Thursday, September 24, 2009


At the risk of embarrassing myself by speaking about something of which I know very little, I present the concept of Alternate Reality Gaming or ARG.

This should not be confused with virtual reality or role playing games, though ARG may in some way owe some of its principles to ideas developed in these endeavors. Confused?

Well, ARG seems to pride itself on remaining elusive, even mysterious. It intentionally stays out of the spotlight, and yet snickers as it parades right before your eyes without you even knowing it's there.

So, what is ARG, and why should you care?

The short answer is that it's a cool multimedia scavenger hunt utilizing real world events in a secretive, highly sophisticated, conspiracy theory, secret agenty way. And you should only care about ARG, if you like fun and enjoy being in the in-crowd or if you are a writer.

Why a writer? Because the complicated structure, twists and turns, and ultimate resolution are very much like the well-developed plot of a great novel. A few novel writers have already realized this and are actively involved in developing new ARGs. And the best part is that ARG marketing is intentionally minimalist (called the This Is Not A Game aesthetic) and dependent on word-of-mouth and information sharing.

Intrigued? Curious? Check out the Wikipedia entry on ARGs or the trendy ARG headquarters at

Good luck finding a rabbithole and be wary of the puppetmasters!!

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