Mysterium Updates and Taking Action

Hello everyone

It’s hard to write a blog post about a gaming convention right now. On the one hand, we want to get you information about the convention in a timely manner. On the other hand, we can’t ignore what is happening in the world around us, as people of color and others around the country – and the world – protest police brutality and a long history of systemic injustice. We want to make it very clear that everyone involved in planning Mysterium supports the Black Lives Matter protests, and that there will never be space for racism or bigotry within the Mysterium community.

We plan to put our money where our mouths are at the end of this post, but first we want to give you an update on the rescheduled Mysterium 2021 convention:

Mysterium 2021

For the first time ever, we’re giving you over 13 months to plan for Mysterium! The dates of the rescheduled Mysterium 2021 are July 16-18, at the same hotel (Westin Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, VA) and same room rate ($100/night). See our updated Location page for more details.

Hotel Bookings

The hotel will be cancelling your 2020 booking in the next couple weeks, so you should not need to do anything. If this hasn’t occurred by July 1, we will contact the hotel and update you with plenty of time before the cancellation date. We will post the link to book 2021 hotel rooms at our rate after our virtual Mysterium 2020 convention is over.

Registration

If you have already purchased a registration for Mysterium 2020, you will have the option of rolling it over to 2021, or requesting a refund. If you choose to roll over your registration, you will not be responsible for any price increases between now and the event. We will contact you soon with more details, using the email address you provided when you registered. For those of you who have not yet purchased a ticket, we will open Mysterium 2021 registration later this year.

Mysterium 2020

We have several interesting events planned for our virtual Mysterium, and we want to remind you that you can submit your own virtual event ideas here.

Calling All Costumers

One event we’re excited about is what we’re calling the Pass The Book Challenge, based on the popular Pass The Brush Challenge videos that have been circulating recently. If you have any Myst, Obduction, or other Cyan related costumes, this is your time to shine! All you have to do is record a pair of videos of yourself before and after putting on the costume, and we’ll edit them together into a fun video to be played during Mysterium!

Don’t stress about this. It’s not about having the most complex or intricate costume, it’s about having fun and showing off your creativity.

You can read all the details here!

T-Shirt Updates and Profit Donations

We have made some minor updates to the dates on the T-Shirt logos, and we have opened a new web store where you can order them! You can get all the info about our shirts and store on our Shirts Page. If you already bought a shirt with your registration, we will be in touch with you over email soon to discuss your options.

Now, we said at the start of this post that we’d be putting our money where our mouths are, and it’s time to do just that. We will be donating $2 from every shirt sold through the end of August to Campaign Zero and to Gameheads.

  • Campaign Zero is focused on research about police violence, how different policies affect it, and pushing for legislation to enact those policies and to help stop the violence entirely.
  • Gameheads is an organization focused on helping to prepare low income youth and youth of color to enter and thrive in the technology and video game industries. It’s certainly a different choice from Campaign Zero, but it felt appropriate coming from a convention about a video game series.

The donations will be evenly split between the two organizations. We’d love to give even more money, but realistically we only make $8-10 per shirt sold (depending on how many we sell), and the money we get from shirt sales is a significant part of how we fund the convention. If you would like to make your own donations, here are some other organizations to look at:

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund

The Black Visions Collective

The ACLU

Color Of Change

You local bail fund (find it on this and other lists)

We will have more for you soon. Until then, we hope you all stay safe and healthy.

-The Mysterium Committee

Mysterium: Trap Book Edition

Alright, this is going to be a long one. We have quite a bit of (good) news to share with you all!

Mysterium 2020 2021

We expect to have information about Mysterium 2021, hotel room cancellations, and registration refunds/roll-overs for you in the next week or so. Thank you for your continued patience, and please stay tuned.

Mysterium: Trap Book Edition

Our plans for an online Mysterium, as announced in our last blog post, are coming together. We are planning some exciting panels and assembling a roster of special guests. We’ll have more on that soon. In the meantime, hopefully this will answer some of your questions about the nature of the event.

Dates

We will be holding the event the same weekend that we would have been in the DC area (August 7-9). Since travel will no longer be an issue, we may extend into Sunday afternoon based on scheduling needs.

Event Submissions

If you submitted an event for Mysterium 2020, we will be contacting you to discuss the possibility of moving it online. If you wish to run an event, please see our Event submissions page for updated info regarding online event submissions. We’ve extended the deadline for submissions to June 30 in order to give you all more time to send your ideas. Unique to this year, we are providing the option to submit pre-recorded presentations to air during the convention if you are unable to present live.

Digital Activity Book

We are extending the deadline for activity book pages to June 30. Any submissions received by that date will be included in a digital version of the book, available for the online convention. We also plan to hold submitted pages and print them in a book for the in-person convention next year.

Technology

We plan to use a combination of Twitch and Zoom for presentations and communication. As always, Discord will also be available for text and audio conversations before and during the event.

Registration

We are currently working out the details of registration for the online event. We will have more information about this soon.

Swag

T-shirts

The existing t-shirt design will be used for Mysterium 2021, with altered dates. If you already registered for Mysterium 2020 and you ordered a t-shirt with your registration, we will contact you soon to give you the option to have your shirt shipped to you (you will need to pay associated shipping fees). Alternatively, we can simply hold on to your order, and you can collect your shirt in person next year, as usual.

We will also be opening up a store page soon to allow anyone to pre-order these shirts. Shirts will be printed this summer, and we will do our best to get them to you in time for our virtual convention (though we can’t make promises on that). We will even be allowing international fans to purchase shirts, as we hope our virtual convention will be able to reach a global audience. See our updated T-shirt page for details.

Pins/Activity Book

The 2020 pin designs will be rolled over into 2021. Distribution will be the same as in previous years: they will be included with early registration for on-site pickup. Also, as mentioned above, we will hold on to submitted activity book pages and print them for next year.

We’ll have more news about next year’s rescheduled Mysterium soon. In the meantime, keep in touch with people on Discord and dust off a Myst game you haven’t played in a while.

-The Mysterium Committee

Covid-19 & Mysterium 2020

Shorah everyone. We hope you are all safe and healthy in these troubled times.

We’d been hoping to have a more comprehensive update for you by now, but unfortunately things have not gone to plan. We know that’s frustrating, and we apologize. We’re doing our best to get our Mysterium 2020 plans settled as soon as possible, but some things are out of our hands.

What we can tell you at this time is that we will NOT be having an in-person convention in August. Even if somehow restrictions were lifted enough to allow 50-100 people to be in a hotel ballroom (and there is no guarantee that will happen), it would not be safe to do so in our view – not to mention the risks associated with traveling to the convention.

While we can’t answer everything right now, we can answer a few things:

So is Mysterium 2020 cancelled?

No, it isn’t. We intend to hold some form of convention online at the beginning of August. It won’t be the same, but we think it can still be fun for everyone.

Why did you wait so long to announce this/why isn’t everything settled yet?

We were hoping to have everything settled with the Mysterium hotel, which unfortunately has not happened yet. We hope to have Mysterium at the same hotel in 2021, but we’re still in negotiations.

I already registered. Will I get a refund?

Refunds will be available, as will roll-overs to next year’s in-person convention. We expect to have more information about that in the next few weeks. We will email you directly using the email address you gave us when filling out your registration.

Please be patient and don’t start emailing us about either option just yet. Our normal refund policy deadlines will not apply.

What about t-shirts, pins, or other swag?

More on that in the coming weeks.

Should I cancel my hotel room?

No, you don’t have to cancel your room reservation. The hotel should do that in a few weeks. If somehow it looks like they aren’t going to do so, we will let you know with plenty of time to cancel.

What about the transportation I booked?

Most airlines, as well as Amtrak, are currently waiving cancellation fees. Contact your specific carrier for details.

How is Mysterium doing financially? Is this going to bankrupt the convention?

Again, more on that in a few weeks. Right now we are OK and we expect to be fine and able to hold conventions in the future. We are 100% able to refund anyone who requests a refund for this year (see above).

Can I host an event or otherwise help with planning for the online Mysterium?

Absolutely! We’re not ready to take in your ideas just yet, but we expect to get there soon.

How/where will the online Mysterium be hosted?

We will probably use a variety of online streaming and text platforms, depending on the event(s) we choose to hold. Stay tuned.

You don’t seem to have a lot of answers just yet…

That’s not a question, but you’re right. We wish we did, but we’re a small, all volunteer organization, and this is a tough time for even large companies to plan. We just wanted to get *some* news out there for folks to help plan their summer.

In the meantime, if you have a Nintendo Switch you may want to pre-order the Switch version of RealMyst to help brighten your days just a bit – https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/realmyst-masterpiece-edition-switch/

We’ll have more information for you as soon as we can. Stay safe out there, everyone!

-The Mysterium Committee

Mysterium 2019 Wrap Up – Part 2

Greetings all

We have some more updates for you today, along with a special surprise at the end. You’ll definitely want to read this one.

Reminders

First, a quick reminder about sending us your photos/videos/album links, and any lyrics you may have written for the Open Mic Night. We’ve only heard from a handful of people, and we’d love to be able to share all of those with the whole community. Check out our previous wrap up post for full details.

Videos

Video editing is taking longer than we’d hoped, but we promise we’ll get them to you. We have over 300GB of footage, and can only work on it sporadically as real life allows. However, we did manage to get the first video done for you. If you missed Rand’s Q&A, RAWA’s hello, or just want to hear the proper way to eat watermelon again, have we got a video for you:

We’ll let you know when the rest of the videos have been uploaded!

Mysterium 2020

We’ve been doing a lot of research into various cities, and we have a meeting scheduled very soon to decide the location and con-chair(s) for Mysterium 2020. Again, stay tuned and we’ll let you know once we know.

Special Surprise

You all know that we had some awesome special guests at Mysterium this year. What you may not know is that there were several other VIPs who wanted to come, but couldn’t make it work for one reason or another. One of those people is Geneviève Lord, who was the Producer on Myst IV.

We were all bummed when she couldn’t make it, but she wanted to help out all the same. So, she got in touch with several of the concept artists who worked on Myst IV and asked them if they had any concept art kicking around that they’d be willing to share. Sure enough, she was able to get artwork from Andrzej Tutaj, Meinert Hansen, and Stephane Turgeon. With Ubisoft’s blessing, we’re able to share that artwork with the entire Myst community!

The plan was to make use of some of it for Mysterium 2019, but we just ran out of time. Instead, we’re releasing it to you in a zip file. All of this artwork is copyright 2004 – Ubisoft Entertainment/the original artist. We, Mysterium and the Falling Man Group, have no claim to it. Please be sure to read the included license file.

And now, without further delay, here is the link to download the Myst IV concept art: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zQubVGA-PtsSo-esjkjVH2bI3k-D9lad/view?usp=sharing

We’d like to thank the artists, and especially Geneviève, for helping to make this happen!

That’s all we have for now,

-Taniith
Mysterium 2019 Chair

Mysterium 2019 Wrap Up

Greetings All

Well, it’s been 2 weeks since Mysterium, and those of us who helped run it are finally getting back into the swing of normal life.

As far as we know, this was the biggest Mysterium in history! Including staff and special guests we had roughly 230 attendees in total, and there’s no way to know just how many family members and locals came to Cyan on Saturday. We’re all extremely happy with how this year turned out, and we hope everyone had a great time.

Survey

Before we call this year done, we have a few things to wrap up. First, as usual, we’ve put together a survey to get a feel for your experience at Mysterium this year. It’s not too long (and pretty much all of the questions are optional), so please fill it out when you have a few minutes so we can figure out how to make Mysterium better in the future. You can take the survey by clicking here.

If you weren’t able to come to Mysterium, we encourage you to take the survey, too! It has a whole section about future Mysteria, and your responses will also help us figure out which parts of the country we should go to next.

Coloring Books

The coloring books we made this year were a huge hit, and we’ve had many people ask if they can order them for delivery. We’re very happy to announce that the books are available through a print-on-demand service for $10! This is the same service we used to print the originals, so you’ll get the same high quality.

You can order coloring books here.

Open Mic Submissions

If you wrote lyrics or poetry or anything else for Mysterium’s Open Mic Night, and would like to share with the community, we want to post them in a public Google Drive folder. Several of you have already emailed us, but if you have something to submit please send it to committee@mysterium.net.

Photo Submissions

We’ve had many requests for a central place where you can upload your photos and videos. Unfortunately, a lot of the older photo-sharing sites have shut down or require payment to use, which is why we haven’t done this for the past few years. For this year, we’re trying three different options.

First, we’ve setup a shared Google Photos album. This does require you to have a Google account, but beyond that it should make it very easy for you to add photos and for other folks to find them. If you’d like to add photos to the album, follow this link.

We’ve also setup a Dropbox folder where you can upload photos, if you’d prefer to just send them to us directly. Be aware that we may not be able to credit you on your photos if you submit them this way. You can upload your photos by following this link.

Finally, if you’ve already uploaded your photos elsewhere, please send us a link to the album (and remember to make sure it’s set as public). We’ll be sure to include a list of external albums on our website.

Mysterium 2020

As announced at the end of Mysterium this year, we don’t yet have a location or con-chair selected for Mysterium 2020. We have a shortlist and expect to have it nailed down by mid-to-late September.

Also, be aware that we aren’t going to lock in the dates for next year’s convention until sometime in the fall. We can guarantee that Mysterium 2020 will still be held sometime in late July/early August, just not the specific weekend. We recognize that having a fixed weekend is useful for attendees to plan their vacations, and we intend to have the dates chosen early enough that it shouldn’t be a problem.

For each of the past few years, we’ve run into situations where cities that we chose were unexpectedly filled by some other event. This drastically reduces our options for hotels and makes it much harder to find a hotel in a convenient location for a reasonable price. Hotels always say, “if you could do the weekend before, we would have space/could give you a better rate”. For that reason, we’ve decided to be a little more flexible with our dates.

Stay tuned here and on our social media for more 2020 information.

We’ll try to get the 2019 video footage edited and uploaded over the next few weeks. Otherwise, that’s all we have for now. Thank you all for continuing to support Mysterium and Cyan. We look forward to reading your survey answers, and we hope to see you next year.

Until then,
-Taniith
Mysterium 2019 Chair