We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the “Citizens of Virtue,” and they sure seem to be up to some shady practices. In this ARG-that-campaigns-against-ARGs, the C.O.V. are a fundamentalist Christian group that may or may not be holding some individuals captive while also apparently lying about their business practices. Citizens of Virtue is part of an Alternate Reality Game created by Rob Bell and Don Golden, as a promotion for their latest book – Jesus Wants to Save Christians. Yes, it is in fact of a rare breed – the Christian ARG.
Our first encounter with the C.O.V. came from an email we received in late September from a Ms. Savannah Merks, listed as the Public Relations Specialist for the group. In the email was a press release which claimed, among other things, that, “[a] sweeping wave of ‘alternate reality’ games is steering our nation down a dangerous path, according to the Citizens of Virtue (C.O.V.), a Christian organization dedicated to improving Christian lifestyles around the world.” Merks herself noted that, “[w]ith alternate reality games, literally millions of people could be caught up simultaneously in a mind-altering swirl of confused thinking.” Yeah, imagine that!
Since then, we’ve received a number of game tips pointing us to the game, and while it was part of the discussion in episode 63 of the ARG Netcasts, we know we’re a bit behind on getting involved in this one. However, we know that the community discussion at the Unfiction forums will help those who wish to get started, and we’re pretty sure that anyone there will be glad to help get you up to speed!
We’ve got more information about the plot, the book tie-in, and a few interesting images of swag cards we received in the mail after the hump, so click on through!