Some of you well connected nerds out there have probably heard of the Jejune Institute, which lately has become known by the moniker Games of Nonchalance. It's an elaborate "alternative reality game" which is like a scavenger hunt, or something. Now there's a documentary about it all called The Institute, and it's premiering on Saturday at midnight at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland. (Advance tickets available here.)
Confused? Well, we first noted the "institute" in 2009, when some strange leaflets started popping up around town asking if we'd experienced things like mismatched socks or small stains around the house, and blaming this mysterious organization at 580 California Street. Well, the thing turned out to be a role-playing game of sorts, and ultimately involves a storyline about a fictional woman named Evalyn Lucien who disappeared from near Coit Tower in 1988. The aesthetics of the thing, and the weird pseudo-culty nature of it, conjure up Lost and its Dharma Initiative.
The game advertises itself as "a way to discover a new side of the city, while being absorbed in an epic fantasy," and it begins with an "induction session" at the institute, which may or may not be a cult. The whole thing also kind of reminds us of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, with all its faux-seriousness, and for that reason we think it seems cool. Anyway, the doc should be interesting. You should go, if you live in Oakland, or you have a ride back.