ARG summaries

Storytelling 2.0: Alternate Reality Games

This interview was with Elan Lee and Sean Stewart of Fourth Wall Studios. To summarize, the article discussed the marketing plans behind Alternate Reality Games and what events they have been used for. Not directly mentioned in this reading, but a point that came to mind is the ARG not only markets the product at hand but it also generates revenue in other ways. Considering the numerous ways that people communicate for ARG and the amount of time and effort involved I can imagine a strong future. Evolution of ARG is already progressing although I had never heard of this genre until last semester. As Lee says, traditional ARG is something you had to be there for and if you missed it you missed it. Today, that is changing, now it is a much longer and complex ordeal. I appreciate the ARG can be more structured, like a graphic design/marketing approach or loosely structure for entertainment purpose. I believe that companies like Fourth Wall will continue to push the world to use ARG more frequently.

Alternate Reality Gaming
Jeffrey Kim, Jonathan Allen, Elan Lee

ARG is described as new genre of digital gaming aiming at an illusion of real world experience. Real world and the digital world are ideally consolidated into one realm. Although games in the past have hinted to this effect, it has never been so intensive. With the internet and wireless communication ever evolving ARGs are increasing in regularity. “The Beast” and “ILoveBees” are among the original Alternate Reality Games. Successful ARG have compelling storytelling and collaborative play. These are a must within the ARG society. Games need consistent involvement throughout the process. Massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) is different in that they compete against the computer characters in a 3d world, whereas AR gamers collaborate and complete a story with little guidance. ILoveBees is interesting to me not solely based on the fact that it gained in popularity so fast, but the way the monitoring employees tried to handle the workload. I am curious in how they approached the exponentially growing situation. Going from one hundred people to three million in twelve weeks is quite a feat. Aside from the shear power and growth of and other ARG, I would like to know what the motivating factor behind these lifestyles is. I understand that being interconnected with many people working towards one goal can give a sense of camaraderie, yet there has to be more hiding in the background. Is it the fact that people are put in a position of power? It is the fact that many people are not happy with their everyday life? Or maybe it is simply a means of adventure. Judging from our past experience with games such as World of Warcraft, I am sure that these types of games can produce the same or even worse addictions. Although extreme as it may sound, there are cases involving deaths due to game play such as a South Korean child suffocating because the parent was too involved in World of Warcraft. Regardless, I hope to find out what is so fascinating with this genre of gaming. Furthermore, after reading this article in depth I initially thought about the “six degrees of separation.” In my opinion, this is a prime example. Six degrees of separation is a theory stating on average people are metaphorically six steps away from each other. As random as it may seem, with the ever growing ARG world this studied “Six degrees” has the potential to shrink. Overall, this article helped to describe ARG and clear up some misconceptions I previously had.

One thought on “ARG summaries

  1. Good, informed summaries of articles. The best parts are when you note which parts of the articles really fascinated you, and also when you interject your own thoughts, questions, and knowledge into your writings; when you bring something else to the summary.

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