Standing in line at the college admissions office just a got a whole lot cooler. New puzzles are awaiting the students of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. The school’s new admissions building contains a slew of puzzles that are permanent installations. They were put there by the assistant professor of computer science and game design, Ira Fay.

“I love puzzles, hidden secrets, and treasure hunts. These things will enhance the wonder and delight that visitors to the Kern Center will experience,” said Fay. “My natural inclination for puzzle design often involves ciphers or math-y puzzles, but I want the puzzles themselves to reflect the diversity of creative thought at Hampshire. So I want to include an art puzzle, a written-word puzzle, a science-y puzzle, and more.”

No one at school can say where any of the puzzles are, but did note that there are between 6 and 17 games. Hampshire College’s game design program has been lauded by PC Gamer as one of the best game design undergraduate degrees in the country.

Besides being a professor at Hampsire. Fay is also the CEO of Fay Games, a studio focused on educational games. Before heading for Massachusetts, Fay spent a lot of time around the industry having worked for Electronic Arts and Disney Imagineering, as well as publishing his own board game.

He was partially inspired by one of his courses called Designing a Treasure Hunt. You can view a video of that course above.


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Nicole has been playing games her entire life. Now that she's a mom, she's passionate about promoting games as a healthy pastime to other parents around the globe. She has been an editor at IGN, where she launched and hosted the Girlfight podcast. In her spare time (which is not very much, honestly) she enjoys gaming, reading, and writing fiction. Most of the time she’s a mom to a crazy, intelligent, and exhausting little girl.