Author: Jessica Price (page 2 of 5)

History is Circling Back Upon Us, Like – Dun Dun DUN – A Halo!

halo3.jpgThe gears of the Universe spin further and further apart.
Ever greater grows the gulf between souls,
And distance gives false hope of safety
But for the grim tidings this messenger bears:

The enemy is almost upon us…

…slouching toward Bethlehem to be born, perhaps.

The lines above were taken from an email sent out as part of what appears to be an ARG (or at least a promotion that takes a few pages from the ARG playbook) designed to lead in to the launch of the third installment of the wildly popular Halo game series.

It all began on Monday, June 11th, when an entity calling itself Adjutant Reflex began posting cryptic messages on the Bungie forum. From there, the trail lead to an alien-awareness site called Society of the Ancients (SOTA), as well as one entitled “Transmission Log,” which contains a countdown slated to end this Thursday. SOTA members have since staged live protests in New York, Vancouver, San Francisco and London, wearing t-shirts emblazoned with a symbol that seems to figure significantly in the unfolding story. Elements in the game link directly to the Halo 3 site, so it appears that the campaign is not hewing as firmly to the “This Is Not A Game” aesthetic as its predecessor, 2004’s ilovebees, but there appears to be the beginning of a rich storyline that may illuminate some of the unanswered questions in the Halo mythology.

Halo fans have been speculating rampantly (pun intended, of course), and the launch of the game has also served as an informal reunion for a lot of beekeepers (participants in ilovebees). The identity of the company responsible for the game has been a hot topic of discussion, with 42 Entertainment — creators of ilovebees — among the most popular suspects.

However, in an exclusive statement to the panel on the ARG Netcast, 42 Entertainment’s Vice President of Experience Design, Elan Lee, announced that the campaign was not a 42 project, and Steve Peters of 42 also replied to an email sent yesterday with a similar statement. Bungie Studios, makers of the Halo series, has used ARG-like elements to promote their games before, beginning with 1999’s Cortana Letters, so it’s possible they are doing it in-house. Regardless of who the creators are, with live events, Forerunner poetry to interpret, mysterious locked servers on the Halo 3 site, and the mysterious Adjutant Reflex at large, it promises to be an exciting ride!

Join the discussion at the Unfiction forums, visit thebruce’s wiki to get caught up, or chat with other players in #halo on irc.chat-solutions.org.

Thanks to the denizens of #halo for their invaluable help in summarizing the action thus far.

Sammeeeees PM Looks a Little Lonely

Recently, ARGNet learned that Jan Libby, solo PM of the popular indie game Sammeeeees, has joined the Lonelygirl15 team. She began by writing a recent Lonelygirl video, “Sing With Me,” and it sounds like we will be seeing a lot more of her work in the future.

“In addition to writing videos, Jan is also taking a leadership role in implementing more puzzles and interactivity into our show. We are thrilled to be working with her,” says Greg Goodfried, an executive producer for the series.

Jan herself adds, “I have found my eternal song with LG15! 😉 Seriously, Greg, Mesh, Miles, and Amanda make the collaboration process so much fun. I’m having a blast — although this ‘no curtain’ PM stuff will take some getting used to.”

We congratulate both parties on what we hope will be an exciting and productive relationship on both sides of the curtain, and look forward to seeing what’s in store for LG15! We would also like to congratulate the team on their recent Webby award — a well-deserved accolade for this engaging series.

Catch up on the Lonelygirl15 series at YouTube, or discuss the announcement at Unfiction.

Come Out And Play…In London!

toplogo.gif For all those UK residents who wished they could have attended New York’s Come Out And Play Festival, now is your chance to have your own weekend of public gaming fun.

Sponsored by a mysterious benefactor named Gideon Reeling (see here if you want a peek behind the curtain), the Hide and Seek festival promises both new games, such as the London Poetry game, and soon-to-be classics such as Cruel 2 B Kind. There’s even a game done in conjunction with the folks from SFZero and a seminar discussion on why pervasive games are “the new punk rock.” (Full schedule here.)

Alex Fleetwood, one of the festival’s organizers, describes the New York festival as one of the inspirations for the event:

“I attended the Come Out and Play festival in New York and came back inspired. I love ARGs but I’m very attracted to the more user-friendly aspects of pervasive games – you can pick them up for an afternoon and really get something out of them. I wanted to run a game that got people talking to strangers as that was my favourite element of the games at COAP. I’m also hopeful that the open-source translation that the players and the people of London collectively create will be a beautiful thing in itself.”

As for the mysterious Mr. Reeling, Alex can’t tell us much:

“Little is known about Mr Reeling. He describes himself as an adventure capitalist and only communicates via email. We have asked that he tell us more about himself and that he attend the festival in person; watch this space for more news…”

The festival runs Friday through Sunday evening, and all games will begin at the Delegates Centre, BFI South Bank Centre. Readers, if you’re able to attend, please send us your thoughts afterwards!

Perplex City Season 2 “Preview Episode” Goes Live

pxc.jpgThe ARGNet tipline has garnered some exciting news about an upcoming development in the world of popular ARG Perplex City:

This Friday, a live “preview episode” for Perplex City will launch, providing the first opportunity in two years for newcomers to join a Perplex City game as it starts. While not the full replayable episode expected in June, no prior experience is required for the mini-game, making it an ideal opportunity to jump in.

Sign up at the Perplex City Stories website to receive notification when the game starts.

ARG Netcast, Episode 21: The Mainstream

argnetcast.jpgIn the 21st episode of the netcast series, we discuss the ARG news of the past week, including the massive mainstream press attention ARGs have been getting this month and last. Regular panelists Jon Waite, Sean Stacey and Jessica Price are joined by first-timers Michelle Senderhauf and Geoff May. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through this link or via iTunes. Contact us at our special netcast email address, [email protected] with your tips, suggestions, concerns and submissions. Call us on the ARGNet voicemail at 630-274-5425.

The Unseen: A Thank You to A Few of the Individuals Who Help Make the ARG Community A Great Place

unseen.jpg

It takes a lot of people to keep the ARG community running. ARGNet is a news organization, and as such we tend to focus our reporting on the people who grab headlines, to indulge in a cliché: puppetmasters, players who win prizes, and so on.

However, many of the people who make the community what it is — and ARGs what they are — work nearly invisibly, quietly creating essential resources, keeping websites updated, and using their skills and talents in other ways to benefit the community and games that they love.

ARGNet would like to take this opportunity to recognize some of these individuals and their contributions. We would like to make this a regular series, and hope our readers will keep us informed about other people from whose work we all benefit but who may not get the credit they deserve.

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