Author: Geoff May (Page 2 of 4)

Staff Writer
Also known as 'thebruce', Geoff is a full time professional web and datasystems developer who was introduced to the world of ARGs when a mysterious website flashed at the end of Halo's theatrical preview trailer - - the trailhead for the viral marketing campaign for Bungie's Halo 2. Taken in by the mystery and intrigue, Geoff became an avid member of the ARG community, and has spent untold hours of his life in it ever since. His involvement in the community had him converted to an ARGer, and granted moderatorial status at Unfiction. He also began a website that would eventually become a high activity portal for ARG wikis and news at Geoff is a lover of science fiction, movies, volleyball, art and photography, and is also an avid musician. And while now over 30 years of age, he still takes public transit everywhere he goes... because he hasn't yet made the effort to get a driver's license or car. Hey, at least he can say he's environmentally aware.

Geoff owns and runs - a source for ARG wikis and news, and - a resource for thoughts and articles on transmedia, storytelling, and ARGs.

Fish Mongers, Fairies and Fragglewumps, Oh My!

HETFET_Save_the_Trolls-square.gifWriter/Director Guillermo Del Toro recently ‘came out’ as a member of an organization called HETFET – Humans for Ethical Treatment of Fairies, Elves, and Trolls. It’s an organization dedicated to tracking down those who would seek to harm FETs, and bringing justice upon them. Guillermo’s upcoming film Hellboy II, is an effort to recognize FET rights, and raise awareness for HETFET’s cause. If you join them, you may receive a support package!

But it goes deeper than that. Recently some strange videos have surfaced of what appears to be people traveling through gateway-looking graffiti sprayed at the foot of cement walls. And HETFET knows something.

Cryptic emails were received by fans of GDT, containing hints that eventually led to a Secret Device – also linked from HETFET’s homepage. The device is locked with 10 combinations, which are being found in various places connected with HETFET and Guillermo. The first combination – the release date of Hellboy II in theaters (7/11/08) – provides a poem with highlighted letters, roughly spelling out a website, which introduces us to Lexi Lloyd.

Lexi loves fairies.

She also just began her first Youtube VLOG.

Watch Lexi as she vlogs about her life, and shares strange mysteries surrounding a cat, her dreams, her father who went missing years ago, and other cryptic YouTube stalkers like ‘dutchfelines’ and ‘aSmarmyYeti.’

Find out more about PANATROG, a mysterious organization also revealed by the Secret Device. What does the military have to do with PANATROG? Why are PANATROGs training videos so fun to watch? Why is Lexi involved, and what’s the mystery of these “gearways?”

“The Secret Device” is a promotional campaign for GDT’s movie (they’d have you believe) Hellboy II: The Golden Army, coming to theaters July 11th. The locks are phases in the plot leading to the movie, with a contest as a reward for those who follow through to unlock the 10th combination by the deadline of June 10 – which is 11 days from the time of writing. The two winners of the random drawing will each receive tickets for two to take a 3 day trip to Los Angeles for an exclusive fan preview-screening of Hellboy II hosted by Guillermo Del Toro. For more info, visit the HB2 Production website.

The contest is a nice bonus, and the story isn’t hugely complex or long either – so there’s plenty of time to catch up and unlock the 10 combinations along with a world of fantastical, strange creatures and trolls before June 10th. Heck, even if it’s just to help another cute, innocent girl.

Save the Trolls!
Lexi Lloyd’s website

Unfiction discussion
In-game Forums at HETFET
Player Wiki
Player Blog

Official HB2 website

Harvey Dent campaign shut down (in Chicago)?

150px-Dent.jpgIn early March, the “I Believe In Harvey Dent” campaign for The Dark Knight kicked back into gear. was updated to become Harvey’s campaign website, with downloadable flyers, stickers, and posters. It also asked people to promote Harvey Dent for District Attorney by taking photos and videos of their efforts, and uploading to the website, much like the “Why So Serious?” Halloween campaign where the Joker asked people to submit evidence of their allegiance to his cause by painting their faces and photographing themselves in groups at their nearby landmarks. Harvey Dent’s campaign, however, has a travelling “Dentmobile” and a schedule of stops across the United States.

Today, one of the Dentmobile’s first stops – Chicago, IL – may have taken a rough turn. reports that after a mere three minutes, the campaign was shut down by Chicago police!

Two people (who knew what was going on) reportedly made it to the Dentmobile before they were closed down. As user Vlkers54 describes the scene:

“…I was at the 8 a.m. stop. I got there at 7:30 a.m. and I sure am glad I did. At 8:03 a.m., the cops came and kicked us out! Only me and another guy showed up, but we did end up getting a lot of free stuff (including) bumper stickers, posters, buttons and a T-shirt.

You should have seen the people as they were coming out of the train station:

“Who is Harvey Dent?”
“What is this all about?”
“Is this for that movie?” (We responded: “What movie? ‘No Country For Old Men?’ That’s a movie!”)

We kept “in character” and promoted Harvey Dent for (district attorney) as if he were a real person. Confusing people was a lot of fun. Some people did catch on to what was going on. Even middle-aged men who knew who (Harvey Dent) was were excited, (asked) for buttons and filled out the petition forms.”

This may be much ado about nothing, however, as we hear through the grapevine that the fine police officers of the Windy City were much more understanding of the situation after learning that the campaign was for Gotham City District Attorney. This coincides with an update on the Hollywood Chicago article which states that the 11 am event went off without a hitch. Regardless of how events actually played out, it must have made for an exciting time in Chi-town.

Save the world at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

LostRingLogo.pngFINDTHELOSTRING – No, there’s no “lo” string, nor a string named Thelo – but there is a lost ring..somewhere..and we need to find it, to save the world. Apparently. By August 24th.

On Leap Day, I received a package via FedEx, which was followed quickly by reports from others who received similarly couriered packages from “T.L. Ring” in San Francisco, CA. (Could T.L. Ring be “The Lost Ring”?) The package itself was quite curious, filled with a number of items forming a mystery begging to be unravelled.

First off, there’s a large poster advertising the 7th Olympiade in Antwerp, Belgium. Two things stand out — the year 1920 (the package originated from 1920 Olympic Way), and a short message written on the back: It’s a secret someone has been keeping for a very long time.

Next up, each package contained three photos — old photos of locations related to the 1920 Olympics. When all of the pictures from the discovered packages are taken into account, there’s quite a variety, and it seems the three photos people got are fairly random. However, on the backs of these photos are written our call to arms:

March 3, 2008
Find her…

March 4, 2008??
Find the others…

March 5, 2008??
Find him…

March 11, 2008??
Find the secret…

August 24, 2008
Save the world.

Continue reading

Take Back Gotham City!

The Dark KnightIf you’ve been following the Dark Knight campaign for the upcoming Batman flick, you may have been salivating impatiently over what’s in store for 2008 ever since the big Halloween trail ended with the new promotional trailer at With the untimely passing of Heath Ledger, the Joker’s role in the ARG has reportedly been downplayed.

Well, on Thursday there was a new occurance with the promise of more ARGish activity: was updated with a signup form, requesting people to help “join the fight for Gotham”. So go sign up! What are you waiting for?

That’s all for now, just a heads up – TDK will be back in business in a few days, according to the confirmation email. If you want to get caught up, there’s a wiki to read through.
“Citizens of Gotham! The future of our city rests in your hands!”

Have you caught the Abrams virus yet?

trekicon.JPGProducer/Director JJ Abrams is on a viral rampage this year, it seems. Hot on the tail of Cloverfield’s big screen debute, was the premiere of the initial teaser trailer for the 11th installment in the Star Trek film franchise. Reportedly, the movie will carry only the name “Star Trek”, as it returns to the academy days of our beloved Enterprise crew. The teaser can be seen on the official website. But as beautiful as it is, that is not the reason for this article.

If you navigate to the official website, scroll down to the “Under Construction” label. See the little red dot beside it? Click it. Yes, you’ve just found another viral website. JJ is known for tying common threads between his creative productions – his unique drink Slusho! being the most prominent example. Slusho has made cameo appearances in Alias, Heroes, and Kenan and Kel. But recently he’s taken a liking to extending his works beyond their base medium, into the internet world, and the real world.

If you’re familiar with the TV show Lost (also an Abrams production), there was a very well received extended reality called The Lost Experience which ran along the TV show. Currently leading up to the North American airing of season 4 is another campaign called Find 815. You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the viral campaign surrounding the months leading up to the premiere of Cloverfield (which also, by the way, has a backstory around the development of the Slusho drink and its secret ingredient Seabed’s Nectar).

So the question is, will Abrams be providing another extended experience or alternate reality game related to the Star Trek franchise leading up to the movie’s release? Or will this turn out just to be another typical viral marketing campaign? Personally, I would love to see a Slusho! cameo appearance in the movie. Imagine: Kirk and Spock order a Slusho from a bar at the Academy. And Guinan serves it to them.

At the very least, we have a new website – a relatively covert website, which seems to be showing ‘streaming video’ from the construction site of the Enterprise NCC-1701. What will the days ahead reveal to us? We have nearly a whole year to find out. JJ knows how to bait and taunt his target market, so expect a lot of mystery and viral advertising.

Live long, and drink Slusho.

Official website Trailhead
Discussion at Unfiction
Resource wiki

What’s an xPod?

jPod.jpgA new article posted at (also via hints at an upcoming game from Xenophile Media, tied in with a new show from the Canadian network CBC called jPod, which premieres Tuesday, January 8th (on CBC of course). While much of the show’s online components are typical of the new trend of extended interactivity, the key point is noted in a later paragraph:

“And midway through the season, an alternate reality game dubbed xPod will launch, built by the same company that designed the Emmy Award-winning web game for ReGenesis.”

Now, while we take the term alternate reality game in this context with a grain of salt, Xenophile does have a decent track record with their past projects for Fallen (Ocular Effect) and Regenesis.

What might xPod hold in store for the ARG community? Well, first of all, it will most certainly be geared towards the crowd who would enjoy jPod. Otherwise, it’s too early to tell. xPod is reportedly scheduled to begin sometime in the spring, while the TV series premieres this week. Though it is a Canadian show, it might make its way to the US at some point. So, if jPod appeals to you, then keep an eye out for xPod!

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