Alternate Reality Gaming (also known as beasting, unfiction, or immersive fiction) is an interactive fusion of creative writing, puzzle-solving, and team-building, with a dose of role playing thrown in. It utilizes several forms of media in order to pass clues to the players, who solve puzzles in order to win pieces of the story being played out.
Clues can be passed through web pages, email, voicemail, snail mail, television advertisements, movie posters, campus billboards, newspaper classifieds… really, in any way that information can be passed.
Many times, the puzzles that must be solved cannot be solved alone. This genre of game almost requires participation in a group or community that works together to win past the more difficult hurdles.
Beasting is unique in that it wouldn't be possible without the community-building and networking power of the Internet. Besides the obvious fact that there would be no web pages or email in which to hide clues, it would be nearly impossible for the diverse audience to coordinate the sheer amount of data, speculation, and solutions among players.