The Bleeding Edges are a series of articles on games that blur reality and fiction.
In 1997, when the world wide web was barely spun, a game came along that was unlike anything else before it, and with few bold enough to follow it since. It was called The Stone [tribute site], and – incredibly for the time – played exclusively through a web browser. Even more peculiarly, your access to the game was made possible by purchasing a real-world black pendant, emblazoned with six symbols – a pattern of symbols only you, and one other person in the world, had. With this code, you could reach a diagram of a three-dimensional cube, each segment containing a white dot, each dot representing a puzzle.
And each puzzle opened your eyes to something you never knew before, sending you off on a journey of research. On returning to the game, I got hold of one of its original creators, Rod Bruinooge, to find out a little more, and once again sunk into its peculiar puzzling.