alternate reality games

The concept of alternative reality games has been kicking around since 1996 but in the last couple of years has considerably grown beyond the promotional media we all know and love from people like NIN, Lost and Microsoft.

This interview with Dr. Jane McGonigal (founder of Avantgame) explains how some of the more socially-ambitous effects of ARGs can be explored (an example is Superstruct). Give the lady a couple of points at plusoneme.com if this rings any bells for you.

var so = new FlashObject (“http://natalie.feedroom.com/bizweektv/player/Player.swf”, “Player”, “320”, “240”, “8”, “#cccccc”);so.addVariable(“skin”, “player”);so.addVariable(“site”, “bizweektv”);so.addVariable(“fr_story”, “4ff1e4b3a9adab1fad937c0f767acc92c93cf3ae”);so.addVariable(“hostURL”,”document.location.href”);so.addVariable(“videoratio”, “43”);so.addParam(“menu”, “false”);so.addParam(“quality”,”high”);so.addParam(“allowFullScreen”,”true”);so.addParam(“allowScriptAccess”,”always”);so.write(“flashcontent”);The construction of a story with social capital via gaining ‘useful’ information or media resonates deep within people. Whether it’s the gamer looking for Easter Eggs, that schweet bit of merch or sneak preview of something larger, the social use of ARGs as described by Dr. McGonigal promises a few more twists on a familiar story.


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