You could feel the excitement surrounding Sayeed as he climbed into my car at the airport. He couldn’t wait to get going and begin his day in Boston. Sayeed was a programmer who had recently graduated from MIT and was working in Silicon Valley. He’d come back for his annual trek to Boston, specifically for the “MIT MYSTERY HUNT … Who knew, right?
As Sayeed explained, as many as 60 teams comprised of past graduates and current MIT students compete in the Mystery Hunt. The premise for the hunt is to solve as many puzzles as possible over the weekend; for each one solved, your team receives a coin. At the end the team with the most coins win the hunt. He mentioned that although the object of the game is of course to win the hunt… your team might not necessarily want to win. I thought that sounded odd, but Sayeed told me the winner has to host the entire event the next year, which is a lot of work. He said it was important to recruit current dorm or frat students because you can use their dorm as a base which is a huge advantage. The current students will also know the local lay-of-the-land as there might be new buildings or landmarks on campus that the older team members are not aware of.
The hunt includes running around finding clues, solving puzzles, and winning coins. Sayeed practices for the competition by playing in entertainment simulation venues called “escape rooms” where you have to figure out a way to escape a room or solve a puzzle. He says those have gotten fairly easy for him as he always looks for patterns and then once figured out can solve the mystery fairly easy.
It was obvious to me that Sayeed, like many of his comrades, participate in the hunt for the fun of it all and probably to reunite with others who have this same passion. I was happy to see the joy emanating from Sayeed. For me this is probably the last thing I would enjoy doing because my mind just doesn’t work like that. People are all so different (and that is a good thing), and I am sure Sayeed would not like some of the things I like doing (like driving in this crazy city!). This is what makes the world so interesting. And think about it… how boring it would be if we all liked doing the same things?
And The Winner Is?
I do wonder who won this year’s hunt, but the one thing I can guarantee is Sayeed most definitely did not win… as he would rather just come back next year and have FUN! Are you having any fun? It is important to let loose once in a while and enjoy the game of life…RIGHT?
*Names (locations & even gender) may have been changed to protect the innocent!!!
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