Tag: adversarial play

Building Fences: Your Response

armies.gifIt’s been a long time since ARGN.com posted my article entitled Building Fences: An Editorial, the subject of which was the topic of adversarial play within Alternate Reality Games, in theory and in history. We invited you, the reader, to tell us what you thought about the subject, and we were nearly immediately inundated with responses, spanning the entire gamut of opinion. We read every letter, rant, and lesson. Here are some highlights from the responses we received:

“…The problem with past approaches to the player v. player tactic in ARGing is that it almost always has come across as either a minor, player induced (i.e. not meant by the PM to happen) event, or has been quickly toned down by PMs who did mean to do it in the first place. The outcry from the community is always rather dramatic when a PM attempts to purposely divide players.

What I think needs to happen is for a PM team to make a quality ARG that incorporates this tactic, and run with it – to not give in to the community’s cries, and to just go with what they planned. Nothing against the community – I count myself as a member of it in most aspects – but sometimes everyone gets worked up about small things, while forgetting the bigger picture.” – Dave

“Eisner comes down in favor of splitting the player base, arguing that this makes for a more powerful approach to mysteries (think open source), and richer plot developments (think restaurant menu). I would add that increasing the number of player parties, from one to many, could increase the amount of player creativity (i.e., more wikis, more fiction, etc).

As Web 2.0 storytelling emerges, this is precisely the sort of thing we’ll see.” – Infocult

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Building Fences – An Editorial

armies.gifThe age-old argument is coming up again, in the form of the recently launched (and, perhaps, recently concluded) grassroots game, Project Ashcroft 3.

We all know that one of Alternate Reality Gaming’s main selling points and the reason that many of us are around to this day (especially anyone who can remember “where.gif” and “FOUNDER”), is the strong community environment that evolves during a game. Every once in a while though, a new game (or sometimes rogue players) will buck the trend by playing the “adversary” card, pitting player against player. In recent history, the ARG community has not addressed this issue in depth, preferring to assume that this action is the exception, and not the rule.

So which is it? Is it a good practice and a natural evolution in the gaming realm? Is this a bad idea contrary to the ideals upon which Alternate Reality Games were founded? Let’s talk, shall we?

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