Author: Steve Peters (page 1 of 25)

Accomplice Hollywood: Oh Nikki, You’re So Fine!

accomplice-hollywoodSteve Peters is a guest writer for ARGNet and founder of No Mimes Media.

A few weeks back, I was able to head to Hollywood to take part in Accomplice: Hollywood, a new interactive experience produced by Neil Patrick Harris, Tom Salamon and Betsy Salamon-Sufott, that takes place entirely on foot throughout Hollywood Boulevard and its neighboring streets. While the website bills the experience as a “luscious blend” of one part Scavenger Hunt, one part Interactive Theater, and one part Walking Tour, (with all the good parts left intact and all of the bad parts sifted out), I’d add one part Alternate Reality Game into the recipe, for sure (c’mon Neil, get with the lingo). What was it like? I’ll do my best to explain without spoiling the fun. Was it any good? Read on and see.

After reading a blurb about Accomplice: Hollywood on some vanity blog, I said to myself, “Hey! I live near Hollywood!” and promptly bought tickets for the missus and myself, along with cajoling a couple more friends to come along for the fun. We booked 2pm on Sunday, September 27th, and were told that we’d be contacted the day before the event to be given instructions, including where to meet. In the meantime, we were told to visit to find out more. Go there now and watch the video (which is pretty funny, I must say). I’ll wait…

Continue reading

Changing of the Guard

opendoor.jpgAs some of you may know, I’ve been on hiatus from around here since July, when I took a break from running ARGN to duck behind the curtain to work as a designer for Last Call Poker, the latest project by 4orty2wo Entertainment.

Incredibly, it now looks like my hiatus has become permanent departure, as I’ve been asked by 4orty2wo to continue working with them on future projects. As it’s really not possible to do both at once, I’m turning the ARGN keys over to Jonathan Waite (jamesi), who, along with Sean Stacey (Spacebass) partnered with me on the ground floor to get ARGN (and thereby the ARG community as we know it) off and running.

We as a community set out to raise public awareness for this cool new genre, and it seems we have succeeded far beyond our wildest hopes. What began as an innovative campaign for AI: Artificial Intelligence went on to become loosely known as the This Is Not A Game thing (as coined by Elan Lee) and then Alternate Reality Gaming (as coined by Spacebass over at Unfiction), a term which now is used definitively for the genre.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all of you who have really helped make ARGN a success. This includes both our readers and our Staff Writers, who have been doing a bang up job. What began as a backup forum on my company’s website when Y! Groups went down during Lockjaw has become ARGN and its network of sites, most notably Unfiction, which has become the nexus of discussion of all things ARG-related. I’m excited to see what new sites will be added, and how ARGN will grow and change under Jon’s leadership.

Speaking of Lockjaw, if you are a player/puppetmaster/fan today, then you owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Karetao team. For the record, if it weren’t for them and Lockjaw, the first grassroots game produced after The Beast, then the momentum started by The Beast would have been totally lost; the players, community and genre itself scattered to the winds. While Elan Lee, Jordan Weisman and crew are the definitive founders of the genre as we know it, it was Karetao who kept it alive.

I’ve enjoyed my time at ARGN and in the community immensely. I’ve made some great friends, and met some truly wonderful and fascinating people, and had a great time doing it. It’s been a privilege.

Thanks, everyone.

Now, secure any loose articles you may have brought with you, keep your hands and arms inside at all times, and make sure your lap-bar is down and locked. Enjoy your ride.


Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund

redcross.jpgThe images are awful. The reality is worse. Hundreds of thousands of individuals and families have been displaced or otherwise impacted by the devastation that Hurrican Katrina wrought early this week. Thousands are still stranded in downtown New Orleans. Families have lost everything they owned, and far too many have even lost loved ones.

ARGN has set up a relief fund for these victims of Hurrican Katrina. All net proceeds will go directly to the American Red Cross. Our goal is to raise $100,000 as a community for this effort. The victims of this tragedy will need help for months to come, and we’ve been told by relief agencies that the best thing we can do is to donate funds.

Please consider scraping together whatever you can, and together we can reach and exceed this goal. To donate, follow this link. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected.

[EDIT: Due to recent complications involving PayPal and online fundraising efforts for Katrina victims, the links above will now take you directly to the Red Cross donation page. We will no longer be able to track progress of our monetary goal, but this will bypass the problems many sites have been having with PayPal. All previous donations made through our PayPal link will be immediately forwarded to the Red Cross.]

ARGFest New York City is Biggest Yet

argfestgroupthumb.jpgNew York saw bands of Alternate Reality Gamers invade their city last weekend, when ARGFest IV came to town. Historically a social gathering of fans of ARGs, this time around reached new heights in sheer numbers and cool events. Over 50 ARG aficionados from the U.S., Canada and Great Britain spent the weekend gaming, partying, attending sessions and generally enjoying one another. Many folks were meeting each other for the first time in real life, despite having known each other online for years.

Continue reading

New Book “Beyond Reality: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming”

beyondreality.jpgA new book about Alternate Reality Gaming is set go go on sale on July 22nd. “Beyond Reality: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming” by John Gosney is the latest book to be released on the subject of ARGs, and discusses the history and implications of alternate reality games, along with numerous examples from the genre.

The publishers will be holding an online chat with the author on August 8, 2005 at 8:00 pm EDT, and inside sources tell us that there just may be more to this chat than meets the eye. Apparently there will be clues within the pages of the book, as well as this chat, that will reveal…something more. We did notice a Secure Login on the book’s homepage that doesn’t seem to be on pages for any other book. Hmmmm.

Information on purchasing Beyond Reality: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming, as well as info for the upcoming chat can be found here.

Update: Because of some technical glitches, the chat had to be moved. It will now take place this coming Sunday, August 14th, at 6:00 ET.

Email Mystery Announces “Group Read”

freya.jpgThe publishers of the highly praised email mystery The Daughters of Freya (review) have announced a unique “Group Read” for readers of ARGN, where everyone will read the mystery at the same time, and discuss it in an online forum as it happens. The idea is to create a shared interactive experience out of what is normally a solitary activity. The story itself – about a journalist investigating a Marin County sex cult – is told through emails exchanged among the characters. But instead of reading them in a book, readers get them as part of their regular email – 4 or 5 a day over the three weeks it takes for the mystery to unfold. The mystery introduces a new and innovative way to use the Internet as a storytelling tool, and has been getting a great response from readers and reviewers alike.

In some ways, these email mysteries are much like ARGs, only without the puzzles. So, we thought it would be fun to offer ARGN readers an opportunity to experience the story collectively in real-time, much like a typical alternate reality game. The folks at Email Mystery have been kind enough to extend a special promotional price of $3.99 for those who wish to take part. The Group Read will begin on August 1st, when the first installment of the mystery will be emailed to readers.

A forum will be set up for discussion of this Group Read as it happens , so watch ARGN for details on that. If you’d like to participate, you can register here. In addition, there is a free preview with the first three emails from the mystery available here.

EDIT: The discussion forum for Daughters of Freya has been set up here.

Older posts