The Lost Ring: Taking the Blindfold Off
It’s been three days since Find the Lost Ring launched with a fanfare of posters and yarn. Since that time, players and puppetmasters alike have been busily fulfilling the prophetic messages written on vintage Olympic postcards. The game traces a story fraught with mystery and intrigue across the globe in so many languages, you’ll be glad you studied Esperanto in university. You did study Esperanto, didn’t you?
If you’ve been reading ARGNet recently, you might be able to guess one of the developers behind the curtain. However, it’s now official. According to the Lost Ring development team,
The Lost Ring is a global alternate reality adventure created in partnership between McDonald’s, AKQA and Jane McGonigal. Designed in collaboration with the IOC, The Lost Ring invites players from across the globe to join forces online and in the real world, as they investigate forgotten mysteries and urban legends of the ancient games. The Lost Ring recognizes McDonald’s historic sponsorship of the Olympic Games, and brings the spirit of the Games to people around the world.
Jane McGonigal adds that she is “so thrilled to be collaborating with these organizations to create what we hope will be the most global ARG, ever. This is really a dream project for me – we are bringing together the two kinds of games, ARGs and the Olympics, that have the power to engage and unite people all over the world.” So far, the game is succeeding admirably, with characters interacting with players in English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese, and Esperanto.
If your curiosity is piqued, a brief review of what’s happened so far is waiting for you after the jump.
March 3, 2008 — Find her…
Monday morning, the website findthelostring.com went live, introducing our protagonist Ariadne. She woke up blindfolded in a corn maze outside of Johannesburg with no memory, Olympic-calibur athletic skills, and a tattoo bearing the words “trovu la ringon perditan” — Esperanto for “find the lost ring.” With the help of Kai, she set out to find what is happening to her.
March 4, 2008?? — Find the others…
Over the next few hours, players discovered others suffering similar plights. Awakening in a maze blindfolded with no memories and a mysterious tattoo. Diego describes his situation in Spanish, while Markus speaks German. Noriko speaks Japanese, Mei-Hui speaks Chinese, and Lucie speaks French.
Larissa, who speaks Portuguese, doesn’t bear the rather striking tattoo, but these events sound all too familiar as she relates her experiences with Renata, who appeared four years ago in similar circumstances before disappearing. Don’t worry about all of the languages, however — a dedicated cadre of translators stand prepared to decipher whatever comes their way.
March 5, 2008?? — Find him…
Earlier today, an advertisement on the UK Olympic website led the curious to Historian Eli Hunt’s website, The Lost Games. He speaks of a secret sport played in the Ancient Olympics that involves blindfolding the athletes. He also describes the agonothetai, six ancient Game Keepers tied closely to the Olympics.
March 11, 2008?? — Find the secret…
On March 11, Jane McGonigal is delivering the keynote address at SXSW. This wouldn’t be the first conference presentation dropping hints for the game, so perhaps more will be revealed there.
Image courtesy of Geoff May (and Jersey)