How I Opened The Silent History’s DC Field Report
As George Washington croons to Hamilton, “One last tiiiiiiiiime.” The kids reported from the White House one last time last week at the 2016 Kids’ State Dinner.
It has been an awesome experience, and while I’m hopeful that this won’t be the actual last time they step foot inside, it does feel like an ending of sorts with the current administration coming to a close. Hopefully the next administration will invite them back, but in case they don’t, we used this visit to say goodbye to the people we usually see while we’re there and the building itself.
It’s a weird place to say goodbye to because unlike far away places that are difficult to reach again, this space is one that you need to be invited into in order to enter. If I want to save my money, I can get back to Norway at any point, but unless they’re invited back within the gates of the campus or get a permanent job in the building, they are not going to go there again.
Anyway, it was a wonderful day, as always. The Obamas throw a great state dinner, and you exit wanting a garden of your own and vegetable sculptures.
The one amusing part came due to a game called The Silent History. It’s an interactive fiction (sort of) game; a story told in pieces. Supporting the main story are field reports that people have submitted that are scattered around the world (or, at the very least, around the US).
There is one field report in DC, and it happens to be in the White House. I was talking about the game with some friends, and realized that I could open the field report the next time I was there and email a copy to everyone else so we could all read it. It’s called “Wizards,” so I imagined it would be about magic, or something like that.
We got there a bit early so we plopped down in the Press Briefing Room. Great! It’s only a few doors down from the Oval Office, which is the location of the Field Report. I’ll just turn on the app, download that part of the story, send it to my friend, and still have time to prep things with the kids.
Except I was about three feet away from the coordinate range.
I tried turning the phone, holding it out to various points along the wall, traipsing through the hallway, all to no avail. It was maddening to be that close and not be able to open the story.
So I explained to a staffer about the game and asked if he would take my phone into another part of the building and see if he could download the report. As I was opening the app to show him how to do it, leaning hard to the left, I ENTERED THE COORDINATE RANGE AND THE REPORT PIN TURNED GREEN!
The staffer would like it noted that he was good luck even if he didn’t actually do anything.
I was able to read it. (It’s about the Washington Wizards… not actual wizards… which was a little disappointing.) And take screenshots to send to my friend. I apologize to the makers of the app if that wasn’t okay, but… come on. You made it a ridiculously small range, and only a handful of people will ever be able to open it.
So mission accomplished. I opened the only Silent History Field Report DC has to offer and helped the kids say goodbye to the White House. And if you have a second, go read their post and cheer them on because they worked very hard on it.