At DEF CON 20, the badges went Electronic in a big way. My first Defcon, I wanted to get in and really dig my teeth into the badge challenge. As a part of it, I got some more information about how to dig around in the Propeller chip’s head.
This turned into writing a tool to dump the EEPROM that runs the game on-board. There was a lot of help from others, but me and a few choice folk – you know who you are – managed to figure out what was going on when it would dump details to the serial port. There was a lot of wiggling and fiddling that had to go on, but eventually we figured out that there was a chunk of memory that determined if the badge had “seen” a specific set of other badge types.
The badges did exactly what they were intended to do by 1o57: Get people talking to one another. You had to go and dig around in different places to get info about the challenge, and I had authorative dumps of everyone’s badge, virgin Human badges, and even Goon and Merchant badges. Someone managed to get a badge that theoretically was 1057’s personal black badge, but I to this day don’t know if that’s the case.