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The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Mobile Management, 3° trimestre 2014
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ARG Panel at VWLondon

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Notes from ARG Panel at Virtual Worlds London,

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ARG Panel at VWLondon

  1. 1. ARGs and Virtual Worlds Dan Hon CEO Six To Start Foe Romeo Head of Digital Media National Maritime Museum Kim Plowright Production Mgr Oil productions Roo Reynolds Portfolio Executive, Social Media BBC Vision
  2. 2. ARGs and Virtual Worlds ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) have become a hot topic in recent months. It's hard not to think of an ARG as a virtual world in which the interfaces (including websites, email, text message, even telephones) are those we know from everyday life. Is there even more to them than that? Recent franchise tie-ins raise startling questions about business models, while war-stories about user engagement will be of interest to any virtual world designer. Do virtual worlds have anything to learn from ARGs?
  3. 3. Dan Hon • CEO, Six to Start • alternate reality game and cross-platform entertainment production company • Since 2001, the Beast (MSFT promotion for AI) • COO at Mind Candy for Perplex City • We Tell Stories for Penguin • The Shadow War - Puffin • Spooks: Code 9, Liberty News - BBC (Kudos)
  4. 4. What is an ARG? • intersection between story and game play • story + narrative + game design • platform agnostic (online is the glue) • immersive entertainment experience that uses any platform it can get its hands on
  5. 5. Kim Plowright • 10 years in television, web, games, drama • production manager at Oil Productions • an interactive entertainment studio • studio rather than agency • large educational ARG for UK broadcaster • previously:, BBC
  6. 6. Why do people play ARGs? What’s the appeal? • combination of challenge and delight • surprising yourself and letting yourself play along • unexpected and transporting experiences • cerebral pleasure
  7. 7. Foe Romeo • [Head of Digital Media, National Maritime Museum] • produced Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom • produced Science of Spying at Science Museum
  8. 8. ARGs are in their infancy • not many people have played ARGs • breadth of interactivity • new ability: interact with fictional character as if it was a human being • natural interfaces • the internet is the glue
  9. 9. Having people in the process • designing an experience using technology is constrained • experience which uses people (staff or players) is flexible
  10. 10. User Generated Content in ARGs • a game gives a reason to participate • book-writing example from Perplex City • story and gameplay as a driver for UGC • adding purpose
  11. 11. Incentives do you need a prize? • reward is helpful as a PR hit • all about the experience • in players’ interest to recruit other players
  12. 12. ARGs vs VWs • depends on the virtual world experience • ARG is on-rails (e.g. a game, an MMO) • social VWs reward habitation • ARGs construct a narrative thread • flexibility of an ARG to reach people where they already (and will) hang out
  13. 13. ARGs vs TV • ARG as scripted TV show • narrative closure • seasons • using the right interaction method for the story • example: ‘we’d love to use QR codes’ • use the platform in most natural way
  14. 14. Endings ARG (can) have a finite nature • finite investment; time-bound • for both investors and players • something very sad about the slow death of a community • easier to manage if there’s a narrative
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  17. 17. Replay • most experiences are ‘live’ and over when they’re over • how can we make them re-playable? • how can we jump to the best bits?
  18. 18. Metrics • always interest in metrics, especially from broadcasters • we can show engagement • the Department for Culture, Media and Sport moving to system of peer-review • moving from quantitate to qualitative
  19. 19. (Brand) Engagement • something powerful about fleeting moments, narrative epiphanies • moving moments used to ‘fix’ the message • example: Superstruct ( • ARG players are playing as themselves, not a character • carrying the experience with you
  20. 20. Re-Telling of ARG has anyone done a re-telling of an ARG? • no • model: epistolary novel • there is fan fiction • live nature means no retelling • re-play, yes. re-telling, not yet
  21. 21. Alternate Goods could there be ARG assets with RL value? • Perplex City ARG from Mind Candy • collectible card game with rarity model • value in the IP: franchise, characters • artifacts in instantiations • intangible assets: sell your leveled-up char? • could you sell your experiences?
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  23. 23. Thank You
  • jodelima

    Feb. 2, 2010
  • rodolfoegarcia

    Sep. 2, 2009
  • Rotwildhenry

    May. 5, 2009
  • jaakkokeskari

    Nov. 23, 2008

Notes from ARG Panel at Virtual Worlds London,


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