Two weeks ago, selected members of the UnFiction message boards were sent mysterious emails from someone calling themselves “The Composer”. The emails were quickly solved — each email contained part of a coded message — and the game was on. Over the course of eleven short days, players were led to a security site, interacted via Instant Messaging, and were introduced to the story of Renata Isle.
As it turns out, the mystery has been solved, for now. On an in-game site, players have learned that they were part of a pre-game activity for upcoming ARG “Renata Isle”. The explanation promises bigger and better things to come on the “17th of the second,” which is assumed to mean February 17th of this year. There is also a teaser page that provides some basic details for the upcoming game.
From reactions in the discussion thread, this pre-game was quite enjoyable to be a part of. We will check back in on this on the 17th and see what happens with “Renata Isle”.
AWARE is currently in a live pregame. If you’d like to jump in and get up to speed, a new Wiki Guide is being maintained by the players here. In addition, there is now an AWARE Forum set up at Unfiction, along with an IRC chat channel: #ruaware on chat-solutions.org. AWARE is picking up steam and looks to be a very innovative ARG, already having had an established player at Unfiction turn out to be an in-game character, or so it seems.
In other news, there have been some interesting sites discovered lately. Stop by the Godsend Institute and take a look at the fine job done in creating a very realistic site, complete with a real address and phone number, and no obvious disclaimer, although there is one there if you look hard enough for it. The promotional departments in Hollywood are getting so close, but not taking things any further, which is disappointing.
Also, if you’re a fan of Cyan/Ubisoft’s URU: Ages Beyond Myst, you’ll probably find www.pathoftheshell.com an interesting distraction while you wait for the next expansion pack. There is a Guide for this mini-game here.
ARGN welcomes two new affiliate sites: metaurchins.org and varin.org. Metaurchins is an online book project about the Project MU (Metacortechs) ARG, currently being worked on by numerous players. A very interesting read so far. Varin.org is a very nice site dedicated to gaming in general, and includes quite a bit about Alternate Reality Games. Be sure to check them both out.
The folks behind the upcoming ARG Acheron (www.acheron.us) have announced a PM chat to talk about their upcoming game, scheduled to launch this summer. Acheron PM William Walrath will be in attendance as a representative to answer any question and give us a preview of what’s in store.
This moderated chat will take place on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 9:00 pm EDT / 6:00 pm PDT in #acheron on irc.chat-solutions.org. For browser-based access, java IRC applets can be found at http://www.acheron.us/chat.html or http://www.unfiction.com/chat.
Stop by Acheron for more information, and watch the forums at Unfiction for further details.