Find Araya, a grassroots Alternate Reality Game that began in late January, came to an end last week, and from what we gather, the experience was satisfying for players of the game until the end, when the game ended suddenly. We caught up with Mountain Girl, an UnFiction forums member who was one of the most active participants in the game, and she had this to offer:
The premise of Find Araya was just as the name implied. Araya Benedict was missing. An anonymouse note led detective James Pearson to the case. The note described a young girl missing for over a month and pled for help finding her.
After searching diligently for any links to who Araya was, the team was led to Ditch Media. The company appeared to be a group specializing in the creation of alternate realities in order to secure a better future for a subject the company deemed needy. The alternate reality would not be revealed to the “subject” but instead completely take them by surprise and change their life forever.
As soon as the story gained this engrossing depth, it took a disappointing turn. The story failed to follow an arc. There was no discerning climax or resolution.
As well as a depressive story progression the characters did not come to adequate fruition. Initially, the characters met were well rounded and enigmatic. It was disheartening when the creators failed to fulfill their development.
Find Araya started as an intriguing and well made ARG. The team drawn to this adventure was dedicated, creative, and talented. It was surprising then when the slowly developing characters and storyline abruptly came to a halt. The team seemed to be making wonderful progress and the mystery was escalating. Suddenly a video was found leading the investigators to believe James Pearson found Araya, murdered her, and then went on the lam. The video was filled with typical clues to it’s lack of authenticity, thus seeming to continue the story. However, no new updates have arisen, and the consensus is the game is over.
Many questions were left unanswered. Many clues were left unsolved. It would appear the PM/PMs ran out of steam and wrapped up the ARG quickly and with little enthusiasm. Perhaps it is merely a precursor another game, possibly entitled “Find James.” Whatever the case, it was a wonderful game in the beginning but failed to follow through with a satisfying storyline, character development, and conclusion.
Thanks, Mountain Girl. While we are always sad when a game ends abruptly, we’re encouraged about the possibility of a future project by this creative team. Hopefully the next effort is something that will leave a bigger mark on the Alternate Reality Gaming landscape.