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Hide in the shadows, crawl through the vents, bluff the guards. Not so easy when it’s all being played for real…
by Dan Griliopoulos
As the man opens the door I prepare my best shit-eating grin and signal to my accomplices that I’m going in. He looks bemused and slightly suspicious at my appearance; it’s late on a Saturday night in a rough part of South London and he has a right to be wary of opening the door; even with the police station next door, he’s on his own here, so any sufficiently organised crew could overpower him without alerting anyone and get to what he’s guarding.
I’m not going to do that of course. I’m talking my way in. Violence is Plan B.
I look up at his cheap soccer beanie, down at his clod-hopping boots, and finally at the hi-vis jacket beneath his gawping face; I choose my tactic. “Hi, I’m Barry Trott of Trott securities,” as I give him a firm handshake. I curse that I’ve accidentally slipped into an nasal Manchester drawl – and could I have chosen a worse name? Why the hell would a Mr Trott curse his son with the name Barry? “I’m here to fix your motion sensors – I’ve had reports that rats or summat were setting them off.” He hasn’t noticed my accent’s wobbling all over the place as I’m still vigorously pumping his hand and he’s staring, hypnotised, at my bizarre Movember Mark Twain moustache.
After more blarney, he lets me in, but not before I’ve had to make up a contact ‘Alex’ and expertise “the agency called me in, I just do what I’m told”. Surreptitiously, I wave my team to follow us and prop the door open, while he leads me off into a side room where the first motion sensor is – and where the laptop with the codes on is sitting.
‘Heist’ is just one of many Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) springing up – in this case in the UK by a group called Fire Hazard – taking the principles of computer games and live-action roleplaying, and applying them to real world situations. Heist’s premise is that you’re breaking into a security facility to recover up to ten secure cases; you don’t know what’s in them, you’re told not to open them, so they’re the old-fashioned McGuffin of the Hitchcock movies; a reason to get into the scenario and to roleplay as thieves…
This is just a small extract from the full feature in issue one. To read the entire article, click here to purchase the complete digital edition of Continue for just $2.99/£1.99/€2.25.