Update: More posted here. The SL Future Salon on ARGs will meet in the 5th floor auditorium of Sheep Tower (<--SLURL) at 4 PM PST, Monday, November 27th (if all goes well the tower will be talking to us ;)). Destroy Television
will be present so you can watch, listen, and chat from the web, and
the audio URL will be made available for overflow. IM SNOOPYbrown
Zamboni/Jerry Paffendorf with any questions. And heya, Boing Boing readers, come on inworld.
Thanks to those on the SL Future Salon Yahoo! group who chipped in with thoughts on this one: On Monday, November 27th from 4-5 PM PST the Second Life Future Salon will meet on the topic of alternate reality games or ARGs with Clickable Culturist and ARG designer man Tony Walsh; I Love Bees-making 42 Entertaiment creative Elan Lee; Adrian Hon and/or Dan Hon from Mind Candy, the creators of Purplex City, and me on the 1s and 2s. Please send any ideas for questions or topics for these guys to jerry[at]electricsheepcompany[dot]com, and I’ll post an outline and location later this week.
An alternate reality game (ARG) is a type of game that overlaps the game world with reality, by utilizing real world media, in order to deliver an interactive narrative experience to the players — a kind of surrealism.
ARGs are typified by involving the players with the story and its characters, by encouraging them to explore the story, solve plot based challenges, and interact with game characters. ARGs can be delivered via websites, email, telephones, or any other means of communication which is readily available to the players.
ARGs are growing in popularity, with new games appearing regularly. They tend to be free to play, with costs absorbed either through supporting products (collectable puzzle cards in the case of Perplex City) or because they support or promote an existing product (Halo 2 in the case of I Love Bees).
Tony points me to some thoughts by Bryan Alexander that popped up on the Infocult blog yesterday, who’s riffing with Andy Havens (probably my favorite commentor on Terra Nova) about ARGs in virtual worlds like Second Life. Since Destroy TV came on the scene (she’s now streaming video after the big move to Chris and Becky’s place) I’ve thought about ARGs and involving people in co-creating massive stories quite a lot (how can something like DTV take on a life of its own?), and the recent Wired cover article on lonelygirl15 and how it came about completely pushed me over the edge. I’m completely hooked on ideas for stories that are platforms for people’s creativity and involvement. More on that later in the week as we approach the salon, and of course nothing but that stuff at the salon. I’m psyched.