A cross-media genre of interactive fiction using multiple delivery and communications media, including television, radio, newpapers, Internet, email, SMS, telephone, voicemail, and postal service. Gaming is typically comprised of a secret group of PuppetMasters who author, manipulate, and otherwise control the storyline, related scenarios, and puzzles and a public group of players, the collective detective that attempts to solve the puzzles and thereby win the furtherance of the story.
When the player community relies on automated scripts to discover page updates.
Arguably the granddaddy of the genre. Although it was preceded by the "Publius Enigma," a promotion for the Division Bell album by Pink Floyd, the Beast was more successful in attracting a mainstream and diverse audience. This alternate reality game was set in the A.I. movie universe and centered around the mysterious death of Evan Chan.
Using a program to bombard a site with scripted input or page requests in order to 'solve' a form-based puzzle or discover hidden directories or pages.
A team of players that works together to attempt to solve puzzles and find the hidden bits, thereby winning the furtherance of the story. Term coined by Cloudmaker Alex in post number eight to the Cloudmakers List.
The line separating players from puppetmasters. As in, "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."
The original Trail blazer.
Arguably the very name that touched off the entire alternate reality gaming genre.
One who follows games or board discussions without directly participating. Past game stats show that the ratio of lurkers to active players is typically anywhere from 5:1 to 20:1 depending on the scale and nature of the game.
The phenomenon of an Alternate Reality Game being unexpectedly canceled before it can conclude, leaving players, who have invested countless hours and effort, twisting in the wind.
An individual working "behind the curtain" to control an alternate reality game.
The initial site, page, or clue that brings someone into the game.
An intentional or unintentional distraction that diverts the players from the path to a solution and sends them off on a wild tangent, sometimes involving hippopotami and peanut butter.
A step above a lurker, a rubbernecker may attend game chats, post on the board, and contribute to solves. However, he or she avoids having any direct contact with in-game characters and may choose not to register via in-game websites.
sha'ZAM 1. n. a total and complete success (he pulled off a shazam in the hockey game last night), 2. v. to be totally and completely successful (Billy sure shazammed that other player in euchre tonight, huh?)
Use in moderation, and ONLY with the express written consent of jamesi.
n. 1. An employee or representative of a company who poses as a consumer, player or satisfied customer in an attempt to create interest in his product. 2. One who poses as a satisfied customer or an enthusiastic gambler to dupe bystanders into participating in a swindle.
(Short for speculation.) Used as a noun or a verb, as in "I specced yesterday that Vad was in love with Barbie, then I read someone else's spec saying the opposite and decided he was in love with me instead." [Variant: Spac. Speculation that is so intentionally wild and off the mark that it ventures into the territory of completely different games or subject matter. "Dude! Get away from me with your crazy spac!"]
Hiding a secret message by concealing it within another medium, such that the secret message is undetectable unless you know to look for it. For example, a message might be hidden within an image by changing the least significant bits to be the message bits.
Trout is a term coined by Cloudmaker Dan Fabulich during the Beast. In his own words, it means "Listen, I respect you. It's great that you're here and posting and that we're working together for a common goal. Nonetheless, I have some polite criticisms." Trout is a term of respect that replaces the need to say "you're redundant!" with a courteous term that acknowledges the hard work involved even in redundant efforts.