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Are you playing the common-reading game, Order of the Crimson Key?  Prizes! Knowledge! Experiences!  And (hint, hint) you may already have game points!

This game, created by faculty and staff, aligns with this year’s book, Ready Player One, and program goals to increase your engagement with the campus and learning activities.

If you attended any Common Reading events or related programming, you probably already have points. Learn how to double them. Do things to add more points.

Everyone with 9 points is eligible for prizes. If you have 9 points by Feb. 9, you are eligible to compete for a $300 scholarship. If you have 9 points by March 9, you are eligible to enter a raffle to win…

  • Tickets to the local premier of the Steven Spielberg movie, Ready Player One, released in March and based on this year’s Common Reading book!
  • CRIMZONE football passes for Dad’s Weekend 2018
  • Gift cards to local businesses
  • Signed Common Reading posters by RPO author and screenwriter Ernest Cline (who visited Pullman in August)
  • Cougar gear

The Top 5 scorers by March 9 will win…

  • Dinner with WSU President and First Lady Kirk and Noel Schulz
  • Movie premier tickets to our local theatre (and limo transportation to it and back)

Learn more about the game and how to get points (fast) at

NEW spring events are listed on the Calendar page!  Attend and win Order of the Crimson Key points!

Faculty: Considering RPO for classes? Request a desk copy.

How Do I Score Points?

It’s easy, but remember: The Order of the Crimson Key game ends March 9!

You’ll learn new things. You’ll compete with others. Points add up quickly, and they can multiply!

The point is: You need at least 9 points to that to be eligible to compete for the Common Reading Crimson Key Challenge Scholarship (by Feb. 9), or to be in the raffle to win any number of prizes (by March 9). You could win VIP access to the late March premier of the RPO movie version in our local theatre, dinner with WSU President and First Lady Kirk and Noel Schulz, a limo ride to the theatre (and back), gift cards to local businesses, access to play on an Oculus Rift, and more!

Details of the game are at

  • Learn about the five Challenge Phases (only 2 time blocks are left before the March 9 deadline!)
  • Study the Four Arms of the game: Gray (Expand Your Mind), White (Challenge Your Awareness), Black (Explore Your Surroundings), and Gold (Experience Life at WSU)
  • Get points for just getting points! Become a n00b or explorer or gunter and boost your chances in the prize raffle.

Here are some ideas on earning points, based on the phases and arms:

GRAY KEY:  Attend Common Reading events (or other events that offer “Common Reading attendance verification available” notice). See the Common Reading Calendar for ideas, or check for listed events the Common Reading on CougSync page. Points double if you attend 2 in 1 phase of the game.

WHITE KEY: Answer a Ready Player One trivia question. A new one appears in the Daily Evergreen classified ads every week. Points double if you answer 3 or more in a month.

BLACK KEY: Solve the Black Key challenge puzzles. Get 1 point for each correctly solved clue; double those points by completing the entire challenge. Check the Common Reading website page for the Black Key.

GOLD KEY: Attend Gold Key bonus events that are posted on the CougSync site for the Common Reading. These are worth 1 point each.

Good luck!  Level up!

About Our Program

What Is a Common Reading?

A common reading is one way to create community connections among students, and between students and their professors, residence hall staff, and others. Topics in a selected book are examined throughout the year by members of the university community. They spark discussions and intellectual conversations in and beyond classrooms, highlight WSU research and the diversity of ideas across disciplines, and introduce different ways to explore complex issues from a variety of perspectives.

Learn more >>