Six to Start and the BBC have teamed up to create a transmedia experience tied in with BBC Two documentary The Code, expected to air at the end of July.The Code is presented by Professor of Mathematics Marcus du Sautoy (Horizon on BBC2, The Beauty of Diagrams on BBC4) and explores how the world around us conforms to and can be explained by mathematical codes. Six to Start are next-generation storytellers with plenty of experience creating storytelling projects for different clients, often in the form of alternate reality games or treasure hunts. They’ve worked with the BBC before on projects like Spooks: Code 9 and Seven Ages Quest. As a first for the BBC and possibly a world first, an interactive experience called The Code Challenge has been seamlessly integrated in the writing and filming of The Code since inception. Viewers can participate in an engaging treasure hunt which will take place before, during, and after the series that will extend their understanding of basic mathematical principles.
The Code Challenge begins well before the airing of the actual show. Soon, 1000 people in the UK will receive a secret message with one of the first puzzles of the challenge. For a chance to be one of those 1000, keep an eye on Twitter @bbccode and apply via Twitter or e-mail. A few weeks before the show airs, several Flash games containing clues, puzzles, and more information about the Code will also appear online. The series itself is expected to air at the end of July and will be split into three 60-minute episodes: Magic Numbers, Nature’s Building Blocks and Predicting the Future. Six clues are connected to each episode. Three will be hidden in the programme itself, which can be watched live on BBC Two or on BBC iPlayer. One community clue can only be solved by working together with a group of players. Two further clues will be revealed on the blog and through a Flash game. Players can then enter the six answers they found for each episode into the ‘codebreaker’ to receive three passwords with which they can unlock the ultimate challenge.
It’s the 10th anniversary of ARGFest-o-Con August 18th-21st in Bloomington, Indiana. Perhaps this seems inconsequential to you. Perhaps, you forget that 10 years ago an interactive experience called The Beast shook people’s lives more than any church mass ever has. So, chew on this: what once seemed crazy is now a definitive part of the future of interactive media. Today everyone from across the entertainment and media industries now lines up to imagine how an alternate reality game or transmedia storytelling strategies could be used to help market their products or shake their communities into action. In the music business right now, it’s the Lady Gaga ARG, while video games generate buzz through ARGs as with Valve 2’s ARG, and ARGs are used to support reality TV. Earlier this year, Fourth Wall Studios received a $15-million investment to bring together some of the most renowned ARG designers in one studio. They’re preparing to tempt the ever-growing audience for some of the latest and greatest blockbuster films on the horizon.
Not sure if ARGFest is for you? In the words of ARGFest’s primary organizer, Jonathan Waite, are you “ready to take part in a unique, perhaps life-altering experience”? Do you have “an open mind and a curiosity about how gaming can go beyond traditional media”? Then by all means, catch the early bird discount (promotion ends today!) and get yourself a ticket to ARGFest.
I asked Waite about the context of this year’s ARGFest: “I think one of the most exciting things about ARGFest-o-Con 2011 is that we are celebrating our tenth “anniversary.” Even though the first ARGFest-o-Con was in 2003, this is the 10th time we are gathering as a community, and the tenth city playing host for the event. I’m also very excited to be visiting Bloomington, Indiana, as it is a unique and welcoming city that we think will really impress the attendees. As always, ARGFest-o-Con will be a fun, informative and educational event where fans and players of games can sit alongside leaders in transmedia while enjoying intimate, interactive discussions and presentations.”
To coincide with the launch of Socks, Inc., Awkward Hug has found it in their hearts to offer ARGNet readers a chance to win all the tools necessary to join the fun in style. So put your talents at tweeting to the test for a chance to take home a portable movie camera and Super Awesome Sock Making kit.
The Socks, Inc. Twitter Contest Socks, Incorporated needs your help to come up with tweet sized commercial tag-lines for the game! They will award a Super Awesome Sock Puppet making kit complete with a Sanyo Full HD 1080 Pocket Movie Camera to the person (or sock) with the best Socks, Inc. themed Tweet. Mr. Barnsworth is taking time from his busy schedule of hanging out with underwear models to judge the contest himself!
To enter the Socks, Inc. Twitter contest, all you need to do is:
Write and Tweet a commercial tagline for Socks, Inc.; and
According to Jane McGonigal, gamers tend to read books more than they watch TV. Books give us big ideas and inform our imaginations, create new worlds and take us on amazing adventures. Oddly enough, the place where books are kept and made available, the library, does not usually fill us with the same sense of wonder. The New York Public Library wants to change that perception. The library’s goal is to “inspire people around the world to see libraries as a place where they can achieve their dreams and invent their own future” and “show off NYPL as a space for active creation and social collaboration.” To do this, the library has developed Find the Future, an interactive experience that guides visitors through the many artifacts housed at the New York Public Library. The game is directed by Jane McGonigal and her husband Kiyash Monsef, and designed and developed by Playmatics and Natron Baxter Applied Gaming.
Find the Future will initially be played by 500 participants who will be locked into the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building overnight on May 20, 2011. Once inside, players will go on real-world missions by following virtual clues on laptops and smartphones, collaborating online to discover 100 amazing and unique items from the collections of the New York Public Library, like Charles Dickens’ letter opener or a draft version of the Declaration of Independence. After finding each object, they will write a short piece based on the experience, inspiring the future with their personal contribution, which will later be bundled and published in a book. As McGonigal explained to CNN.com, “it really becomes clear that for every moment in history there was a person who set that moment in action — and you could be that person.”
The Ides of March have almost arrived, and with them, the release of Patrick Carman’s 3:15 Stories app. In honor of the release, Carman and PC Studio have graciously offered to give away fifteen 3:15 Stories t-shirts to ARGNet readers.
And what better way to give away fifteen 3:15 Stories t-shirts than to have three methods of entry? That’s right, up to three chances to win fifteen 3:15 Stories shirts for three days, starting on 3/15.
You can use all three methods to triple your odds of winning, but entrants are limited to one entry per method, and each person can only win one shirt. No purchase is necessary, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia (excluding U.S. territories) who are 13 years or older as of the beginning of the contest period on March 15th.
–Entry Method #1
Download the free 3:15 Stories app from 315stories.com for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android phone. Take a picture of your phone running the app and email the photo it to [email protected] with the subject line “3:15 Stories in the Wild.”
–Entry Method #2
Email [email protected] with the subject line “Paul Chandler Scares Me,” and tell us about your favorite Patrick Carman book or what you thought of the 3:15 Stories trailer on 315stories.com.
–Entry Method #3
Follow @argn on twitter and tweet/retweet the following message:
“RT @argn Retweet for a chance to win a “3:15 Stories” t-shirt from PC Studio http://bit.ly/h2OiIy #315contest”
All entries must be sent between 3:15AM EST on March 15th and 3:15AM EST on March 18th. After collecting all entries, ARGNet will randomly select the 15 potential winners and notify them on or before March 21st, 2011 (by email for Entry Methods #1 and #2, by a twitter Direct Message for Entry Method #3). Potential winners will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address before they forfeit their prize and an alternate is notified. Read below the cut for additional rules.
As previously reported on ARGNet, in the last year, location-based gaming start-up SCVNGR has been taking the smartphone app world by storm, partnering with giant entertainment companies as well as local businesses, nonprofits, and cultural institutions to build “a game layer on top of the world.” Very much a driving force in the overall gamification movement, SCVNGR has just launched a new venture, LevelUp, and is moving into the realm of “local deals” ventures like Groupon and Living Social.
At a press conference in Philadelphia, SCVNGR Chief Rockstar Michael Hagan kicked off the first LevelUp deals at the “inspired” Boloco burrito chain in Boston and PYT, home of the “craziest burgers” in Philadelphia. (They probably earned that moniker because of their Krispy Kreme burger.) LevelUp brings together the check-in, the challenge, and the reward all “in one bite,” according to Hagan, and benefits local merchants in the long term by “scripting a reason to return.”