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Alternate Reality Gaming

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So I was checking up on and checked out a site called Red-Monday. It opened a flash window with a prompt for me to enter a code.
I followed the directions on Admit-one and peeked at the page source code. There I found this cryptic bit:

--- ---<!--
The code is gabriel
Never Ever Read Everthing Under Saturn
So I entered the code and I saw a bash script go by and then...

A counter of sorts counting back from 24 days and some hours....
Basically November 26 at midnight.
Then it asked if I wanted to be notified of the event.
No way, I thought. Nobody's getting my email without a fight.
So I entered "no" and it said:

--- --->> Your loss. Godspeed
To make a long story short, I googled red-monday thinking it was either just a strange website, a movie or game promotional thing, or...
I found a reference to a term handed down from McCarthyism, and caught a suggestion from a blog post and a forum post that it may be a rabbithole for a new ARG.
I googled ARG and was introduced to a whole new world:
Alternate Reality Gaming is, according to CNET, " obsession-inspiring genre that blends real-life treasure hunting, interactive storytelling, video games and online community...

"These games are an intensely complicated series of puzzles involving coded Web sites, real-world clues like the newspaper advertisements, phone calls in the middle of the night from game characters and more. That blend of real-world activities and a dramatic storyline has proven irresistible to many."

--- End quote ---

I am continually amazed at what an overwhelming communications system like the internet is capable of spawning, and this is the latest thing that has got me saying "Well, looky there... that's very interesting..."
As I'm a sucker for the conspiracy/story/mystery type of thing, I knew then that I should either walk away now or get immersed in something bigger than I have room in my life for.
But some other folks I know might be intrigued...

Many movies/games/events have used similar websites for similar purposes. I think there was one called ILoveBees or ILikeBees back for Halo or Halo 2. It was probably one of the more popular ones.

Not sure if this is the same kind of thing, but it could be. I suppose we'll find out on Nov 26th.

What would be really cool would be to do something that leaves people guessing for more than just a few weeks. You know, like a countdown timer to October 3rd, 2015 at 4:23pm EST.

It would have to be more than a timer, and more content and mysteries would have to come about between now and then, but it would be quite interesting. Like a book or movie trilogy that tells you bits of the story gradually over time.

I suppose a longer-running game would offer more opportunity for action, but you also run the danger of stagnation.
Like in high school when a D&D campaign that ran WAY too long, we started losing players pretty quick.
Given a ticking clock and the allure of an exciting end-game would keep folks interested, as well as allowing room for new games to start up, and new players opportunity to get in early.

After reading a bit, it seems to me that if Red-Monday is an ARG, it's playing out like this is the pre-game heat, which will set the stage for the actual game, which is set to start Nov. 26.
A very novel twist, I'd say.

Here's an even better write-up of what it's all about, written by a former PuppetMaster.

Viral marketing, then? Or something like Ars Technica reviewed some time ago?

I admit that either way, those things are mysteriously attractive :D

Holy carp! Nice detective work, Edvard. Very interesting. So, are you going to check out the action on November 26th?

OK, guess not:

knew then that I should either walk away now or get immersed in something bigger than I have room in my life for.
--- End quote ---


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