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notthisbody
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Notthisbody
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digital cartographers, narrative realization. image workers & pixel [re]searchers. emographers. memetic mappers. space cadets. polytopians.
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    The Serious ARG
    Project: Polytopia
    The Serious ARG (Alternate Reality Game)

    In a 2007 article, columnist Chris Dahlen (of Pitchfork Media) voiced a much-discussed ARG concept: if ARGs can spark players to solve very hard fictional problems, could the games be used to solve real-world problems?[37] Dahlen was writing about World Without Oil, the first ARG centered on a serious near-future scenario: a global oil shortage.[38] Another ARG, Tomorrow Calling, appears to be a testbed for a future project focused on environmental themes and activism. [39]

    Serious ARGs introduce plausibility as a narrative feature to pull players into the game. People participate to experience, prepare for or shape an alternative life or future.[40] The games thus have the potential to attract casual or non-players, because ’what if’ is a game anyone can play.[41] Serious ARGs may therefore be sponsored by organizations with activist or educational goals; World Without Oil was a joint project of the Public Broadcasting Service's Independent Lens and its Electric Shadows Web-original programming.[42]

    Their serious subject matter may lead Serious ARGs to diverge from mainstream ARGs in design. Instead of challenging collective intelligence to solve a gamemastered puzzle, World Without Oil’s puppetmasters acted as players to guide the “collective imagination” to create a multi-authored chronicle of the alternative future, purportedly as it was happening.[43] By asking players to chronicle their lives in the oil-shocked alternative reality, the WWO game relinquished narrative control to players to a degree not seen before in an ARG.[44]

    In October 2008 The British Red Cross created a serious ARG called Traces of Hope to promote their campaign about civilians caught up in conflict.[45]

    There are possible future Serious ARGs described in fiction. In his novel Halting State, Charles Stross foresightedly describes a number of possible ARGs, where players engage in seemingly fictional covert spy operations.

    In 2008 the European Union funded an ARG to support motivation for multilingualism within European secondary school students called ARGuing for Multilingual Motivation in Web 2.0 [4]. This project is now completed and papers on the project and the resources produced for education (a Methodology and Teacher Training guides) will be presented at the 3rd European Conference on Games Based Learning.

    In 2008-2009 the MacArthur Foundation supported an ARG The Black Cloud to teach US high-school students about indoor air quality. The project is active and allows teachers to rent sophisticated air quality sensors to run the game locally.

    - Wikipedia


    How is a serious ARG taken to the next levels - the extrapolation, actualization & dramatization of 'intent' to manifestation across realities? and what's stopping us?


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    #Another example of that is ARG-like (for those who haven't heard) is Superstruct, by Institute for the Future. (article)

    #here's another great article on ARGs.


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    Comments:


    Mushin     Mon, Aug 24, 2009  Permanent link
    ARG means Alternate Reality Game for those of us that don't immediately know what that means... :-)

    I didn't know of this entire field before your blog here. Thanks for alerting me to this possible avenue...
     
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