In 2008, Disney came to Comic-Con with some early conceptual footage for a movie that, at that time, was called TR2N. It received such strong support and generated so much excitement from the Comic-Con crowd, Disney greenlighted the project. Flash forward to the 2009 Comic-Con, where Disney presented additional footage for the now-titled TRON: Legacy. Fans were also led on a merry chase through San Diego leading to a recreation of Flynn’s Arcade, where further information about the disappearance of Kevin Flynn was revealed.
Flash forward again to 2010, where the Flynn Lives alternate reality game ramped up through the release of online mini-games leading to live drops, movie screenings, digital badges, and real-life TRON artifacts. Meanwhile, buzz for the movie increased as Comic-Con approached and TRON banners and signs appeared around San Diego. The news media started referring to Comic-Con as ComiTRON, which generated even more excitement and anticipation from the ARG community following the Flynn Lives campaign as they started to wonder: would Flynn’s Arcade return?
Launching viral campaigns at San Diego Comic-Con is no longer a surprise, and has become almost expected. Some campaigns have even managed to incorporate participation from those not at Comic-Con, allowing players at home to provide assistance to those on the ground. Showtime, however, has upped the ante with its viral campaign for the hit series Dexter by giving non-Con goers the ability to participate in their own towns. There is a caveat, however. Your town must be one of five major metropolitan areas chosen to participate: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, and Atlanta.
Whether or not you will be attending Comic-Con, participation requires downloading the SCVNGR application, available for iPhone and Android, in order to view the Dexter-themed Treks challenge. The purpose of the game is to record “kills” by completing the challenges located both at the Convention Center and at nearby locations, and earning limited edition SCVNGR badges that can be redeemed for Dexter merchandise. For players in the other five participating cities, the same game-play applies but with SCVNGR Treks designed for their area.
For 2 minutes and 17 seconds, the world was plunged into unconsciousness – and awakened with a vision from 6 months in the future. What did you see? The Mosaic Collective would like to know… but why? The Collective states that it wants to piece together everyone’s visions, or FlashForwards, to try and piece together “a mosaic of tomorrow”, and possibly determine who – or what – is behind the “Global Blackout” (GBO). And why do they seem to be singling out certain FlashForwards as “more valuable” than others? Oscar Obregon, a “Pulitzer prize winning journalist and author” and proprietor of TruthHack.com has that same question… and an anonymous source has possibly provided him with those answers, via a set of encrypted puzzles - but he needs your help.
The Mosaic Collective is a promotion for the new ABC television show, “FlashForward”, premiering September 24th. The “pre-game” launched in late April with some minor viral images and interaction, but started in earnest with a booth at Comic-Con where attendees could record their “FlashForwards”, with some lucky folks being pulled aside by Mosaic Collective spokesperson Marcie Turoff. If you look closely, you may see the FlashForward of someone you know.
The cracking of Oscar’s encrypted file is proceeding apace in the Unfiction thread , so come join in the cracking! And don’t forget to submit *your* FlashForward to the Mosaic Collective – who knows, maybe you’ll get interviewed by Marcie! You can also follow Oscar on Twitter and Facebook .
As reported earlier, The Institute for Human Continuity (or IHC), a promotion for the movie “2012″, went live in November of last year, and visitors to their website were offered the ability to enter a Global Survival Lottery for a spot in one of their “initiatives” to save at least a portion of humanity from the global cataclysm occurring December 21, 2012. Here is a brief run-down of game activity leading up to the event at ComicCon:
- December 21, 2009: lottery ticket holders were sent an email from Dr. Sorën Ulfert, PhD, the Communications Director for the IHC, announcing the launch of the full IHC website in a few weeks and an upcoming discussion with Dr. Ulfert in February. Questions for this discussion could be submitted through Dr. Ulfert’s Twitter or email. Also launched was a wiki page for The IHC.
- January 2009: The full IHC site launched and contained a lot more information – disaster scenarios, news and press info, and details regarding the IHC’s “initiatives” to help preserve mankind after the 12/21/2012 disaster. Also around this time, a new site was discovered – This Is The End, a rebuttal site to the IHC’s, written by a character named Charlie Frost (portrayed by actor Woody Harrelson). Charlie’s opinion is that NO ONE is going to survive The End, and that the IHC, while mostly harmless, are just fooling people. Along with amusing blog posts are very funny videos explaining the nature of the disaster and why no one will survive. Charlie also hosts a “radio show” from his Winnebego where he takes phone calls and answers questions.
It’s been a while since the end of the ARGFest-O-ComicCon Hardcore Summer Tour, and I think I’m finally recovered enough to start recapping some of the crazy events that occurred! For this, the first in a series of Comic-Con 2009 recaps, here is the recap of the live event for the Disney movie, Tron: Legacy – otherwise known as “Flynn Lives!”.
It all started July 21 when players noticed an article on ComingSoon.net that featured an article on Flynn’s Arcade – apparently they had received arcade tokens and a nondescript flash drive with an animated .gif (labeled “Tron3.gif”) loaded on it. Other sites received similar coins and flash drives with other .gifs on them – 5 in total. The .gifs contained scrolling HTML-like code that, when decoded and compiled, displayed a matrix that were then combined with the numbers at the bottom of the .gifs, leading players to www.flynnlives.com. The arcade tokens also had “Home Of Tron” on them, which led to another site: www.homeoftron.com.
A quick background: Kevin Flynn was the main character in the original Tron movie, a visionary who designed a game called Space Paranoids, was fired by ENCOM after a dispute with CEO Ed Dillinger, and was then sucked into the game in order to battle Dillinger’s “program”, the Master Control Program (MCP) alongside fellow programer Alan Bradley’s “program”, Tron. Together they defeat the MCP and Kevin is released back into the “real world”.
The much ballyhooed J.J. Abrams television series Fringe kicked off earlier this week, and with it came an update to a web site connected to the show, which in turn prompted quite a few of you to send in game tips about the apparent alternate reality game. We’ve heard you loud and clear, which may please The Powers That Be behind the game, since a viral campaign is only as good as the word of mouth advertising it generates. So, what’s the deal with this Massive Dynamic corporation anyway? And what does it have to do with FBI agents, six-fingered hand prints and something called The Pattern?
Honestly, there’s no clear answer to the variety of connections between the web site, which is assumed to be the trailhead into the game, and the broadcast of the pilot episode of the hotly anticipated TV show. Perhaps it’s best to look at a chronology of events before jumping into what might just be a blockbuster ARG.
On June 17, Jenna Wortham at the utterly fantastic Underwire blog at wired.com revealed that a rough cut of the show’s pilot had made its way onto the BitTorrent file sharing network. In the show, it’s obvious that Massive Dynamic will be a focus of the story.
Later in the month of June, a puzzle of sorts showed up at the official show web site, as documented by deletia at the Unfiction forums. Combined with subtle-but-mysterious messages in the show’s trailers, and given that other Abrams productions (such as Lost and Cloverfield) have used the Internet as a hype promotion mechanism in the past, ARG players felt that familiar twinge of curiosity.
In July, animated advertisements started showing up on television, and the Massive Dynamic web site went live with an ‘under contruction’ page featuring the MD logo and the message: “Updating Our Site. Updating Your Life.”
On August 4, a comic was handed out at ComicCon that introduced “The Pattern, which was also a big part of the leaked pilot. Attendees of the conference were also invited to “find the pattern’, a scavenger hunt that began at the web site explortheimpossibilities.com (which had been discovered in July and now redirects to Hadley Media) and was documented by PostLarval at the Unfiction forums.
This takes us to September 9, when the series premiered in North America. We have details on what’s happened since then after the jump, and here’s a spoiler: there’s an employee login to be cracked.