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‘Million Piece Mission’ jigsaw features National Museum of USAF

Air Force Recruiting Service joined the trend of virtual jigsaw puzzles with the launch of an online challenge of piecing together a 1.03 gigapixel image from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to inspire and engage with the American public,” said Maj. Ross McKnight, chief of the National Events Branch at AFRS, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. “The ‘Million Piece Mission’ is a challenging and interactive way to experience the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force while learning about careers and opportunities in the Air Force.”

As users enter the mission on www.AirForcepuzzle.com , they see the full image that shows a collection of aircraft on display at the museum’s fourth building. This image was captured after the building’s opening in 2016 by photographer John Opie. As a puzzle, the image contains 3,000 tiles and a total of 1.2 million pieces.

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According to National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Director David Tillotson, the museum was thrilled to be approached by Air Force Recruiting Service about using an image of the museum’s fourth building for a virtual puzzle.

“The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Recruiting Services have similar missions to inspire youth toward careers in the U.S. Air Force,” said Tillotson. “So it’s a perfect fit for the world’s largest military aviation museum to be featured on the world’s largest virtual puzzle.”

When users enter the website there will be a short introduction video. Then users can see the cursors of other players working on the puzzle in real time. They can choose to work alone or with other players to complete a section of the puzzle and can even invite friends into a tile room to help complete the section. It was divided into thousands of separate tile rooms to make the puzzle more manageable. These rooms vary in level of difficulty.

“The mission will require highly motivated, independent and mentally tough individuals with attention to detail in order to complete,” said McKnight. “Those are the exact same traits we need in the next-generation Airmen and, just like the puzzle, we want the best qualified applicant with the right job at the right time.”

As users complete a tile room, they earn points based on the number of pieces they assemble, the amount of time spent on the section and the complexity of the image. Points are updated in real time to a universal leaderboard, creating friendly global competition. Users have the option to play as a guest or create a username and password to save their progress and enjoy other benefits, including unlocking content, and interesting facts that, until now, could only be seen by visiting the museum in person.

“With school out, many camps closed and not a lot of places to go outside yet, we hope this puzzle provides families and friends with something fun to do together. From across their living room or from across the country. Leave it to the U.S. Air Force to make the most technologically advanced jigsaw puzzle in the world,” said Jeff Maki, senior VP, group creative director, GSD&M.

“Million Piece Mission” is free to play and can be accessed on AirForcePuzzle.com by desktop and mobile devices. Austin-based full-service creative agency GSD&M – the U.S. Air Force’s creative partner for 20 years – envisioned this concept, along with development partner, Active Theory.

About GSD&M

Founded in 1971, GSD&M is a creatively driven, full-service agency headquartered in Austin, Texas, that believes when you pay the price to understand the problem and apply that insight to solve courageously, the reward is ideas that make a difference. With a restless culture and purpose as a guiding force, GSD&M builds brands with a fully integrated creative, media and analytics approach. For more information, visit GSDM.com.

About National Museum of U.S. Air Force

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year more than 800,000 visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.

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