A Man Is Convinced He Is A Genius After Beating The Witness

Andrew Albright
3 min readMay 8, 2021
a puzzle only a genius could understand, apparently

The suburbs of Utah have always found themselves on the border between breathtakingly peaceful and painfully mundane. Many Utahns have an affinity for this atmosphere, and hardly notice the Cities: Skylines-esque simulation encompassing their lives.

However, a man named Jared, currently living in American Fork, has claimed he finally broke free of this “normie” world, after gaining the ability to see the environment from a different perspective. In other words, Jared finally completed The Witness, a puzzle game released in 2016.

“I did it,” Jared said, “I beat the whole thing. Every puzzle. Every audio file, every video. Everything. I’m a goddamn genius!”

Jared, 27, sat at his desk in his mother’s basement, taking a sip from his thermoflask of room temperature water. He propped up his feet onto his desk while reclining in his $300 gamer chair. A Fight Club poster hung above his PC monitor, which he repeatedly assured me that it ran at 240hz. His D.Va coffee mug sat on a Star Wars coaster next tothe corner of his desk, with a little bit of coffee left from his morning brew.

“I don’t know anyone else who has beaten the game. And if they have beaten [The Witness], then they probably didn’t fully understand it.”

Jared threw out his arms toward me as if he was holding a platter of valuable information in the palms of his hands.

“Like, it’s a deep game. It’s way deeper than just doing puzzles!” he frantically explained to me.

The Witness is often described as a “a bunch of line puzzles” across the 18 to 40 year old male demographic on the usual stomping grounds for this demographic (Reddit, Twitter, YouTube comment section). Jared frequently visits many of these websites, and has been sharing his achievement with other users in an effort to prove that he is, in fact, a genius.

“So I guess I’m the first person to beat The Witness,” Jared smirked as he typed the introductory sentence of his Reddit post in r/gaming. “Haven’t seen anyone else do it. And it’s understandable, cuz it’s a really difficult game. I played it for hours. Some of the puzzles I had to leave and come back to, because some puzzles were really hard, even for me! And when I realized that…SPOILER ALERT…there were lines I could trace in the environment…goddamn. I’m pretty sure I’m the first person to figure it out.”

Jared was not the first person to figure it out, but in an attempt to remain as an unbiased journalist, I decided not to correct him. I regret this decision.

Jared went on to talk about the game’s depth. “And the game is super deep. Like, there’s this video about science vs art, and a video of a guy holding a candle while walking. I’m not sure you other people would get it. I mean, there are even puzzles within the videos. It’s just way too complex to explain, and even if I could, I just don’t think any of you would get it. And that’s like, just one of the themes of the game.”

After Jared posted his gloating essay demonstrating his pompous attitude, our interview was cut short because his Mom stormed into the basement.

“You left this bowl of macaroni and cheese in the washer. What the hell is wrong with you?!”