Archive for the ‘features’ Category

Undefining ARG

Friday, November 10th, 2006

A few years ago, in the midst of my first draft of a trail for Lockjaw, an early alternate reality game, I came up with that very term (yes, I am that particular idiot), for the lack of any better way to quickly convey a feeling for what might be involved in the information that followed, catalogued on that page in excruciating detail. That same impetus to try to categorize a nascent genre, to distill a definition into a more memorable soundbite, drove me to create the Unfiction site, mainly because I realized that I could not define the genre so easily as I might have wished. This site became my surrogate definition; instead of repeatedly explaining at length what these "things" were, the idea went, I could just point people to the site instead. As has been readily apparent to those active in the ARG community, however, there has never been any collectively agreeable, concrete description of alternate reality games.

So here's where where I tell you that I have a way to define alternate reality gaming in such a fashion as to prove to you that I cannot in fact define it at all. While the previous statement may seem nonsensical, I encourage you to bear with me. The following is written with the assumption that the reader has some passing familiarity with the history, mechanics, and gameplay of ARGs.


Organic Farming

Saturday, April 1st, 2006
by SpaceBass

An editorial reply.

I wrote the following in response to a recent article on ARGN by Larry Eisner, "Building Fences," and the resulting discussion that it sparked among the ARGN staff. I was thankful that both had forced me to articulate some concrete thoughts about why things are the way they are with respect to the unforums, beyond just "it's always been that way" or "it feels right" and I am curious to see how the wider community might respond.


A Hot, Steaming Pile of ARGTalk

Monday, July 4th, 2005
An editorial by Jamesi

For a while now, I've wanted to chime in on ARGTalk, a self-proclaimed "balanced and fair" website that originally advertised itself as the first site to print the reviews, rumors, and speculation "the other ARG news sites are afraid to post." Now with the recent transformation from Meta site to ARG game, ARGTalk has gone under the microscope as community members try to make sense of what the true purpose of the site is, and whether or not this is a shift from its original mission. In this writer's humble opinion, however, ARGTalk has failed as a neutral, supportive site, regardless of whether it is real or make-believe.


Uncapping the Ride – BMW Endgame Gives Hope

Sunday, January 12th, 2003
by Steve Peters
Beginning in 2001, BMW released a series of short films showcasing their cars. Each film starred Clive Owen as the "Driver" alongside many famous actors, and each was directed by such notables as Ang Lee, John Woo, Guy Ritchie, and John Frankenheimer. News eventually surfaced in a Macintosh rumors forum that the Apple site had a mysterious tiny :K: link which seemed to have something to do with those BMW films. Investigation of the subplot films that went along with each production revealed clues to a massive internet scavenger hunt set in the Driver's universe that spanned many sites, including the Apple and BMW Films sites, Starbucks, First Illinois Mortgage, and the Susstones' site.

Several thousand people took the bait and followed the trail, which ultimately led to the chance to register to win a brand new 2003 BMW Z4. Last night's event in Las Vegas, Nevada, was the culmination of their quest. Only 250 people completed the online portion and registered to win the car, and many of them travelled from all over North America to meet the man with the forks. Unfiction's Vegas Correspondent, Steve Peters, was there.


ARG Player Unexpectedly Wins $2,200 Cash

Monday, September 9th, 2002
by vpisteve

The "Search4e" Alternate Reality Game, sometimes known as "Second State" or "Where is Ed Sobian?" had a surprise for some of its players recently. Unbeknownst to some of the folks who were playing, there was real treasure waiting for some of them, including antique coins valued at over $2,200.