Ciji Thorton is a 26-year old woman with an artificial eye.
Will LaFerriere is a 27-year old former military man with an artificial heart.
Alex Gamble is a 22-year old female with an artificial liver.
And Usman Akeju is a 27-year old software consultant with an artificial kidney.
For the next month, three simple words can cost these four runners $7,500. Any registered hunter in the country can repossess the runner’s artiforg (artificial organ) by getting within speaking distance of them, uttering a three word phrase, receiving their codeword, collecting their artiforg, and calling their Union rep using the runner’s phone. Promoting the upcoming release of the movie Repo Men, this alternate reality game will test the abilities of Ciji, Will, Alex, and Usman to remain undetected against an onslaught of investigative skills from “bounty hunters” nationwide.
Lone Shark Games, Wired, and Universal have selected four applicants to attempt to disappear for the next month. According to the teaser page for the campaign, the hunt for these four volunteers begins February 25 at the stroke of midnight, Eastern Standard Time (Feb 24 at 9PM, PST).
As Repossession Specialists, hunters will be seeking out the four individuals previously selected, to “retrieve ‘artiforgs’ [Union-branded artificial organs] from the possession of users who are seriously behind on their payments. Successfully retrieving an artiforg results in a $7,500 cash prize. In order to hunt, however, prospective Repossession Specialists need to submit a job application. The site clearly states that “[o]nly registered Repo Men who follow all local and national laws and Union rules are eligible to receive cash for artiforgs.” The teaser page now links directly to Repo Men’s Union Cares website, so it looks like the contest will be at least partially integrated with the ongoing viral campaign. Registration to hunt as a Repossession Specialist hasn’t opened yet, but should become available any day now as the countdown approaches zero.
Clues for the game may come in unexpected places, so players are warned to keep their eyes open. The teaser specifically charges potential hunters to “scan our posters and media for valuable information,” so stay sharp! Maybe that string of numbers under the Repo Men title means something after all…
Halloween is fast approaching, bringing with it costumes, candy, and the macabre. If you live in Orlando, it appears as though Universal Studios is bringing one final “treat” to your homes with the launch of its horror-themed alternate reality game Evelyn Offscreen, a new “interactive Halloween adventure” that is being run to promote Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.
Evelyn Crane is a classic horror movie actress who has been in seclusion for the past 37 years, after an incident where a movie critic called her “too old”. Ever since then, Evelyn has been searching for the secret of eternal youth so that she can reclaim her old glory as an actress. Based on her facination with Elizabeth Bathory (the Hungarian countess who, as legend has it, bathed in the blood of hundreds of murdered young girls in order to retain her youth), it would appear as if Evelyn might just go to any sort of lengths in order to reclaim her beauty, youth and position. A perfect sort of story for Halloween.
If that wasn’t enough, there is also the mystery surrounding a series of deaths at the Universal Palace Theater, where many of Evelyn Crane’s movies have been shown. Julian Browning was the usher at the Palace Theater from 1922 until 1940, when he was found hanged behind the screen at the theater. Ever since then, he has been reported to be “present” at many of the other tragedies that have befallen workers and patrons of the Palace Theater.
Visitors to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights will be able to visit the Universal Palace Theater via the Silver Screams haunted house in the theme park. The Evelyn Offscreen website promises that live scenes will be playing in Orlando, Florida, but whether this means just in the Silver Screams haunted house or possibly elsewhere remains to be seen. However the online campaign will be available to everyone, so even if you can’t get scared half to death at the Halloween Horror Nights, you can still get scared in your own living room.