Mir-12: Viral Marketing for Singularity?
Once again, YouTube has led to a rabbit hole that seems to go deeper and deeper with each day. A video was uploaded to the site, supposedly a Russian news clip reporting on an assassination attempt on a scientist, as well as the the subsequent shooting of the would-be killer. The newscast points viewers towards an organization named Mir-12, which is believed to be behind the attack. Upon visiting the Mir-12 website, players discovered a blog documenting the actions of Mir-12, a “global community” attempting to uncover a Russian conspiracy concerning an island where Soviet weapons testing took place during the height of World War II.
Mir-12’s founder, an American student, roundly denied any knowledge of the scientist prior to January 16th, the date of the incident documented in the video, and states that the assassin, Natasha Norvikov, was nothing more than a friend helping to uncover the truth behind the mysterious island and the Russian government cover-up. Researching Natasha, players have found more information on the active young woman who had accounts on Flickr and Facebook. Mir-12’s most recent update includes a link to Natasha’s photography work, also discovered and submitted to the site by players.
So, what does it all mean? As one intrepid blogger has already uncovered, Mir-12 seems to be a viral marketing campaign for the upcoming Activision video game Singularity. Some research into Mir-12’s Twitter account shows that certain followers of the Mir-12 Twitter-feed were employees of the DDB Ad Agency, and DDB has worked with Activision in the past. This discovery, coupled with the Singularity trailers, make the coincidences in plot seem much less… coincidental.
Activision describes Singularity as a first person shooter that deals with the consequences of time travel. Apparently, the Soviets were developing a weapon that would allow them to move one item backward or forward through time, but when the tests went horribly wrong they covered it up and denied it ever happened. Players in Singularity will have access to the weapon and it should allow for some extremely inventive and unique game play. For example, imagine stopping an opponent’s attack by turning them into a child, or making a broken key return to its new state. The game play of Singularity and the back-story of Mir-12 make for an intriguing video game.
With a pending release date, Singularity will be available for the Xbox 360, the Playstation 3, and Windows PCs. In the meantime, players are discovering that the trail of Mir-12 continues to weave and wind with a back-story that is still unfolding. The hope is that the viral campaign will make the jump and become a full blown ARG, and the campaign has already hooked quite a few players over at Unfiction and will undoubtedly help the word-of-mouth buzz for a game that has already made a significant impression at E3.
Head over to Mir-12 and sign up if you would like to join the effort to uncover the truth the Soviet government has hidden for the past sixty years.