Archive for the ‘compendium’ 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.


Adrian Hon, Perplex City

Thursday, May 5th, 2005
With recent developments surrounding 333 mysterious parcels being delivered to people around the world, and more specifically with the speculative meaning in the contents thereof, many questions were raised about the direction this game was taking. Perplex City is an ambitious project, first announced in February of 2004. In pre-game teaser episodes, it has run the standard alternate reality gaming gauntlet, from email puzzles and blogs to mysterious videos and live one-time events. These episodes have built a steady following among the ARG community over the past year. When a recent puzzle solution led to a sign-up page to receive a posted package, which turned out to contain a set of puzzle cards along with assorted Perplex City swag, chaos ensued as players tried to determine how they fit with the game so far.

Of course, the most obvious route to enlightenment was through Adrian Hon, currently known as "Executive Producer and Director of Play, Mind Candy Design" and the joint lead PuppetMaster behind this alternate reality game. It is unknown whether Mr. Hon was required to relinquish his duties as "Acting Ambassador Plenipotentiary to Perplex City" in order to take up his new post but we're hoping that, at the very least, the pay is better. Anyway, the point is he probably knows a thing or two about stuff and we figured he could set us straight.



Monday, November 1st, 2004
November 2004
Tag: On October 15th, Cassandra Kiddo, Sarah's grandmother, passed away. Police say it was an accident. Sarah is not so sure.
Trailhead: Sarah's Blog
Gametype: Independent