While the news hasn’t been all peaches and cream in the world, what with companies finding themselves in financial trouble and the what not, here’s a feel-good story for fans of alternate reality games: a new start-up called No Mimes Media has been officially launched, and there are some pretty heavy-duty names attached to the “full-media company.” We received a press release late last night, and here are the details:
No Mimes Media is a collaboration between “[f]ormer 42Entertainment creatives Behnam Karbassi, Maureen McHugh and Steve Peters,” which will be based out of Los Angeles and Austin. The company bills itself as one that “produces engaging cross-platform narrative entertainment, popularly known as Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), to support a wide-range of projects including feature films, television, games and original content.” You may know the trio of Karbassi, McHugh and Peters for their work on large-scale ARGs like Why So Serious and Year Zero while under contract with 42Entertainment. You may also know Steve Peters as the original owner of ARGNet (then ARGN). Needless to say, this is a very experienced, savvy group of creative designers, and it appears that they have hit the ground running, as they are already reaching out to project partners for opportunities.
Perhaps by design, this announcement comes days before a panel scheduled at SXSW Interactive, entitled You’re Living in Your Own Private Branded Entertainment Experience. The panel includes Peters, who hints in the press release that the panel may be hijacked, commenting, “We’ll be announcing something that’s sort of an ARG wrapped in enigma wrapped in an ARG; and it’s not without controversy, let me tell you!” More controversial than a nearly naked man with temporary tattoos? Sounds juicy! Hopefully, we will have someone on hand to take in the panel and relate their experiences here in the days to come.
Editor’s note: Article title revised after initial publication.
A reminder to all interested parties that the post-game Puppetmaster chat for Last Call Poker is happening tonight at 7:00 pm PST. As we announced last week, the chat will be happening in the #lastcall chat room on the Chat-Solutions network.
The members of 42 Entertainment that are scheduled to be in attendance are:
- Elan Lee: Lead Design
- Sean Stewart: Lead Writer
- Maureen McHugh: Writer
- Steve Peters: Design
- Patricia Pizer: Design
- Jane McGonigal: Live Events Lead
- Jim Stewartson: Technical Lead
We will see you in #lastcall tonight — it’s going to be a full house of fun!
Today saw the opening of the Game Writers Conference, a subset of the Austin Game Conference which opens tomorrow. Of particular interest to ARGers was the discussion by Maureen McHugh from 42 Entertainment about the work that went into The Beast and I Love Bees.
Maureen was contacted in 2004 to write for I Love Bees. She has a background in teaching English and writing science fiction. She made some interesting points about the emergence of varying types of entertainment being dependent upon what technology is available. As the printing press made novels possible, so has the internet made Alternate Reality Gaming possible. Additionally, she spoke about the emergence of the novel in comparison with the different ARGs we’ve seen so far. In the beginning were fake memoirs – Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders – which were originally published as actual diaries rather than a made-up story. From there, novels moved to an epistolary form (such as Clarissa) where the reader eavesdropped on conversations between strangers. She compared this with The Beast, where the players dropped in on writings which were originally intended for other in-game characters. Next in history, the novel moved into an art form with an omniscient narrator, such as Tom Jones. Could this be where ARGs are headed?