Sour grapes

I’ve been reading a great number of complaints about the way in which the Da Vinci Code Quest was administered, particularly in regards to the timing of the final challenge, and most of those complaints seem to be directed at Google. It makes me sort of sad, I must say. For the record, I’ve always been a big fan of Google, although their recent business practices in China sadden me. It disappoints me to see angry puzzlers leaping upon Google…especially since any timing issues which may have occurred in the final challenge aren’t Google’s fault. Read the rules, and find therein the following: “Sony Pictures Digital, Inc.’s computer is the official clock for purposes of determining all timing issues in connection with Phase 1 of this Contest.”

So do us a favour and stop bitching about Google, ok? The engineers there did an awesome job of generating over 12,000 puzzles in varying degrees of difficulty, and that’s quite excellent. Let’s give Google some credit for the extensive amount of coding (over 6 months worth!) that was involved in the puzzles. Let’s give Google some credit for the challenge and fun of the puzzles, and set aside who made it into the finals and who didn’t for a moment. I would love to go through and work the puzzles again, but I guess they aren’t available online anymore. It would be nice to see them left up, along with the final challenge, because it would be fun to go through them again. (Especially without the added stress of trying to finish as soon as possible.)

Would I like to win the challenge? Most assuredly! But I’ve tried not to let myself get too wrapped up in and obsessed by it, because there are more important things in life. I really enjoyed doing the 24 puzzles in the first phase, and I look forward to doing the final phase. (Which I intend to do as early as possible, so as not to be corrupted by spurious facts which will be flying around the internet within the first hour of the final phase, I’m sure.) I’m not going to pretend that winning isn’t important to me–I am a highly competitive person and I wouldn’t mind the first class flight to Paris either. But the thrill of the hunt is what makes it enjoyable. And I have a shiny cryptex to show for my earlier efforts, which means I’m one cryptex richer than I was last week.

Yes, I most assuredly am practicing similarly styled puzzles and studying up on errata in order to give myself the best chance possible. But I am attempting to keep things in perspective. It’s important to remember that if I don’t “win,” I haven’t “lost.” Since I never had four first class tickets to London and all the other prizes to begin with, how could I “lose” them? So why not relax and do the final challenge with an air of appreciation for all the work that went into it, and for the challenge it presents?

Undoubtedly someone will be able to finish more quickly than I will..probably several someones, and some of them will probably cheat. But I can’t spend all my time minding other people. And perhaps those who are a little over enthusiastic about this competition might do well to remember that.

I’m going to go eat some grapes now. How do you like them apples, toots?

[Da Vinci Code Quest]
[Google]