Nothing is more humbling than when a thoughtful April Fool’s Day prank goes awry. And, in this case, by “goes awry” we mean “bombs terribly”. You see, we had developed this great trail for April Fool’s day, which started with our April 1st announcement. Since the article talked about changes on this site, most people assumed that when they found that the link to the ARG Graveyard had changed to a custom 404 page that the case was solved. This was not the case, and maybe it was bad timing for me to make the decision to roll out that update at the same time. As a wise man told us earlier today, there’s a subtle sense of irony that our fake ARG failed miserably. But, because there was a bunch of work put into it from us to you, we’d like to take you through it anyway.
Early in the morning hours of Saturday, we changed something significantly on the site — the staff page. We added a new writer to the mix – Polly Fordasia. Our description read:
Polly comes to us from outside of the typical ARG community. Polly is a journalism student in Iowa and has been following the world of Alternate Reality Gaming for at least a week now. She is interested in creating her own ARG, which she plans to launch in the next two weeks or so. More information about Polly can be found at her blog.
Now, clicking on the link brings to a wonderful blog written by Dee Cook. If you read the description of events carefully, you will find many, many, many references to the news that we have covered here since April 1, 2005 – twenty-six references, at least. Beyond that, there was a mysteriously funny graphic and an email address. If you were brave enough to email Polly about her lost dog Flipper, you would have gotten a pleasant surprise in your in-box shortly thereafter — an update on the dog and a new website for Sally Prodaifo.
Sally, as it turns out, is the next character in the ARGN ARG. Her blog hits on many of the cliche plot lines of ARGs in the past — mysterious people with mysterious traits, a laboratory with what seems to be a hidden agenda, and love, sweet love. This blog is courtesy of Brooke Thompson, and was meant to lead people down the “Oh no, are they actually serious about trying to make an Alternate Reality Game?” path. Luckily, there is a link on that blog which leads to the truth.
We really wanted to do something fun for our readership for April Fool’s Day, but I guess we’ll just have to wait for another opportunity in 2007. In the meantime, thanks again to Brooke and Dee for their hard work in the late hours.
(For the record, there are no Easter eggs in this article. We swear.)