Mind Candy may have pulled the plug on Perplex City, but the Hon brothers are back to work at a new company, Six to Start Limited, returning to work on alternate reality gaming. According to Adrian, the name “Six to Start” refers to the classic board games that required players to roll a six before commencing play. Adrian and Dan will be joining forces with James Wallis, the former director of Hogshead Publishing, a hobby-games publisher that you might recognize as one of the expert judges for Let’s Change the Game.
One of the first projects for Six to Start is code-named “The Ministry”, an ARG taking place within a fictional social network. The game is part of Channel 4’s effort to provide engaging educational content to 14-19 year olds. According to a Channel 4 press release, “The Ministry” will be
an online networked game exploring how online privacy and identity apply to real world situations. The game will challenge players to discover how much trust matters online: when you might not know who you’re dealing with, and when information posted online remains persistent and public. Players will network, collaborate and challenge each other from within a fictional social network, using identity as a weapon, and privacy as armor.
In addition to “The Ministry”, Channel 4 will be sponsoring an ARG project by Oil Productions code-named “Route” that focuses on cartography, geography, and genetics, and numerous other cross media experiences. These alternate reality games are part of a larger push by the station to provide educational content to teens through a variety of serious games and new media productions. Alice Taylor, the commissioner for the projects at Channel 4, may be familiar to video game fans through her blog or her work at Kotaku.
Six to Start is currently looking for an experienced Alternate Reality Games producer to round out their staff, although with an application deadline at the end of January, you’d better hurry if you’re interested. As a reminder for our bilingual readers, Jane McGonigal is also looking for a “jr. puppet master” for an upcoming project. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting patiently for a lucky roll of the die to start up one of these exciting new projects.