How to find the ETC which is as magical as Hogwarts

I thought it was time to do an introduction to where I’m studying, namely, the Entertainment Technology Center, or ETC for short. I know you all are very interested in what we do here, blah blah, and well we make games which is pretty cool and everything, but I know what you’re more interested in — how do you get to this wonderful magical place??

ETC is supposedly part of CMU, so some of you might scoff at that question. “Just find CMU!” you say. That is where you are gravely wrong.

First, some context. Pittsburgh is a respectable city. Having been here four months, I can safely say that. Despite the fact that the part of Pittsburgh I’m in doesn’t have a subway system, which, as we all know, is a mark of an undeveloped, even barbaric, piece of wilderness, I daresay Pittsburgh is respectable.


This is where people think of when you mention CMU. It has great classical-ish-looking buildings, a reasonable amount of food, and cars moving at maybe 10 – 20 miles an hour as in any area with signs of human life. About every CMU building is there, as one would reasonably expect.


This is where the ETC actually is. Cast off from the rest of civilisation, separated from humanity by five roads of cars, trucks, lorries, insert term for huge vehicle, going at 45, 50 miles an hour, ETC is flanked by Techs Industries, Ansaldo STS USA, and Braskem. Yes, we have “Technology” in our name, but, uh, did anyone tell whoever plonked us here that we don’t have manufacturing processes involving hammering steel sheets or processing petrochemicals or even processing anything physical at all?? Except maybe the occasional wooden rocking horse?

rocking horse

The occasional rocking horse

“Ok, I found it on the map. What’s the big hoohah about finding it?” Wrong again, my skeptical reader. If unguided, you might figure that the shortest way from point A to point B is a straight line, or, in this case, as far as a straight line can go across the white paths:


Most logical path if you get off on fifth avenue, right?? Well this is what happens if you try. First you get onto the bridge, which is that vertical line, which is called Birmingham bridge:


And then you walk:


I’m sure you realise this picture is quite some distance from the last one, you can tell from the bridge size and from seeing quite a few differences in scale in your time

And walk and walk and walk and HEY why is Google telling you that you’re past that convenient right-angled turn you planned so brilliantly for yourself?

This is where I come in, as your personal guide! With step by step instructions on how to walk! Discovering thrills along the way to my magical school:


Get off at the stop over here and head to Moultrie. It all seems quite ordinary if deserted and dilapidated which are the perfect ingredients for waiting for a bus at night


Head down Moultrie and turn left to Forbes


Head straight on Forbes and turn right under the bridge (this is actually the route Google recommended! Except it’s slightly hard to tell depth on a top-down map. Some say it’s impossible but who are they to know?)



The road under the bridge you’re supposed to turn into from Forbes



You think you’ve got this, you’re merrily walking down the pavement… Also btw you might have noticed the street lamps. Or lack thereof. Oh well, who needs such things as streetlamps when you have the headlights of oncoming ca-



…hey what happened to that pavement?!






I guess that’s how the headlights of oncoming cars are more effective eh, when you’re closer to them?



It’s the end of the road! We get to have pavements after we go straight, crossing second avenue and turning left! Also some streetlamps


Look at that glorious pavement!



Remember the part where I mentioned huge lorries and trucks and vehicles going at over 40 miles an hour? This is where it becomes relevant. There’s nothing quite as effective in making one feel the majesty of the universe when one is a tiny human being walking alongside big roaring monsters…



That speed limit is a lie. Also obviously the Google truck is just facing a situation all of us have faced before: being stuck behind a slow-ass truck



We’re still walking along this lovely path, sometimes stopping to smell the roses, and permanently smelling the exhaust of this truck


Your destination is on your right! We’ve arrived!

Well you do have an alternative to feeling the majesty of the universe:


The sign says Private property No trespassing but who understanded Engrish anyway

And there it is, the mystery of how to find ETC! This is a secret not known to many, including Uber drivers who have driven to main campus and were utterly stumped by our absence. It’s as magical as Hogwarts! It’s like Diagon Alley without the shops! It’s like Sirius Black’s house! It’s like, it’s like, it’s like the Quidditch World Cup site! What seems to be rubbish to muggles contains worlds beyond your imagination!

Like this one of a psycho killer. I didn’t make this. Some other group did.


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