ARGN had the opportunity to get in touch with Dawne Weisman, Founder and President of EDOC Laundry, to discuss the upcoming venture, and get some questions answered in regards to the exciting idea.
ARGN: So what was the inspiration for EDOC Laundry? Is there some backstory into the development that would be interesting to fans?
DW: I was very inspired by the work my husband (Jordan Weisman) did in creating a new form of story telling (dubbed ARG by you guys) and saw a way of integrating that into my passion for graphic design and fashion. I founded edoc laundry around the talents of my graphic/fashion design team headed by Shane Small, and consisting of; Daniel Dejos, Justin Koh, and Cathy Brigg, and brought them together with some of the team that Jordan had assembled for 42 Entertainment, namely Elan Lee and Sean Stewart. I then brought in a great writer by the name of Christopher Kubasik who is writing all our scripts.
ARGN: So does EDOC exist as part and parcel of the Alternate Reality Game solely, or will it exist beyond the game? In other words, what came first? Is the game there to support the launch of a clothing company, or is the clothing company there to support the situation with the band, Poor Richard?
DW: Ah the ancient “which came first, the chicken or the egg” question! The answer is: Yes. Fashion has always been about communications; edoc laundry is just an extension of what clothes have always been about – telling a story.
ARGN: Speaking of Poor Richard, can players expect to hear some music from the band when the game launches? How can we get an album?
DW: Well there’s the rub. The band’s music is all entangled in the lawsuit between Hanover Media and the band members, thus none of it is in distribution at the moment.
ARGN: Moving then to the subject of merchandising… The site (now) says “Available in stores in March 2006.” Will you be opening a store online for those coastally-challenged? Are you hoping for retail stores throughout the U.S. to carry EDOC laundry? What about international players?
DW: We will be expanding brick and mortal retail as quickly as possible, and we already have some good distribution in Japan, Canada, and isolated spots across Europe. All of edoc laundry’s line will be available at our website (edoclaundry.com) as soon as it hits retail shelves.
ARGN: So does EVERYTHING that EDOC sells, hold a secret?
DW: edoc laundry “Has nothing to hide” and that goes for everything we do.
ARGN: There have been some requests for clothing pieces, by the community (i.e.; combat boots where the pattern on the soles give mathematical equations, or headbands with hypercolor-revealed Proust, or other hidden texts…) Will there be an opportunity for puzzleheads to submit designs for possible production?
DW: In all my years of creating entertainment with my husband; starting with FASA Corporation, the BattleTech and Virtual World Centers, to Wizkids, and even with 42 Entertainment, the consistently most inspiring thing to me has always been the amazing expressions of the community’s creativity. The Poor Richard site will become a place for the community to express its focused creativity in helping us tell the story of the band. Assuming my lawyers don’t throw a fit, I will indeed also set up a place for the community to submit apparel ideas on the edoclaundry site– but remember that we are a small company – so don’t get your hopes up as to how fast we can start making all your cool ideas.
ARGN: Why clothing? What’s the draw there, instead of other media?
DW: Clothing is a vibrant and personal form of communications, but also a really fascinating form of social interaction. The clothes we wear tell a story about who we are, but they could also tell a larger story which we all can become part of. Our clothes tell a story that is about creativity, passion, and fighting for what you believe in, hopefully the story contains themes and characters that people will identify with to become part of their own personal stories.
Shane, who is one of the most talented designers that I have ever met, and I both love clothes, and the idea of being able to merge what we see as the future of entertainment directly into clothes was way too exciting to us to pass up. Working with Elan, Sean, and Christopher on the story and clue integration has challenged us all to think in different ways and the results are really cool.
ARGN: Is this a 4orty-2wo production, or is this something more solo for you? And without naming names (unless they’d like to be named so early) is there a “backer” corporation behind this, or is it merely an experiment into the ever-elusive “self-sustaining” ARG?
DW: There is no formal connection between the companies of 42 Entertainment and edoc laundry, but as mentioned above there are some shared people.
ARGN: So what is the band manager’s last name, anyway?
DW: As you could tell, the Wired article caught us before we were really ready. All our content is set to go live when the clothes hit the stores in early March, everything up now is only placeholder for the sales team to use, and thus not really well put together. Some mysteries (like last names) will be answered in March, and many more posed.
ARGN: Finally, are there any hints/clues/red herrings you want to throw down our path?
DW: Not yet – because as I said above, we are not really ready for prime time yet. But check back with me in Feb/Mar and I will tease you with a couple of juicy bits!
ARGN: Thank you for your time, and we look forward to seeing some EDOC gear! Perhaps you can drop us a line when you’re close to launch and we’ll get the word out to ensure sales start out high.
DW: Thank you and the community for the attention and interest. I will indeed stay in touch and look forward to working with you and the community to tell the story of Who Killed Poor Richard.