GC2 Mission Network

Vanishing Leaves is a location-based mobile experience which takes players to Brooklyn Heights to learn about Walt Whitman in the neighborhood where he wrote and published the first edition of Leaves of Grass.

In this game you play Agent Singer, an undercover operative working for the Great Companions. This underground network of citizens, hackers, and educators works behind the scenes to protect writers and works of literature from forces determined to censor and suppress them. Recently, an unknown enemy emerged that has been threatening to wipe Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass from human memory. You must stop them and uncover the perpetrator’s identity before it is too late.

This page provides detailed information regarding your mission and instructions for playing the game.

Game Time: Approximately 2 1/2 hours.

Can’t get to Brooklyn Heights? Go to the “Getting Started” page, follow the instructions, and  play the “Vanishing Leaves: Play at Home” version. 

This video details how to download and play Vanishing Leaves, a location-based mobile experience that takes you to Brooklyn Heights to learn about Walt Whitman’s life and work. 1.Downloading ARIS-00:18; 2.Getting the Game-1:16; 3.The Main Menu-1:53; 4.The Map Interface-2:22; 5.Moving Between Locations-3:00; 6.Conversations-5:50; 7.Mission Files-6:19; 8.Audio Files-7:00 9.GeoUploads-7:20


In order to play Vanishing Leaves you first need to download the ARIS (Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling) application to your mobile device. This critical briefing walks you through getting set up and the technical specifications required to play the game.

Access File


This file provides information on how to play the Vanishing Leaves game including how to navigate the main game interface.

Access File


This walk-through demonstrates how to successfully create GeoUpload files, place-based composing exercises which are required to complete the game.

Access File


This location-based game is designed to be played in Brooklyn Heights. Find out how to get there!

Access File

Operation Vanishing Leaves

About a month ago, booksellers, private collectors, universities, and libraries started receiving substantial offers from an anonymous buyer for their first edition copies of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Those that refused had their copies stolen in a series of highly sophisticated thefts. In a matter of weeks, all existing first edition copies of the book had been acquired from both private and public collections. Then, this morning, an online virus called “Mower” was released that took down every webpage containing Whitman’s poetry and prose, as well as all scholarship pertaining to him and his work. Online booksellers (even e-commerce giant Big Books) were forced to discontinue offering Whitman’s works after their product pages were hacked. In each instance, the content on the webpage was replaced by a mysterious snake logo and the text, “ophidia in herba.”

Several of our technical agents scoured the code of these hacked pages and discovered a secret audio link embedded in the snake image. Review the audio message below.

Agent Singer, if what this recording says is true, Leaves of Grass is in danger of becoming a lost work, forgotten forever by humankind. Your mission is to save it and Walt Whitman from obscurity and discover who is behind this plot.

Mission Team

A team of specialized agents has been assembled to assist you with your mission and provide you with important information and objectives. Learn more about the Great Companions and your team!