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Make an Alternate Reality Game!
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Make an Alternate Reality Game!

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For the Museum Computer Network Conference 2011.

For the Museum Computer Network Conference 2011.

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  • An Alternate Reality Game consists of three elements: an underlying narrative or story, a series of challenges or puzzles, and a collaborative community.
  • An Alternate Reality Game starts off with a premise and asks players to imagine such an alternative world and document their responses to it – through content on a simple platform. This becomes the game content. People discussed each other’s submissions, added and made changes to their original inputs, and may even have voted for the best contributions. The game progressed, on multiple parallel threads. By getting people involved in contributing ideas and perspectives, maybe some unique high impact solutions result.
  • I Love Bees was launched in 2004 to promote the release of the Xbox game “Halo”. It offered several clues, initially through two different channels: (a) FedEx packages were sent to 20 digital gamers and the packages contained honey bottles with the letters for I Love Bees suspended in them and at least one person posted his thoughts about it on a blog, and (b) The web site was displayed for a fraction of a second during an Halo trailer shown at movie theaters. Visitors to the web site found what looked to be a page infected by a mysterious computer virus from the future (Halo 2). World Without Oilasked players to imagine such a world and then document their responses to it – through blog posts, videos, images, and even e-mails.
  • The I Love Bees design team had three main responsibilities: Storyteller, Community Lead, Technology Support & Sound Effects.
  • For Sherry Turkle, "We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with." In the book Evocative Objects, Turkle collects writings by scientists, humanists, artists, and designers that trace the power of everyday things. One storytelling strategy is to use an evocative object – an object that is an emotional and intellectual companions that anchors memories, sustain relationships, and provoke new ideas.
  • The ARG team needs to work closely with museum staff to keep the game story consistent with the host program or project. Transmedia guru LanceWeilerexplains how he designs and builds story worlds to extend stories across more than one screen, maximize audience engagement and tap into new sources of funding.
  • Brainstorming your theme or story may uncover new discoveries (like a lost culture or sunken island) which might be an interesting storyline. Also consider the various formats that can be used to deliver the story content, based on your target users/audience.
  • Design your community. . An ARG is only as good as the people who engage with it. Create a simple platform where participants will most likely communicate and collaborate (blog, wiki, etc.). A community webpage can be integrated into the core challenge site, and show personal profiles, community discussions, chats and private messaging to support participants' discussion of the challenges and story. Creating a Facebook page may be a good free solution for this.
  • Depending on the number of people attending create one team or more which will follow this general plan.
  • On September 10, 2011, Pete Ryland cracked The Code and took home the coveted prize, a unique bronze and silver mathematical sculpture by Bathsheba Grossman. The lead-up to the tense finale was a collaborative transmedia treasure hunt centered around the three-part BBC2 show The Code, presented by Marcus du Sautoy. The game was designed by Six to Start, working with the BBC from the beginning to integrate clues and puzzles seamlessly within the broadcasts.

Transcript

  • 1. Online classic collaborative puzzles research mini-games puzzlesIndividual Group urban quests flash mobs treasure groups hunts problem- solving Real world
  • 2. Online classic collaborative puzzles research mini-games puzzlesIndividual Group urban quests flash mobs treasure groups hunts problem- solving Real world