As the wheels of the small commuter plane touched down on the tarmac of San Francisco International Airport, the rush of excitement I felt having arrived for ARGFest-O-Con 2007 was almost overwhelming. It had been less than two years since I had attended the large-scale conference dedicated to alternate reality gaming – the 2005 event in New York City was my first ARGFest – but the anticipation for this event had me giddy as a schoolgirl. As I navigated through the weaving maze of gates and security checkpoints, I knew that in less than an hour, I would be meeting up with people from around the globe, some of which I had seen in late 2005 at the Last Call Poker finale, and some that I had never even had the chance to talk to in the online chat rooms that dot the ARG community landscape.
I had the benefit of arriving in San Francisco within minutes of Unfiction owner Sean Stacey and 42 Entertainment’s Elan Lee. After some careful coordination, we were able to share a cab to the convention’s home, the Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf in northern San Fran. We began to talk, and it was obvious that despite a bit of fatigue, the other two were just as excited about the conference as I was. We chatted as though we had seen each other only days earlier, and as we traversed the streets leading to the hotel, fifteen minutes elapsed before Elan finally said, “Hey, San Francisco is really pretty.” We hadn’t even looked out the window of the cab, too busy talking with each other.
The rest of the evening went by much faster than I would have liked. Arriving at the hotel to see old friends and meet those I had previously talked with online, events quickly led to a wonderful Chinese meal, a regrettable absence from the Cruel 2 B Kind game that over 50 teams enjoyed, and a number of beverages at the hotel lounge. It was great to see people I write with on this site, people like Jackie Kerr and Marie Lamb, people who I had never met with in a real-world setting previously. Smiling faces and loud, raucous cheers littered the gathering place, and the festival moved forward, full tilt.
It’s a whole new world for the ARG Netcast series. We have our spiffy new website, and a whole new attitude. It’s like Extreme Makeover, ARG style! Episode 14‘s panel, hosted by ARGnet‘s Jonathan Waite, includes Jessica Price, Marie Lamb, Jackie Kerr, and Sean C. Stacey. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through this link or via iTunes.
Head over to the new site for all of the details. Please note: because of the move to the new site, the iTunes podcast number has changed, so many of you regular subscribers will need to update your bookmarks in iTunes.
So, after hours of post-recording edits for Episode 11 of the ARG Netcast series, the audio quality for one side of the conversation is terrible at best. Don’t let that dissuade you from listening though, as this week’s roundtable is as entertaining as it is informative. Regular panelists Brooke Thompson, Jackie Kerr, Sean C. Stacey and Jonathan Waite are joined this week by Jessica Price, ARGNet writer and Unfiction forums moderator. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through FeedBurner or via iTunes.
- The Heroes 360 experience moves along, albeit very slowly. There is a lovely player wiki (yarr, there be spoilers) that has been created, so hopefully the game gains a bit more momentum, soon. Also, see this Blogspot page for more (spoilers ahoy!) information.
- Meigeist is getting love from afar. They also have a nifty player wiki which will get you caught up in less time than you can say “Save the cat, save the world.” Although, you’d sound silly saying that.
- Perplex City players are pretty darn close to finding that cube, we hear. Something about a rock, and a Jurassic… something. They also have some pretty cool plans for the reward money.
- Monster Hunter Club explains away some advertising, and characters show up at the Today show.
- Puzzle of the week: A grid puzzle needs reconstruction (and deconstruction) for Monster Hunter Club. See this thread at the Unfiction forums for more details.
- The VirtuQuest people send us a response to our questions about Township Heights. Jackie weighs in on the “mildly insulting” situation. Then the rest of the panel piles on.
- Check out this beautiful mock-up (totally unofficial, we understand) of the Neowin-Unfiction branded AMD chip. This will apparently be possible thanks to the winner of the meta puzzle of the Vanishing Point game. Neowin/Unfiction for the win! We also report on the now-postponed VP post-game chat with 42 Entertainment, so ignore that part when you get to it.
- Studio Cypher will be releasing the fourth chapter in their Multiplayer Novel soon, called High Stakes.
- Jessica talks about her experiences with Ravenchase, which you can also read about in her outstanding ARGNet article.
- Jane McGonical is going to be the first ever female keynote speaker at the Game Developer’s Conference in March. We couldn’t be happier for Jane and wish her the best!
- ARGFest is less than a month away.
- We let the cat out of the bag about ARGNet’s partnership with SXSW for the Screenburn festival. Details will be released in the coming weeks. Brooke will be speaking at the conference, for those who can make it.
For those of you who still have lingering questions after our special ARG Netcast on ARGFest-o-Con 2007, you are in luck. Tomorrow, in the #argfest room at the Chat-Solutions IRC network, organizers and attendees alike will be present to discuss the festivities, as well as organize some of the details for the event. If you are interested in attending the chat, it will happen at 8:00 pm EST on Thursday, January 25, 2007. We have set up a dedicated chat channel for your convenience, so now you really have no excuse for not being there. Come one, come all, and bring your ideas and questions!