Back in November, we reported that Virtuquest, makers of City of Domes and other popular ARGs, had announced that they would be producing a public ARG. At the time, it was known only as Open ARG 6.5. We’re happy to report that the game has launched: Virtuquest’s Township Heights is open for business, inviting players into a Stepford-like world where the most upstanding citizens may also be the most dangerous.
At first glance, the city of Township Heights appears normal enough. They have a yearly festival with a parade, fireworks at night, and concerts in the park. They have a nice little Italian restaurant and a lounge where local bands play. Ah, suburbia! The town’s website proudly proclaims Township Heights “a model town,” one for “living and enjoying” in bold, majestic prose. Stately homes speckle the landscape, making Township Heights appear a modern utopia, but any scholar of Thomas More could tell you that the most utopian of locales is usually anything but.
Among the businesses calling Township Heights home is Developmentis Corporation, which has become a sort of “corporate partner” for the community, aiding in the development of some… interesting… technologies. After DevCorp employee Andy Pence left the company to become the town’s mayor, the company launched NetGuard, a “collection management software package” that monitors all cell phone, email, chat and internet communications in the area. Further city-wide accoutrements provided by DevCorp include the ParkTouch automated parking meter (residents use their driver’s license and handprint to start the meter, which sends back information about who is parking where and when) and the upcoming Aquatic Center (free to all community members).
Why is DevCorp interested in tracking every move made by the Township Heights residents? Is DevCorp giving new meaning to the saying “there must be something in the water?” Is soylent green really people?! Why haven’t the residents noticed the looming dark cloud in the sky?! Well, it seems a couple of them have… right before they become cheerleaders for DevCorp’s plans.
Township Heights is another variation on the pay-to-play model, charging players $5 to participate in the game. Registration for Township Heights is full, however. Interested lurkers can follow along at Unfiction or in #vqth on Chat-Solutions.