Mr. Robot might not have a panel at New York Comic Con this year, but they offered fans a completely different and unique experience. A week or so before the convention an invitation went out: join Ecorp to celebrate the official launch of their new crypto-currency ecoin. I RSVP’ed, of course.
Arriving at the line just before 5pm, I was ushered to a cordoned off area for guests who RSVP’ed. If I hadn’t, I would have been able to join the standby line. The door did not open until 7pm but we were not lacking in entertainment as weird things started happening in the line. First, a reported espousing the wonders of Ecorp came over and pulled out a member of the line to interview them, delighted by their pro-Ecorp answers.
We were then greeted by Ecorp employees who helped us sign up with the Bank of E and handed out all sorts of swag. The interesting part? Never once was the word Mr. Robot uttered. The immersive experience had already begun in the line and the amazing actors at the event really did their part to blend their reality with ours. As the Ecorp employees made their way down the line so did a young woman dressed in punk-esque clothes as she very quietly and without looking at us handed out a snapchat card.
That is when the mystery really started.
— NERDOPHILES @ NYCC (@nerdophiles) October 5, 2017
At first, everyone around me in line was confused by the snapchat card that had landed in our hands. We were not snapchat savvy, but after a bit of a discussion a few of us downloaded it, took a pic of the card, and found out that there was a link embedded in it. When we followed the link it led us to an fsociety video telling us to go to the stairs behind the bar inside and ask for Jessie. We had to take a screencap of the message to prove that we had received it.
We waited a bit more anxiously in line after that as me and my fellow line dwellers started to realize this was more than just a promotional party for Mr. Robot.
Once we were let inside we received champagne as we walked in and immediately had waiters offering us finger foods while we explored the area. With some encouragement via text from some friends I decided to go check out the stairs behind the bar and found a woman lurking in the corner. I said the right things, showed her my screenshot, and got an fsociety 5/9 button for my troubles.
While wandering further I ran across a gentleman with an ecoin tote bag. When I asked him where he got it he gave me a cryptic and unhelpful response, which sent me around the space inquiring after anyone who looked like a character from the show. I talked with multiple ecorp employees, some of whom told me “oh, I just work here” while others had actual dialogue. One guy talked my ear off about some sort of crypto-currency technology.
I stumbled across another suspicious looking character who gave me a sticker, and as I made my way through my second drink of the night I was no closer to getting the tote. At this point I was able to team up with a few of my fellow party goers who helped me get further along in the plot line. There was a gentleman upstairs handing out stickers with instructions to go to the coat check and ask them “are you seeing this too?”
— NERDOPHILES @ NYCC (@nerdophiles) October 6, 2017
Accompanied by two new friends we retrieved our tote bags and were told to look inside for instructions on what to do next. Inside the bags were fsociety masks and one of two possible sets of instructions. I was instructed to find an out-of-the-way space to take a picture with the fsociety mask and post it on social media with a specific hashtag. Others were told to do that, then go upstairs and find someone named Frankie.
On my way to finding Frankie, I got stopped by a security guard who asked if he could search my new Ecorp bag. I hesitated at first and then told him no, there were personal items in the bag and I was not comfortable with anyone going through it. He pushed further and asked me “If I don’t touch anything, can I take a look?” I told him no again, I’d rather not, then said “bye” and promptly walked away even as he called after me.
It was just one of many moments where that line between reality and fiction blurred for me.
When we found where Frankie was there was a large line to meet them, and by that time it was getting closer to the keynote speech from CEO Philip Price (Michael Cristofer) so we were encouraged by ecorp staff to grab a drink and grab a seat. Before I left the third floor someone handed me a small fsociety flag and told me I’d know when it was time to use it.
I found my seat downstairs and settled in for the keynote speech which Michael Cristofer, in character, delivered perfectly to a waiting audience. That is when things started to seem a bit strange. Glitches kept occurring on the big screen up front and then suddenly it was fsociety’s show. Price was taken off the stage by security as fsociety members took the stage.
— NERDOPHILES @ NYCC (@nerdophiles) October 6, 2017
Everyone put on their masks and cheered as the band on stage played and fsociety banners were unfurled. In the climactic moment we were reminded that we can and should fight back, that we are fsociety and we are finally free.
The event ended with a screening of the first episode of season three which was as amazing as anticipated and will be available to everyone October 11th when the new season kicks off. After the episode we were not-so-kindly asked to leave by a flustered member of the Ecorp management team on stage and as we made our way out we realized that while we were distracted, the building had been defaced by fsociety.
We grabbed more swag on the way out and were greeted with fsociety protesters complete with masks and signs which was a lovely added touch to the entire immersive experience. If there is one thing Mr. Robot proves time and time again, it is that they know how to market their show in unique and interesting ways. I would take an experience like this over a panel any day.
Even if you were not able to attend you can still join in on the fun. Be sure to sign up for your Ecoin account for the chance to get insider information on upcoming events and swag opportunities.