On April 1st, 2012, we started speculating together. On October 11, 2012, we played again. On September 24th, 2013, we published our first archive. Today, exactly two years since we met, we're still trying to find you. This is "Nexus X," the next nexus, an alternate archive, a Speculation simulation, and a special kind of trap. Like flies and lures are designed to correlate with the food stuffs of certain fish, a survey of hunting accessories suggest that traps are shaped to seduce and ensnare specific targets. Even Marcel Duchamp's Trébuchet and Andreas Slominski's sculptures are shaped to trap something. This website is X-shaped—like an 8 with the tops chopped off. After all, she insisted it wasn't an alternate reality game and, after eight nexuses, it doesn't feel like one anymore. It's still a reality game and a realist fiction, an economic stimulation and a corporate brain drain, a histrionic transmission and an electronic exploit, but it's also derivative, an autonomous metagame, a speculative investment in the past, and, now, a critical inquiry. We are the archivists and this is our record of Speculation.1 WELCOME BACK, she might say.
This is what a nexus used to look like. After Speculation ended, we collected the pieces and puzzled them together here.2 The archivists modeled this series of interlinked nodes to acclimate users to a her future. Be warned, she might say, the process of remediating reticular meshworks to millennial technologies has left holes, gaps, and fissures within this speculative storyworld.3 The use of turn of the century browser software such as Unity Web Player may be required to progress further. Aside from their immersion within the culture of finance capital, it is essential for historical subjects to learn to navigate transmedia convergences before MetaCorp is formed.4 LET'S BEGIN, her voice again.
From April 1st, 2012 to April 1st 2014, we played Speculation. Now, the only thing left to do is wait. Instead of traveling between two times ad infinitum we produced a time capsule. Pieces of our collective experience, that shared hallucination, are now arching forward along the vector of time. Over the past two years, tendrils of this work, this project, this experiment, this metagame, have arched out across the ether and implanted themselves within our contemporary media ecology. Speculation operated through a diverse array of media including scholarly essays, visual media, audio transmissions, electronic exchanges, online discussions, community events, social networks, and even organic materials. The ripples and folds of these activities resonated through turn-of-the-century inscription technologies and left historical traces ready for study. VERY INTERESTING, she sometimes recited.
In the past, some called these types of experiences "alternate reality games". Alternate reality games use the real world as their primary platform. Alternate reality games are not bound by any single medium. Alternate reality games sometimes incorporate textual data, streaming video, phone calls, dead drops, social networks, and digital software. Their stories tend to be broken into discrete pieces that players actively rediscover and reconfigure through their actions. Player networks created around alternate reality games are inherently social and tend to include collective problem-solving and participatory storytelling. But this is not an alternate reality game. This is a Speculation. PLEASE CONTINUE, she might suggest. (Although we think she meant scroll back up to the password fields and find your way to the next nexus).
— Parkaboy73, April 1, 2014