Toronto wakes up to Alternate Reality Gaming
Coming in September, 2006, that ever-progressive Manhattan of the North, Toronto, Ontario, will be hosting a new alternate reality game “of urban exploration and intrigue,” according to TorGame, a non-profit organization based in the city. TorGame bills itself as “dedicated to the exploration of public space, and a unified identity for Torontonians” on its website. It is an all-volunteer operation that, with Waking City, is attempting its first alernate reality game production. Some ARGonauts may recognize the name Tony Walsh in the list of contributors, however, as he collaborated on both seasons of the ARG production “Regenesis” with Xenophile Media.
The game will be played in public spaces out and around the Toronto area, and will include in-game interactions with characters by telephone, email or instant messaging, and in person. In an interesting twist for veteran players, Waking City requires that players form into teams and register their teams before playing. Teams may have from four to seven members and must pay a fee to register which ranges from $100 to $125 (CA) per team. The registration fee is said to only cover expenses of producing the ARG.
TorGames should be commended by local ARGonauts who work during the week for scheduling their planned live events for the weekends. This reporter has been frustrated on many occasions by live events that were held on weeknights or during common working days, making wide participation difficult save for students, those with flexible schedules, or the unemployed.
More information about Waking City and registration sign-up can be found at the official TorGame site.