map2.jpgBusy week in the Alternate Reality Gaming world. Here’s a summary of what’s been going on:

Well, the ilovebees puppetmasters are nothing if not prompt. Once their countdown to metastasizing was complete, updated at 9am Pacific on Tuesday the 10th, marking the beginning of Phase 3. The site now contained a lot of embedded HTML text, embedded text in images, some new creepy sounds and a list of 220 coordinates.

The text, when defragmented, continues to reveal more and more about the AI (Melissa) and her origins, in addition to captured conversation from the ship she was apparently installed on. It seems that now Melissa is trying to find a way to break out of her box and become “wide awake and physical.” What this means, nobody knows, but it seems she’s making progress.

The sound files reveal a changeling child, which seems to be her finding her voice and trying it out. Now it seems she’s determined to transmit something to 210 discreet locations in the U.S., [EDIT: Updated the link to stay current] and by the looks of the timer, it seems that this will occur on Tuesday, August 24th, at 6:07 am local time, when the timer indicates Melissa will become “wide awake and physical.”

The jury’s still out on what this all means. Players aren’t sure if this indicates that some real world event is going to happen all over the country, or if it’s just a puzzle of some kind that needs to be solved. Either way, you can bet countless ARG’ers will be showing up in the wee hours of the morning at the various locales, looking for geocaches or waiting for dancing robots in bee costumes. There’s no telling what might happen, so feel free to join in, and bring your camera! We’ll post the best pics here, if you send them in.

[Edit: In addition, we’ve created a toll-free hotline for those of you at the various locations to use to report your findings, should you not have immediate web access. Feel free to call (866) xxx-xxxx [EDIT 8/25: number now offline] to record your findings. We’ll forward your report to the unfiction forums right away.]

Wiki Guide

Urban Hunt-
Meanwhile, the folks over at Urban Hunt have been advancing a very compelling story. Secret documents/maps from the failed Reality TV Show Dread House have turned up, so it seems it may not all be an urban myth after all. There’s definitely a secret here, and things are still just getting started.

What happened to the contestants and the crew? Did they just disappear, or did something even more sinister occur? And what do dreams have to do with all this?

Check out The Guide for this if you want to get up to speed, as it’s very well done.