The last time we looked in on Ocular Effect there wasn’t much more to report on than a mysterious countdown and possible connection to an ABC Family movie. Since then the countdown has ended and what looks to be an ARG has appeared in its place.
When the countdown ran to zero, an strange coded sphere called the Oculus appeared. When opened, the Oculus now redirects to the website of Miss Vix’s tattoo parlor in Seattle, WA. Miss Vix was lucky enough to stumble upon and hire a young artist named Faith Arella. Faith has become the hottest new thing to hit the Seattle tattoo scene with her own style of tattoos which seem to give their recipients good fortune.
The all knowing Oculus also reveals a school for gifted children called the Bethlehem Conservatory which privately recruits its students, assuredly for some yet-to-be-determined nefarious purposes. Listed on their site are several missing alumni, one of which we’ve seen before, Faith Arella the tattoo artist. Although yet to be directly proven, it is heavily speculated that Faith could be a Nephilim, or half angel/half human, like the main character of the Fallen movie, Aaron.
If you haven’t yet checked out Ocular Effect you can easily catch up by reading through the many resources for the game including the ingame recap, the discussion forums on UnFiction, the official OE forums and the extensive player-created OE wiki.
Check your local listings for the next showing of Fallen or watch the movie online at the ABC Family website.
Kyle XY gives us another in a series of ABC Television’s efforts to bring the TV show’s audience on-line with a vaguely ARG-like game. Unlike The Lost Experience or Ocular Effect, however, this seems to be the ARG that can’t get off the ground. So far we have one site, MadaCorp, which is some kind of scientific research company. The site itself is slapped together with some not-too-interesting Flash bits, and has whole pages with no content of any kind. Clicking on “Our Jobs” takes you to a secret blog, where a mysterious insider talks about his efforts to bring the truth about Kyle to light, but the entries are obtuse and repetitive, leading this reporter to wonder if he’s the dumbest whistle-blower ever, or the “clues” are so convoluted that no one has been able to figure them out yet.
The show itself, running Monday nights on ABC Family, is a charming bit of science fiction in the guise of a family drama. Matt Dallas brings a kind of goofy innocence to the role of Kyle, and his interactions with the world make for some very funny and touching moments. The family Trager is bland California, however. The acting is competent, at least.
Overall, I can’t say that this has much to recommend it, and yet I can’t stop watching, either. I have this hope that something more will develop and make all those blog entries mean more than the insipid ramblings they appear to be currently. Also, I really want to find out why Kyle doesn’t have a belly button.
Hot in pursuit of the internet audience, ABC‘s sister network,
ABC Family, has announced their plans for an alternate reality game
based on their upcoming television show, Fallen. Announced today in a
press release found on SciFi Wire,
the game is set to launch following the 2-hour premire on July 23rd.
Spearheading the project is Matt Wolf, designer of games for other media features,
including The Bourne Identity.
The show is based on the young-adult series of books of the same name by Thomas Sniegoski.
The main character of the book series discovers on his 18th birthday that he belongs to a race
of fallen angels on Earth (The Fallen), and of the prophesy that he is the one who might bridge
the gap between The Fallen and Heaven. Beyond the story of the race and his adjustment to his discovery,
he and his family are pursued by a race of killer angels, out to destroy him. The Fallen ARG,
on the heels of the successful Lost Experience for ABC, is expected to be integrated into the telecast,
with clues to the game hidden within, allowing viewers the chance to engage with the show’s story.
Since the rumor of Ocular Effect‘s
link to Disney and ABC, it was hypothesized that it might be an ARG for The Fallen. With this new information,
the possibility remains, though the links might now be more fragile – for instance, the countdown clock on Ocular Effect
runs out on July 17th, almost a week before the expected July 23rd launch of the game tied to Fallen. Will that week be
a moment for the ARG audience to dabble in the Fallen universe, or is Ocular Effect something different entirely?