Checked the Steinitz Puzzlers web site today (04/18/2006) by pure chance...and it's gone, seemingly taken over by some low-life domain name harvester. Yes, it was just a game, sponsored by Sharp Electronics. This page will remain here, for historical value, or (more likely) because I'm just too lazy to remove it. Oddly enough, moretosee.com still exists.
Anybody know when the site went down? Someone won the contest on ~January 22, 2005.
It would seem that the whole Steinitz Puzzlers concept is, in fact, an elaborate deception on the part of Sharp Electronics, created solely for the purpose of selling their Aquos TV set. So now you know.
I don't think I'll buy a Sharp TV because I don't like that kind of advertising. (Heck, if you know me, you know I wouldn't buy any TV, because I wouldn't need one!!)
If you know something that I do not (or if you work for Sharp Electronics and feel-good-and-like-telling-me about it, please drop me a line. I will not reveal your identity if you request that.
I clicked on a banner ad tonight with a Sharp [Electronics] logo on it. The logo was all of that ad that I saw, and for some strange reason I clicked on it. I guess I was curious to see what product Sharp was advertising.
I promptly went to a site where there was a flash movie playing. I watched it, but didn't understand what it was really about--because I have had some unpleasant surprises come by leaving my computer's speakers on while browsing the web. But I did play with the links.
The site itself seemed very reminiscent of the Mitsubishi automobile ads on TV where you get to "see what happens" by visiting a web site. I find it odd that it was linked from a banner ad...it really seems like you were supposed to have seen something on TV first.
The whole thing has so far boiled down to a site about a "Dagobert Steinitz", entitled "Steinitz Puzzlers". From what I've read so far, this Steinitz was a cryptic man who died in a strange way and supposedly hid some urns with things in them. Whether any of that is true or not I do not know and don't care to speculate on. I don't find that much weird...if this individual was, in fact, real, then he wasn't the first to hide things in a cryptic way or have thoughts that others considered to be "nutso" or a sign of losing one's mind.
What I'd like more to know is why Sharp Electronics cares so much or has gone to such lengths to create such a story. Even the Puzzlers website bears Sharp's copyright. That's what I find most mysterious.
Obviously ad campaigns only run for so long before they disappear, so this page probably won't be here all that long. I just wanted to write about it, because this whole thing comprises the strangest online experience I've ever had.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a whole lot of banner ads to never click on again.