Monday, November 8, 2010

ARGs and Me: An Awfully Written Intro

I've realized that, if I were to ever get into the gaming industry, that story would be the thing I would most be interested in crafting rather than the actual mechanics. This is why I've recently been researching ARGs: alternate reality games, where one of the most important factors of the game is to make it seem as realistic as possible... mostly without the aid of a console or a computer. This means MUCH less time spent on mechanics and a whole lot more time spent on creating an interesting narrative.

I'm sure if you're a regular user of the Internet, you've stumbled upon one of these before. I've been somewhat involved in two past games (for Cloverfield and Portal 2) and have come across remnants of others, my favorites so far being the Aperture Science website for Portal (seriously, the employee application is one of the funniest things I've read, and if you want to read it as well, go to the website and type in "login", username: cjohnson, password: tier3, then enter "ls", then "apply") and the seven deadly sins packages/websites for Dante's Inferno (which were less narrative based but definitely raised some general questions about morality). Most recently, I've signed up to finish the end of the Tron Legacy ARG, Flynn Lives, and have started participating in some of the more recent events.

And so far, from what I've seen, ARGs have been closely tied with advertisements for products. Off the top of my head, lonelygirl15 is a sort-of ARG— not a game because this was only comprised of videos —that was able to successfully trick an audience into thinking it was real while at the same time being incredibly engaging. What I really want to do is see how an ARG that isn't based off of some pre-existing product/story could be engaging, fun, and most importantly successful. I don't know if there are already some out there, but I bet that if there aren't, it could be done somehow.

All of that said, here's the first stepping stone in my quest to either search for or make an original ARG from

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