Tag: 42 entertainment (page 3 of 8)

SXSW Interactive awards for TDK ARG, We Tell Stories, Lost Zombies

2009-sxsw-web-awards Image courtesy of the SXSW Interactive Web Awards site.

It’s a big night for three campaigns tonight, as the teams behind The Dark Knight ARG, Lost Zombies and We Tell Stories have won major awards at the 12th annual SXSW Interactive Web Awards. The awards were handed out earlier tonight at the Hilton Austin Downtown, and according to The Underwire blog at Wired, the major hardware found its way into the hands of the wonderful people behind these highly successful campaigns.

One of the biggest wins of the night came for We Tell Stories. This project was a collaboration between Six to Start and Penguin Books and, as reported here in March of 2008, was a way for media-savvy designers to retell classic stories through the use of technology. We Tell Stories won in the Experimental category, but as a bonus, also walked away with the Best in Show Award. This is a monumental win for the company, formed at the beginning of 2008 by former members of Mind Candy.

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The Family That Games Together

robbie_swag_pa.jpg

“I got it Robbie! I got it,” My mother screamed into my ear. As she excitedly described her prize, my cell phone let out a monotone cry and the line went dead. Next came a knock on my cubicle wall. Looking up, I saw my boss standing in the doorway.

“Robbie, can I speak with you for a second?”

“Sure thing,” I said, stuffing my phone into my pocket, hanging up on my mother as she was calling back, “No problem.”

…..

My mom loves scavenger hunts. There always seemed to be a particular thrill in it for her–the chase, the race against time, the competitive nature of the event. Although she has always loved hunts, mom has always had one problem: her inability to win. Despite years of playing, she had never walked away as the victor, carrying the spoils of war in her triumphant hands.

Perhaps you now understand my hesitation to call her when I learned of Project Abraham‘s last hurrah. As 42 Entertainment wrapped up their immersive viral campaign for the Resistance 2 video game release, they had planned the ultimate ARG event–the coveted Dead Drop. All around the nation twenty satchels were hidden, their coordinates released over a five-day period to anxious players who then scrambled to be the first to reach them.

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ARGFest 2008 in Review: Rules of Engagement with Steve Peters (Brunettes with Glasses are Hot)

ARGNet Writers pose at ARGFest 2008

This article is the third in a series, providing summaries of the presentations at ARGFest-o-Con 2008 in Boston

Steve Peters left ARGNet a few years back, but he still sticks around. Supposedly, he works for some company named 42 Entertainment that sponsored ARGFest 2008 and purchased tickets to The Dark Knight for attendees. In this Showcase Presentation, Steve Peters explained how to deal with Alternate Reality Gaming audiences using the Microsoft Vista-sponsored ARG Vanishing Point as an example.

According to Peters, there are Five F’s of Fantasticness necessary for every alternate reality game: Find, Focus, Fun, Freedom, and Fear.

The first step to every alternate reality game is the FIND: discovering the game. With Vanishing Point, 42 Entertainment targeted early adopters with puzzle boxes, puzzle graphics on Windows and technology blogs, and a taunting message suggesting that the readers wouldn’t be able to solve these. Solving the puzzles led to the main page for Vanishing Point, where, explains Peters, players found the ever effective and tantalizing countdown. So effective, in fact, that Vanishing Point included dozens of countdowns scattered around the website, each one culminating in a live event.

Which brings us to the second step: FOCUS. Players need to know what to expect when they’re entering a game. While you can pick up a book and anticipate the commitment it will involve by the number of pages, size of the font, and reputation of the author, the same does not necessarily apply to alternate reality games. Sticking to regularly scheduled updates helps generate expectations for the players. Setting more explicit boundaries through iconic touches to the websites can also help guide players and protect the developer’s sanity.

The third factor is both the simplest and the hardest: FUN. Under the direct assault of hundreds or even thousands of skilled players, puzzles often need to be difficult. However, they still have to be fun, and often building upon previous puzzles can help with that process.

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Get off your Computer and Get a (War) Job

Resistance 2 / 42 EntertainmentGamePro Magazine’s August 2008 issue is offering a 10-page preview of Resistance 2. The GamePro website offered a sneak peek at the preview, leading to the trailhead for the rumored Resistance 2 ARG. Phew. Following so far?

One of the WWII-era advertisements directed me to visit GetaWarJob.com, a recruiting website for the American military. A business card on the website told me to dial 866-931-9417 to hear a rousing speech urging me to enlist. And without even realizing what I was doing, I found myself enlisting for military service on the registration page. Fine upstanding citizen that I am, I expressed an interest in “Law Enforcement”, one of the many military fields available. The recruiter got back to me fairly quickly verifying my interest in an honorable career of government service.

Underlying this military fervor is a trifling concern. It seems a deadly strain of influenza is ravaging Europe. “La Grippe” made the Great War fairly uncomfortable for its soldiers…somehow, I can’t imagine it being any easier the second time around. Although as long as I eat my vegetables, avoid immoral behavior, and floss daily, I’m sure I’ll be fine. And the discovery of oddly familiar alien skulls deepens my sense of foreboding. Indeed, an encrypted message within the advertisement asks “How far will they go Project Abraham”, leading to ProjectAbraham.com. The morse code at the end of the video at the “Project Abraham” site leads to a page showing a group of soldiers.

When ARGNet last asked 42 Entertainment to confirm rumors that they were developing an alternate reality game for Resistance 2, they offered no comment. The privacy policy reveals that this campaign is sponsored by Sony Computer Entertainment America, Resistance 2’s publisher. Whether or not 42 Entertainment are behind this project, the interface looks slick, the audio and recordings have a nice vintage feel, and the propaganda posters will take you back a few decades. It remains to be seen whether this game will be as “viral” as the flu, but initial indicators look promising.

Click Here for the thread at UnFiction
Click Here for the sneak peek of the preview of GamePro Magazine

Update: Some of you might be wondering why the woman in the ProjectAbraham video (let’s call her “Cassie”) looks so familiar. Although this has not been confirmed by official sources, “Cassie” bears a striking resemblance to Katee Sackhoff, an actress you may know better as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace from Battlestar Galactica (or as the voice of Female Marine #3 from Halo 3 for you diehard Halo fans). The resemblance is uncanny, really.

Cannes Lions Award for 42 Entertainment

42Cannes.jpg42 Entertainment has won yet another distinguished honor, and this time, it’s a grand prize. On Thursday, June 19, the company won the Grand Prix Cyber Lions award at the Cannes Lions 2008 festival in the Viral Advertising/Viral Marketing category for their alternate reality game. The Cannes Lions awards are widely considered the most prestigious of all advertising awards, so this is definitely a feather in the cap for the company responsible for this enthralling collaboration with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame. Congratulations to the crew, which includes Steve Peters, the previous owner of this very web site.

In picture: Susan Bonds, Producer/CEO, and Alex Lieu, Creative Director/CCO, 42 Entertainment

If Looks Could Kill… *ZAP!*

ilck.jpgVroom vroom! The sleek champagne Toyota Camry zips around the corner, coming to a screeching halt. Out steps a leggy, ultra-fashionable African-American woman, arriving to hook up with her ultra-fashionable, successful boyfriend. She flips her keys to the valet – a little “blip blip!” sounds from the Camry’s push-button car alarm, like Kit saying “see ya later!” to Knight Rider. Who is this woman? Where did she get such an awesome car with such swanky accoutrements? Where did she find that hunky boyfriend of hers? What does her rolling stone of a father have to do with the dudes who stole her purse? What kind of pie did Nana bake? And where on earth did she find those fantastic shoes?!

The latest in cross-media marketing mayhem produced by Burrell Communications Group and 42 Entertainment for Toyota’s 2009 Camry, entitled “If Looks Could Kill,” takes you inside the world of high fashion and high espionage with Bianca, the fashionista lead character poised to pique the interest of young, hip, African-American women – women, who indeed, need a swanky Toyota Camry. In each weekly episode of this interactive drama, Bianca is pressed to unravel a mystery of intrigue and espionage, all while juggling the stressful duties of her job as a fashion designer, keeping her boyfriend happy and interested, and making sure not to miss coffee and dessert with her Nana. For seven weeks, participants are treated to six movie-styled webisodes of Bianca’s crazy life as she tools around through New York City (without ever running into traffic) in her champagne-colored Camry (with touch navigation and integrated Bluetooth). Within each episode are opportunities for players to help Bianca escape from trouble, as she turns to the camera and asks you to do something for her, such as download photos and find flyers, and email her the information she needs to stay in the game.

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