Difference between revisions of "Game Theory ARG"

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If you also look at the source code for the site, you will find the hidden message "Return on the date which is hidden."
If you also look at the source code for the site, you will find the hidden message "Return on the date which is hidden."
=== Gate 1: You Are Prepared ===
=== Prelude: You Are Prepared ===
At 8:00 UTC, https://www.thetheoristgateway.com was updated, changing from the letter to a broken countdown.
At 8:00 UTC, https://www.thetheoristgateway.com was updated, changing from the letter to a broken countdown.

Revision as of 13:36, 29 September 2018

Game Theory ARG
Active since 08-10-2018
Game Theory Logo.jpg
It's just an ARG. A Game Theory ARG!
Type Official
Creator Game Theory (Matthew Patrick, Stephanie Patrick)
Discovered 08-10-2018

Main Page > List of Investigations > Game Theory ARG

The Game Theory Merch Mystery and an unnamed arg commencing on 29/8/2018 are ARGs created by the Game Theory Team: Matthew Patrick and Stephanie Patrick. The Merch Mystery was created to promote new Game Theory merchandise, so it may be possible that the next ARG is created to promote more products by Game Theory.

The 1st Merch Mystery

On 08/10/2018, MatPat announced on his twitter account that New Merch had been released, and that a puzzle involving the merch was also created. Although the clues necessary to complete the puzzle were hidden in merch, no purchase of said merch was necessary to complete the puzzle.

Some people who purchased the merchandise noticed 1 of 6 spelling errors on their carrier bag that the item was stored in. The 6 spelling errors were all in place of the letter "o" in the word "theory".

Spelling errors.PNG

The 6 spelling errors could then be rearranged to spell "t#30r%". This would be used later on in the ARG.

The next clue would be hidden in the Game Theory Journal. All of the eyes of the characters in the notebook had letters located within them. When spelled sequentially, they would spell a website name: hasmatpatgonemad.com

This website showed a A 1:00 minute video of MatPat's face with big eyes surrounded by a weird background a rays coming from his head.

Keen eyed investigators saw that Matpat's blinking was actually Morse code, seen below:

- ... . / - .... . --- .-. .. ... - / --. .- -. .-- .- -.-- / -.. --- - / -.-. --- --

This decoded to THE THEORIST GATEWAY DOT COM, and led players to a new website.

Players were greeted with one final 6 character password to put in. Players found the password to be t#30r%, from the merchandise bags. The first 100 players to solve the puzzle received a prize for completing it so quickly (still not released as of 18/09/18).

The Holiday Merch ARG

What is MatPat Hiding?

On September 16, 2018, The Game Theorists YouTube channel released a video titled What is MatPat HIDING?. In it, MatPat did a post-mortem on the Merch Mystery and what his plans for the future are. He also hid 3 clues within the video. 2 were red herrings and 1 was real.

At the 0:08 mark an encrypted message was shown:

Uifsf bsf op Fbtufs Fhht jo ifsf. Hp bxbz.

When decrypted with a ROT25 cipher, players discovered the following message:

There are no Easter Eggs in here. Go away.

At the 12:38 mark a string of numbers with dashes is shown:

23 5 - 23 15 21 12 4 - 14 15 20 - 13 1 11 5 - 9 20 - 20 8 1 20 - 5 1 19 25

When decoded with a letters-numbers cipher, the message was:

we would not make it that easy

Finally, a suspicious looking tag may appear within the video description, titled #UCVNTZJXAuvE3C7SfOsPNgEA. This was found to be a YouTube channel ID, which led players to a YouTube channel titled tenretni olleh.

The channel's banner consisted of a black image with the message "patience is the key" repeated across it.

Upside Down.jpg

The channel icon consisted of a red, inverse Game Theory logo, with the text pow zNb Xdd MnH instead of yroeht emag. This may be interpreted as it is, or can be turned upside down to give HuW ppX qNz mob.

Some players also tried going on thetheoristgateway.com again after discovering these clues, and were greeted with this message:

We ju5t wanted to say thank you 2 everyone
w4o participated in our firs7 ever Merch
Mystery Treasure Hunt. lt was somet4ing fun
we wanted 2 test out, and sure, we thought
some of you would enjoy it, but W3 had no
idea how absolutely deep down the rabbit
hole you were willing 2 venture. l mean, HEX
conversions? Really?? I am thrilled you all
went th3re, and let me tell you that you've
made me the proudest Theorist on the
This first experience really wa5 just our “toe
in the water." Consider it our open b3ta.
We’ve read your recommendations for future
ARGs and we’re ready to go all out! So my
dear friends and fellow T4eorists, get ready,
because it’s about to get real.
Timestamp shown through brightness and contrast changes.

Concatenating the numbers gives "524742323534". This can be converted from hex into text, giving the following result:


This hinted at altering the image so that each of the RGB values of colour are changed to 254, 1 less than 255. This was also hinted at in the filename, ff is 255 in hex, therefore fe is 254 in hex.

When the image was altered according to these instructions, a timestamp was discovered. The timestamp is dated 29/9/2018 at 00:00:01 PST (08:00:01 UTC).

If you also look at the source code for the site, you will find the hidden message "Return on the date which is hidden."

Prelude: You Are Prepared

At 8:00 UTC, https://www.thetheoristgateway.com was updated, changing from the letter to a broken countdown.


The file's name (patienceisthekey6974736a75737461636c6f636b6775797372656c6178.gif) contained hex that translated to itsjustaclockguysrelax . The only other clue on this page was located on the css of the page. Mysterious class names called "patience" and "enter the url" suggested there were other clues to be found.

At the same time, A video was released on the tenretni olleh channel. The video was a distorted 1 minute version of the intro to game theory videos. Many clues were hidden within it:

  • At 0:06 and 0:07, a string of hex characters can be seen for one frame. When translated, they read:

july 15 1983

the first 1

  • Between 0:35 and 0:57, a sentence made up of unique, never seen before symbols are shown. When converting each symbol to a seperate letter of the alphabet, and then using a cryptogram solver, it reads:


  • When the audio is but into a spectogram, more symbols are discovered. These are believed to be a complete alphabet of all characters, including letters, numbers and operation signs.

  • Finally, At 0:13, a sequence of binary is shown for one frame. When translated, it reads:


[www.thetheoristgateway.com/notthefirst18fc17.html That website] shows an incomplete website link with a spinning red game theory logo replacing a directory.

Using the HuW ppX qNz mob and pow zNb Xdd MnH from the channel profile picture of tenretni olleh, 2 new urls are discovered:



The first url shows a still image of an equation, a wordsearch and some symbols from before. The symbols translate to thats not a tvpo , and the filename of the image (HuWppXqNzmod_57656c6c20746861742077617320656173792e20446f6e277420676574207573656420746f2069742e.jpg) contains hex which translates to Well that was easy. Don't get used to it. .

The second url shows a gif of a changing crossword, with a longer equation and more symbols. The symbols translate to must be a typo , the filename of the image (powzNbXddMnH_536c6f70707920776f726b2c20796f756e67205468656f726973742e203c696e7365727420534d48206d656d653e.jpg) contained hex which translated to Sloppy work, young Theorist. <insert SMH meme> , and the numbers in the equation can also be translated as hex, which read deadend .

At the bottom right corner of the first image, using imaging software revealed a clue: the first 17 Through a jump in logic, it was suggested this could be referring to the first 17 games made by Nintendo. This was confirmed when the games could be found within the wordsearch in the first url.

These game titles also all had one symbol within them that could be translated. These symbols also had a specific colour. When ordering the titles by release date and grouping by the colour of the symbols, a message could be deciphered from it: lucktoheaven .

This was the final clue, and inputting it into a bit.ly link (bit.ly/lucktoheaven) lead to the final url: https://www.thetheoristgateway.com/leavelucktoheaven.

This image is believed to be the end of "warm-up". In similar fashion to the notebook from the first ARG, the image contained a wealth of information about the ARG and the plans moving forward. The image also reveals a date for the arg to end. The time on the iPhone next to the notebook reads 12:07 11/24/18.

Assuming the date is in PDT, The confirmed end of the arg (and release of new merch) is 12:07:01 PDT (19:07:01 UTC) 11/24/18

Gate 1

This Gate will open when the landing page for the arg is created by Game Theory.

Gate 2-7

From the journal we also know that there will be 6 gates + 1 final gate in total.