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Welcome UserFriendly!
Hello everyone who made it to this guide from the link to MustLoveRobots.com that I submitted to the Link of the Day. Sorry that you're getting here so late. I had never submitted to LotD before, so I had no idea there was such a backlog of sites. But you're here now and watching the videos on MLR and talking to Tim and 011ie so that's great!

This guide was written in order to keep track of the underlying Alternate Reality Game (ARG) that Must Love Robots had in addition to just the webseries. If you have no idea what an ARG is, you might want to check out ARGN's links on What is an ARG? and How Do You Play? I try to write my guides as step-by-step as possible so that even the newest of newcomers can follow along without too much trouble. But I also know that I've been doing this for far too long so I might make some leaps that make absolutely no sense to anyone who doesn't have specialized knowledge - so if you have any questions, please drop me a line (rowan dot lambelle at this domain or @rowan72 on Twitter) and I'll try to get back to you within a reasonable amount of time.

One other thing you should know: I rant a lot. Mostly about people not playing this game. But I'm not ranting about you because you just got here. I'm ranting at the others who knew and didn't play. So, if you see me going off on a tangent, just ignore it, because I love you guys for showing up in droves.

Last thing: the index page has a list of all of the websites connected to MLR. It also teaches you about the symbol that I utilize heavily in my guides. But in case you don't want to click over there and be subjected to a huge rant, I'll give you the instructions here. When you see this symbol: it means that there is additional text available. Just click on it and the text should drop down below.
 
Crowdsourcing That Shit
One of the best segments of the ARG Netcast is Crowdsource That Shit. Not because I enjoy crowdsourcing, but because it's just so funny to listen to SpaceBass trying to convince everyone to do stuff for him. During Podcast #89, Space wanted to find out what kind of dog biscuit he received in the mail from the Werewolf game. Although I had no interest in either tracking down the dog biscuit, or playing a game that basically just presented me with some random glyphs trying to make intrigued enough to solve them, I was interested in one of the other items Space had gotten in the mail at the same time.

It was a postcard from a robot named 011iver. Apparently robots need love too, and think that the best way to get that is to send off postcards to random ARG guys. Why didn't I get a postcard? At least I'm a girl unlike SpaceBass and jamesi. Granted I'm not as pretty as either one of them, but still, I have breasts! And I love postcards! Postcards and smooshed pennies are two of my favorite souvenirs. But hardly anyone ever sends me any. :(
 
Must Love Robots
The reverse of the postcard stated that it was from someone named 011iver from MustLoveRobots.com.

MustLoveRobots.com is the website of Tim Scribbles, a Brooklynite whose roommate just happens to be a robot named 011iver. For some reason, 011iver has a hard time meeting girls, so Tim set up Must Love Robots to get the word out about robots and to find 011iver a date. The first video explains exactly what the website is about. §

Absolutely freaking hilarious. I totally love that being a robot means that you are just wearing a couple of cardboard boxes around your body.
 
Robot Friend Finder
The second video on the site is of poor 011iver getting questioned by Tim so that 011iver can impress the ladies with his answers. Is it just me or does the answers that Tim creates for 011iver make him sound, I dunno, false? Like he's just trying to impress women because he's desperate? Okay, the three Big Macs answer needed some work, but I'm sure there are tons of robogirls who would like a guy that was into comics or Star Wars. §

In case you missed it, Tim said he was signing 011iver up at a place called RobotFriendFinder.com. The video on the splash page is a brilliant spoof on eHarmony. I especially love the robot-girl getting spun around while dancing. §

There's also a secret binary message hidden in the source code § that reads "There is nothing to see here in this code, human. Your human brain is not capable of processing the intricacies of complex web code written by sophisticated machines such as myself, please return to the aesthetically pleasing site we created." Awesome! I've been insulted by a robot!

Clicking through will take you to RobotFriendFinder.ning.com where you can sign up to find your true robot mate. I think they exaggerate a bit when they say there are 36 different characteristics, since it only asks you 8 questions on your profile. But what do I know? Maybe there are super secret robot only questions that I can't find because I'm just a stupid human.

Be sure to check out the video Tim made as his introduction to RobotFriendFinder. §

 
Chuck Quartz
The second video also introduces us to a new friend of 011iver and Tim: the girl-next-door, Chuck. Sadly, for some of you guys out there (you know who you are) she's not a brunette. She is a plucky redhead though, so that should count for something. And she's a bit of a geek, so bonus points!

Chuck has her own blog on tumblr at http://chuckq.tumblr.com. Not much there except that her real name is Charlotte Quartz, she lives in Brooklyn, she has a pair of Vulcan ears, and likes cilantro and McDonald's. Hmm, second time McDonald's has been mentioned. Could this be a sequel to The Lost Ring? She does have more posts on her twitter account: @ChuckQuartz. Tim and 011iver are also on Twitter at @TimScribbles and @011iver respectively.

For some reason, I have way too much fun chatting with them on Twitter. Must be a hold out from the Stop TARP game, but I'm always replying to them and they are nice enough to respond back to me.
 
Inactiveware
In case you forgot from the first video, 011iver is a clothing designer. His company is called Inactiveware which is, as Tim puts it, "t-shirts for lazy guys". The actual website states it a little more elegantly: "Streamlined for lounging, our clothing line is designed to be worn around the house anytime, but is also stylish enough to be worn out and about the town."

There are six different shirts available for purchase, through CafePress: I <3 Robots, Mac & Cheese, Programmed to Love, BFFs, Double Ds, and LadyBots. MustLoveRobots is giving away two of the BFF shirts for the first "robots" who send in a video response to their YouTube video. So if you want a free t-shirt, hurry up and construct your robot outfit and get filming!

Most importantly though, there are two different ways to contact 011iver posted on his website. You can either email him at 011iver@inactiveware.com or call him at 718.753.0635. If you call him, there is a very good chance that he'll actually answer the phone, so be prepared. I had a very lovely conversation with him when I called. I told him that he seemed like a very nice robot and that he shouldn't let his roommate try to change him.
 
Tim's Flickr
Going back to Tim's website for a moment, you can find his email address: tim@mustloverobots.com if you're the type that likes to email. Personally, I'm not so I haven't sent one off yet to see if there is an auto-responder or not. Maybe I'll email him this week if I work up the desire to.

Tim also has a Flickr stream that has some hilarious shots of 011iver drinking out of a funnel and Tim and Chuck playing drunken Connect Four.
 
MBILF.Biz
There's a new video up, that starts out a tad bit disturbingly. It seems that 011iver has been contacted by a new website called MBILF.biz that wants to sponsor MustLoveRobots and he's just checking out the videos on their website. §

MBILF.Biz is a semi-NSFW site, just so you know. There's no actual human nudity, but there are robots in compromising positions and I don't think you'd want to play the videos or audio clips in front of your boss.

It is fairly hilarious though. The robot porn clips are so cheesy that you just have to love them. And the pictures of the talented young robot models are beyond words. I especially love the faces the female robot makes.

Then there's Ram Savage. Ram Savage is the robosex advice columnist-bit for MBILF.Biz. You can call him/her/it at 347.2Tin.Rub (347.284.6782) and ask your robosex question and have them answer you online. Even if you don't want to ask a question, it's worth calling in just to listen to the voicemail message. By the way, I deny any involvement in call #3. That is totally not me. §

You can also request a membership to have unlimited access to their technoporn. The email you get back says there was an issue with the database and says that it is resetting to the default username and password. §
 
Meet Powerbot 4000
There was a bit of fallout between Tim and 011iver over the Run, Robot, Run video. Tim decided that he was going to show 011iver just how easy it was to be a robot, and renamed himself Powerbot 4000. He even ended up changing his Twitter name (note: it's since been changed back). It seems that most of Powerbot 4000's time was spent was talking in ALL CAPS on Twitter. Not sure what 011iver was doing, although he mentions something about an awkward encounter in a bathroom. I don't think I want to know.
 
Inactiveware Commercial
Despite the fact that Tim and 011iver are still on the outs, they have decided to work together to make a commercial for Inactiveware. § I don't know what it is about the commercial, but it disturbs me a bit. Maybe it's the fact that Chuck is singing like Isaac Hayes. Or maybe it's just the close up of Tim unzipping his shirt. Either way, I feel a bit like I need a shower or a stiff drink after watching it.
 
Tobor the 808th Man
I'm not really sure who Tobor the 808th Man is (besides a big fan of Tobor the 8th Man). He did the music for the Inactiveware commercial and has a Myspace page. You can listen to the 1+7+1+8+7+5+3+0+6+3+5 song there. Or at least I think you can. It's not streaming for me at work (not unusual - I was surprised I could even reach Myspace) and I was having issues with the Flash applet at home so I can't be 100% sure that it works. But it says there have been 36 plays so it's probably just me. Tobor also has a Flickr profile but no photos. There's also a rather sparse Tumbler blog under the name of Tobor as well. Is he a robot? Is he a man? Is he both? Hopefully time will tell.
 
Trading Faces
The whole being a Robot vs being a Human contest between 011iver and Tim has gotten ugly. 011iver has put on a shirt and bad wig and named himself Steve, while Tim has taken off his shirt and spraypainted himself silver. Chuck isn't happy because they make up half of their D&D group and she doesn't want to be stuck going to Glen's house because it smells like Funyuns and squirrel monkey stool.

As an aside, I really hope we get to meet Glen and his squirrel monkey at some point in time.

Luckily, Chuck manages to talk to some sense into Tim and 011iver. I think my favorite part in this video is when Tim closes the refrigerator door. My reaction is totally the same as Chuck's: Oh. My. God. I also love the how 011iver ends the conversation on a total down note. Death is funny! §
 
A Date with 011iver!
So on Sunday, I got an email saying I had received a message over at RobotFriendFinder.ning.com. It was from 011iver asking me if I wanted to go on a picnic date with him! § Well, how could I say no to that? I couldn't! So I responded and very soon our date was set for Saturday, May 23 at 2pm in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. §

I'm pretty excited of meeting 011iver and a tad bit terrified at being filmed by Tim for MLR. But what's a girl to do if she wants to help out a robot in love?
 
MBILF Members Only
This took me way too long to figure out. Based on the email § I kept trying variations on usrnm/psswrd and 1:05/1:25. For some reason I ended up thinking that the tinyurl took me to the RFF Ning page, so I changed my password there to something temporary to test it on MBILF with no such luck. Tried a few other things that got me nowhere and just decided to forget about it.

Until I got another email from MBILF. § Obviously I had missed something. It finally dawned on me while making dinner that the 1:05 and 1:25 were times to the RFF video. Of course, it's not that easy because it's a flash-based video so there aren't any time codes you can just jump to. I used my computer clock to time out to 1:05 and 1:25. First I tried using the words spoken at those times (experience/compatible operating systems) but that went nowhere fast. But I had already noticed that the word "operating" switched to "mating" during the video, so I thought maybe it was based on words on the screen. After trying a couple of different versions of the username, I finally discovered the login:
username: carolcoldoil
password: mating
The Members Only page gives you exclusive video from the behind the scenes filming of "Big Floppy Disks 11". Words cannot describe just how awesome this video is. Johnny 5-inches is totally the star of the show. I am a tad bit concerned, however, that the "I" in his name is lowercase and not uppercase. I would think that "Inches" would indicate a bit more virility. But, I'm not a Robo-porn marketer, so perhaps I am wrong. §

If you are able to tear yourself away from the behind the scenes video, there is a link to an Admin Only section that is protected by yet another username:password. So we're going to have to work on that.

There's also a new RamSavage call! Glad to see others are asking for advice. This time around we have Flowborg from St. Louis calling in asking for help with her hot and heavy laptop. §
 
011iver Needs Advice
Wow, it seems that 011iver is really nervous about this date. I have no idea why. It's just supposed to be a fun little thing with no pressure since I'm not a robot. Regardless, 011iver is asking for advice over at RFF about what he should do on the date. §

Can I just take a moment to say how surreal this whole thing is. It's one thing to be talking to characters on Twitter and having them respond back to you. It's another thing to see them making videos about you and asking for advice for when they meet up with you. Or at least it is for me. And I've been playing games and going to live events for a while. But seeing 011iver getting all excited about having a date with me is just bizarre.

Chuck has also posted the 011iver video on her blog to make it easier for people who aren't signed up at RFF to see the video and comment. But you should totally sign up to RFF and start chatting up some robots!

By the way, I'm willing to meet up with people in NYC before/after my date. Just drop me a line somehow and I can see if we can get out schedules to mesh.
 
Meet Lugnut
Lugnut is the AI hired by Dr. Carol Coldoil to monitor and administrate the RobotFriendFinder site. I guess I also could have emailed him when I was having problems with my MBILF login. Probably would have gotten that sooner.

Being just an AI, Lugnut has been without a body. But a team in Japan worked night and day to develop a prototype body for him. It finally arrived, and Lugnut posted a video of him trying out his new body. You know, in his original post, he said that his body was going to be "anatomically correct" but, speaking as a lady, I'm not seeing all the parts I would want to see on a truly anatomically correct robot, if you know what I mean. In fact, his new body is kind creepy. It's like creepy a robo-baby that's just waiting to stab you with a knife or something.

That's besides the point though, because Lugnut has embedded a secret message in his creepy birth video. At the beginning of the video is a frame that says Tinyurl.com. Then you get a series of fourteen different colored frames that show up interspersed with the video. At the very end of the video, you get a frame with a fourteen digit number: 14353612454221. This number is the key to unlocking the code with the colors. §

The puzzle solve of http://www.robotfriendfinder.com/iknowtoomuch gives us a simple page that just tells us that "i know too much". There's also a message in binary that says "this is not a marketing campaign" but I could have already told you that for the same reason I can tell you that this is an ARG despite what some people may think.

So what does Lugnut know too much of? Is there something sinister going on with Carol Coldoil and RobotFriendFinder? Maybe he's finding impressionable young robots on RFF and luring them over to MBILF where he can take advantage of them and make them roboporn sex slaves. OMG - that could happen to 011iver! And then Coldoil would blackmail 011iver and gain control of Inactiveware and then 011iver would be trapped in the roboporn business because he has no other way out. And this will all end with us seeing 011iver either huddled in an alleyway, his cardboard box exterior ripped and soggy or else seeing his body gently swaying in the stairwell of his apartment where he killed himself. :(

I think it's obvious that we must destroy Coldoil before he enslaves everyone in roboporn and it becomes too late to save humanity. Either that, or I really need to get more sleep at night.
 
There's hot dogs in this.
I'm doomed. Tim and 011iver have posted another video responding to the advice that everyone gave him for our date tomorrow. PostLarval had the helpful suggestion that he bring broccoli and whiskey. That would probably be great advice if I liked broccoli and drank anything but hard cider. I tried Scotch while I was in Scotland. I had one small sip which instantly turned my tongue and lips numb. Luckily, chippy was with me and he finished the rest of the drink. So I don't think I'm going to be having any whiskey with 011iver tomorrow unless he's the one actually drinking it.

I don't know if it is because this video is about my upcoming date with 011iver, but I think this is one of the funniest videos yet. Typing out the transcript made me laugh so hard I literally started crying. Or maybe its tears of fear that I might have to eat the cheesy hot dog corn muffins tomorrow. §

Just so you know, 011iver and Tim aren't the only ones who are nervous about tomorrow. I'm terrified. Don't get me wrong, I'm also excited, but the idea that I'm going to be there basically on my own being filmed walking around with a guy in a cardboard robot outfit is doing nothing for my anxiety. In real life, I'm painfully shy and am more than content to let others handle things when I'm in a group. But there isn't going to be any group for me to hide behind or even discuss META issues with. Don't these PMs know that half of the time during live events we are just giggling/bitching about them as we try to accomplish our tasks? I really don't know how I'm going to get through this. I barely made it through the very serious EE dinner in the cabin without bursting into laughter. I know I'm going to take one look at 011iver and just lose it right there. This is so not going to end well for me. For you guys, though, I'm sure it will be a riot.
 
The Date
So Saturday was The Big Date. I'll admit I was extremely nervous leading up to it. Even walking the last block to the Arch, I had a moment of panic where I seriously thought about just turning around and going home. But I didn't, and as soon as I met up with 011iver and Tim, all that nervousness went away. Don't know why - either because the whole thing was just so silly or maybe the fact that I've done a live or event or five before - but I found myself being really at ease with them.

Since I already wrote a long in-character post about the entire day, I'm just going basically requote the date part it here since I don't really want to write it up again.
Im not sure how long Tim and 011iver had been waiting at the arch, but they didn't look too bored. When they noticed me, 011iver quickly grabbed the sign with my name on it and the bouquet of broccoli he had bought for me (thanks PostLarval). We introduced ourselves, and 011iver gave me the broccoli and a Transformers gift bag. I gave 011iver and Tim the gifts I had bought for them, plus the chocolate chip cookies I had made. The three of us then walked over to Prospect Park so that we could find a place to sit.

There were a number of people staring at us as we walked, a couple of giggles and more than a few people going Look at the robot! And then there was Tim who would run ahead so that he could film us walking. He said he wished he had a crane to shoot from, but I tried to point out to him that might not be the most practical thing in the world. We found a nice little spot a little off the main path that was shaded by some trees to sit under. Shade is very important, both to a girl with extremely fair skin and robots.

Tim spread out a blanket for us to sit (I say blanket, but I have since found out it was more like a kitchen curtain) and also brought out cider to drink and the cheesy hot dog cornbread muffins to eat. 011iver had sat on them so they were pretty crumbly. Hot dog chunks were everywhere. I politely suggested they try my cookies instead. Tim rated them a 36 (out of 36) and even 011iver liked the little piece he was able to eat. Getting to drink the cider was a bit of an adventure since the bottle required a bottle opener and none of us had one. 011iver managed to pop the seal with a key, but at this point the cider had been shaken up a little too much and started foaming out. This was a slight problem since Tim had also forgotten to bring napkins and cider is pretty damn sticky. 011iver rated the stickiness at about a 34.

While I was pouring the cider to drink, Tim and 011iver opened their presents: a Luke Skywalker Lego Star Wars pen for Tim and a tie clip for 011iver. My gift was a MBILF mug and some Tonka fruit flavored snacks since they couldn't find any gummi bears. 011iver and I toasted (a couple of times because of course Tim had to make sure he got it filmed) and then poor 011iver dropped his cup. Luckily it did not end up on me. It did make that part of the blanket even sticker though.

As we were talking, we kept having people come up to us and ask to take pictures of 011iver. They seemed to be quite surprised that we were having a date, but I didn't mind them interrupting us since it would show 011iver that lots of people like robots. There were even 2 cute girls that wanted their picture taking with 011iver - and said that they would go out on a date with him as well. I told 011iver it was obvious that all he needed was a female wingman to go out with him. He said that Tim was a bit of a female, but I just don't think Tim would look all the good in a dress. We need to get Chuck to take 011iver out - hed totally get a date then.

Tim had brought along the Connect Four game, so 011iver and I played a round. I actually could have won, but my sleep & food deprived / cider drinking brain completely missed it until after I had dropped my piece in. 011iver ended up winning, which is probably a good thing because I think he would have been rather upset if he lost. As it was, he took a victory lap around the blanket (although, I will admit that I did suggest it).

It was right after the end of the Connect Four game when The Hick Asshole showed up. At first I thought he was drunk, but then it dawned on me that it was just his Southern accent. He was asking what we were doing, and got very upset when he found out we were on a date. He started spouting some crap that humans and robots shouldn't interact with each other. Tim stepped in and took the guy off to the side, but 011iver and I could still hear the guy arguing. It ended with THA yelling that he didn't want to see us around there again, and that he was going to be coming back with his friends to make sure. [And in case you are confused, yes, this whole incident was part of the live event. I had already known about GodHatesRobots.org, so I wasn't that surprised to see someone like him show up. Just suprised that he came so early - I had only been there about 30 minutes.]

This spooked Tim and 011iver, who said they have dealt with guys like that before. They were sure that THA would be back with his friends and that it wasn't worth it to get into a fight. After seeing the Run, Robot, Run video, I do know why neither one would want to get into a physical confrontation. So that was the end of our date. :( I am very sad because I was having fun. I didn't even mind that Tim was being all filmmakery and stuff.

So Tim and 011iver packed up and went home. I decided that I would try to catch the 4:30pm bus back to Binghamton since no one else (like strifey or Siege) decided to visit me while I was in NYC. Bastards - I even brought them presents. But no, they just suck.
I didn't get any photographs taken during the date. Afterwards, I took pictures of the sign and bouquet of broccoli and of the goodies I received from 011iver and Tim.

Tim posted several pictures of 011iver taken before the date on his Flickr and even uploaded one of the Lego pen that I had given him. The video of the date showed up late on Monday evening, and we all watched it together on the Netcast. I especially liked the bits showing 011iver before the date, and the fact that Tim left in his dancing. §
 
Mug Code
The mug that I got from 011iver was actually given to him and Tim by their website sponsor, MBILF. They had told me before the date that they would be giving me something from MBILF that had some code on it that they didn't understand, so I wasn't offended that I was basically regifted. § The binary seems to decode into another set of login instructions, possibly for the Admin Only section of MBILF.
username: 6:45
password: take these when you get <username>
The only problem is that none of the videos on MBILF are 6 minutes and 45 seconds long. The longest video we have is the Date video from Tim and 011iver, but that's not going to work as it was filmed after the mug was made. So it's gotta be something else. Either another video that we haven't found, or another way to read 6:45.
 
God Hates Robots
There has been an issue with the whitelist for my work webfilter, and most of the MLR sites are coming up as being uncategorized despite the fact that they have been categorized (and visible) for over a week now. I'm hoping it will be back to normal tomorrow. In the meantime, it means that if I want to watch any of the videos, I have to go directly to the Must Love Robots YouTube channel to view them. As I was looking through the videos, I noticed that there was a related video that kept popping up. It was God Hates Robot Dogs by God Hates Robots. The video starts off with this cute little robot dog just minding its own business, when someone STOMPS ON IT! What the hell? How could you do that too such a cute little dog? It then ends with the text "Mankind shalt not lie with Robotkind: it is abomination. Hear the Gospel: PastorLudd@godhatesrobots.org"

So it's off to GodHatesRobots.org. Not entirely sure how I can access this website at work, but there is it. There's a couple items in the newsfeed that seem to be stretching the definition of "robot" a bit, but maybe Pastor Ludd (let me pause a moment while I giggle at that name) hates all technology (*snicker*). There may or may not have been a link to MBILF on the website when I first found it that has since been taken down. But it's fairly obvious that the guy who broke up my date on Saturday was part of this congregation.

Pastor Ludd has posted his first sermon to God Hates Robots. I think he took speaking lessons from William Shatner. Because he has that way. Of talking. Where he pauses. Constantly. Before finishing. His thoughts. He's also a bit of a nutter. But then I think that idea is a given. § There are also pictures available showing the church members protesting robots and electronic stores. If the graininess of the blown-up pictures bother you, you can see them better on his Flickr page. You can even print out PDFs of the protest signs. The Robo Sin one is kinda cute. I wonder how hard it would be to modify the image so that it promoted Robo Love instead of protested it.

I have to say, the robots in the pictures don't look all that well. They are all skinny and rusty. I'm sorta afraid that the church members have been holding these robots hostage and torturing and starving them to make them pay for the "sin" of being a robot. If they can stomp a poor innocent robodog to death, these people are capable of doing anything! I suppose I should be lucky that they didn't stomp 011iver to death in front of me. I really hope I don't come home one day and find a box with his (or any other robot's) head in it.
 
New Inactiveware Shirts
There are two new Inactiveware shirt designs! Must Love Robots (which features Tim and 011iver sitting on a couch) and 011iver (just like from the postcards). I'm totally going to be buying tshirts in the next few weeks now. You should too - as all of the proceeds from the tshirt sales are going to One Laptop Per Child, so you're helping out a good cause.

You can also help out by designing a new shirt for Inactiveware. Tim tweeted that 011iver is thinking about having a design contest. Nothing official has been announced, but I don't think that should stop you from coming up with a tshirt design you could submit. Maybe you could even win a free tshirt (or cheesy hot dog cornbread muffins).
 
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See the Intro page for a list of all the websites, plus brief information about this guide and the game.