Welcome to Pitfall Harry's Private Eye Video Game Contest!
Details about this contest are puposefully scant, because it is up to You
to determine what it is you are supposed to do (which isn't really all that hard, anyway). All you have to work with is the image given at the following URL:
Once you figure out what it is you are supposed to do, feel free to collaborate in small groups via private email, instant messaging, etc. Privately exchange ideas, theories, and discoveries. Publicly, use this thread to post general comments, irritations, compelling questions (which may or may not get answered) or progress in a way that doesn't give away any of the puzzle's secrets to other contestants. Anyone who publicly posts spoiler info that gives away the puzzle's secrets are subject to disqualification, depending on the severity of the information leaked and upon my own personal judgment. Don't get too hung up about the disqualification clause. I'm easy. Only a blatant breech of critical information would result in disqualification. Lesser breeches are subject to the scorn of your peers.
I will be using this thread to periodically post additional clues, at whim's desire. So, be sure to come back and check this thread from time to time, especially if you get stuck.
This puzzle contest is completely self-contained. That is, there are no additional clues related to this contest to be found on my personal Web site or anywhere else. Furthermore, it is possible to solve this puzzle without the aid of any additional clues. You may want to look for them, anyway, if being FIRST matters to you! The puzzle is WYSIWYG -- What You See is What You Get. But be warned! Any private eye worth his salt always has a good magnifying glass close at hand.
This puzzle is HARD
! You will not complete it in a single day, unless you are craftier than I am. If you are craftier than I am and you solve this puzzle in less than 24 hours of this posting, your prize will be doubled. The prize for being first to solve the puzzle contest is a $25 AtariAge Store credit (or $50, if you solve it in 24 hours). There are no prizes for finishing second or later, other than honorable mention on Pitfall Harry's Lost Video Game Cavern
and the warm glow of satisfaction that comes from a job well done. If you work in a group, it is up to your group to decide how (or if) the meager prize shall be distributed among you.
The 24-hour clock for the doubled First Prize bonus starts right NOW. Don't say I didn't give you plenty of advanced warning to read this post on this date!
The solution to this puzzle contest will be posted 5 days after a First Prize contestant has been identified, or immediately after three contestants have solved the puzzle and notified me of its correct solution. If the puzzle contest remains unsolved as of October 31, then the solution will be posted November 1, and the First Place prize will be awarded via random drawing, limited to those who register as official contestants of Pitfall Harry's Private Eye Video Game Contest.
Registration for Pitfall Harry's Private Eye Video Game Contest is easy, and optional. All you have to do to register as an official contestant is e-mail me (myname_is_ben @ yahoo) or send me, Pitfall Harry, a message via the AtariAge messaging software with either a subject line or message content that identifies you well enough to be contacted in the event you become a winner via random drawing. You need not register to win First Prize, provided you are first to solve the puzzle contest. Please DO NOT use this thread for contest registration (those posts will be ignored anyway). We want to reserve this thread as an easy resouce to those working the contest puzzle. Registration begins NOW and closes October 15. Those who register as contestants after October 15 will not be eligible for the random drawing, should it be necessary.
Have fun, and good luck!