“Save Hazel”: Fox Launches Official Dollhouse Alternate Reality Game


Dollhouse, Joss Whedon’s newest drama, is premiering on Fox this Friday at 9PM EST. In case you’re interested in getting immersed in Whedon’s new universe a little early, Fox Broadcasting Company has launched “Save Hazel”, an official participation drama for the show at rprimelab.com.

According to the game’s website, “Save Hazel” allows you to “jump in headfirst and wreak creative havoc in the story” by watching and communicating with Hazel, a character trapped inside the Dollhouse. Every night, a new video will be uploaded in response to user-generated videos. Players will control the story’s progression. While Fox carefully avoids referring to the participation drama as an alternate reality game, the description seems to warrant the use of the term.

Last May, ARGNet reported on the launch of “Find Kimi”, which appeared to be the start of an alternate reality game for the show revolving around Kimi Lassek, a character presumably trapped inside the Dollhouse. However, shortly after reporting on the launch, the game stopped releasing updates and faded into obscurity.

With daily video updates and a strong push for user-generated content, “Save Hazel” appears to be aiming for a highly participatory storytelling format that will draw on fan creativity. If the fan submissions to the Evil League of Evil from Whedon’s previous project Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog are any indication, “Save Hazel” has the potential to be highly entertaining.

Click Here for the discussion at the Unfiction forums.
Click Here for the discussion at Whedonesque.


  1. J.L. Reid

    Hey Michael,

    Not sure if this was posted on the RPrimeLab site when you visited it, but the front matter now includes this statement:

    Note for experienced players:

    Unlike other Alternate Reality Games, all the clues you need to solve the mystery are on this page or in the interaction with Hazel. Google-fu can be used to solve riddles or get the real-world references in the drama, but don’t expect hidden webpages or clues embedded in the HTML code.

    So it seems that the developers do consider this an ARG.

    I’ll definitely follow this one.

    -J.L. (jlr1001)

  2. Potser

    Good round-up to be found here:

  3. Michael Andersen

    Thanks for the link, Potser! Great summary of the game.