The Mystery of Jorts

My XCOM 2 narrative was peppered with references to a hacker who uses the ridiculous handle “Jorts.”

Yeah, like jean shorts.

Usually, Jorts was passing intel along to the squad regarding enemy movements or the location of a secret base. This behavior led the squad to assume that, although disconcertingly anonymous, Jorts was on their side.

Then, the squad’s base was ambushed by enemy troops who claimed they were provided intel by Jorts. A frenzied investigation revealed that one of the squad must in fact be the idiotically named hacker.

Here’s where I blew my friends’ minds. My narrative had also been peppered with clues that pointed to the true identity of Jorts (along with a few red herrings). I sent out a Google form and gave everyone three days to pore over the email thread. Several of my friends worked tirelessly to gather as much evidence as they could before the submission deadline.

It couldn’t have gone much better. 7 guesses were totally wrong, 3 fell for my primary red herring trap, and 2 were 100% correct. The folks who got it right received a grand prize of—what else—jorts.

I used all of the guesses to write the “big reveal” chapter of the narrative, where each character proposed the answer that their real-life counterpart had submitted.

The mystery of Jorts was, overall, wildly more successful than I could have imagined when I started laying the groundwork. So much so, in fact, that “Jortsmas” (the anniversary of the reveal) is now a recurring event on all of our calendars. It’s March 31, by the way, if you’d like to celebrate with us.