or wanted to spend the night there? Well, here's your chance: At 9 a.m., the NYPL will accept registration (website here) for people to compete to be 500 contestants participating in "Find the Future," which the library describes as a "once-in-a-lifetime, overnight event inside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building...[that] combines real-world missions with virtual clues and online collaboration—all inspired by 100 works from the amazing collections of The New York Public Library." And it's all to celebrate the NYPL's Centennial!
Here's what the NYPL says:
Find the Future: The Game will kick off on May 20, 2011 as part of NYPL’s Centennial Festival weekend, with a “Write All Night” event inside the landmark building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.
During the May 20 “Write All Night” event, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., 500 prequalified players (18 and older) will explore the building’s 70 miles of stacks, and, using laptops and smartphones, follow clues to such treasures as the Library’s copy of the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson’s hand. After finding each object, players will write short, personal essays inspired by their quest—for example, how would they write the Declaration? Winning the game means writing a collaborative book based on these personal stories about the future, and this volume will be added to the Library’s collections.
After the kick-off “Write All Night” event, beginning May 21, Find the Future: The Game will open up to gamers across the city and the world who will be able to play using their personal smartphones or computers, or on free computers at any of NYPL’s 90 locations.
Jane McGonigal, the game designer behind Find the Future, told CNN, "The library's collection has all of these rare and just precious, awe-inspiring objects that you really have to come face to face with. It's one thing to look at it online and it can really have some impact, but when you're there it really becomes clear that for every moment in history there was a person who set that moment in action -- and you could be that person."
One of our favorite NYPL treasures is Charles Dickens' letter opener—made from his dead cat's paw.