Near, far, wherever you are – ARGFest 2010 in Atlanta, GA was a blast. Whether at ARGFest or its virtual Twitter counterpartÂ #PretendARGFest, the annual conference dedicated to alternate reality games was filled with informative panels and discussions, hands on gaming, mysteries, and social and professional networking opportunities.Â While the player community in attendance was less this year and creative minds and industry folk were in relative abundance, all aspects of the ARG/Transmedia genre and community seemed well represented.
To usher in ARGFest 2010, Brian Clark welcomed everyone and introduced the newly appointed “Grand Inquisitor“, Steve Peters. The first session was presented by Andrea Phillips ofÂ Deus Ex Machinatio. Andrea set the pace for the fest by presentingÂ Beyond the Brunette – an analytical look at stereotypical gender roles in gaming and storytelling.Â By providing a look at numerous common character cliches, attendees couldn’t help but notice throughout the remainder of the conference how common they actually are. As one of her session’s focal points, Andrea posed the challenge to be unique and break away from using standard, typical archetypes.
Other panels and sessions this year covered a host of informative topics, including:
- Brooke Thompson‘sÂ Can Transmedia Save the Soap Opera
- ARG TV panel withÂ Nina Bargiel,Â Mike Monello, and Owen Shiflett
- We Want To Play! discussion panel with ARG veteran players
- Evan Barba‘sÂ The World OutsideÂ on Augmented Reality
- Jim Babb andÂ Simeon Poulin‘sÂ Keeping It Casual on casual gaming
- Patrick MÃ¶ller‘sÂ Follow the Rabbit on ways to launch projects to existing players
- Peggy Weil‘sÂ TransGenre: City Gaming & Public Art panel
- Behnam Karbassi‘sÂ Transmedia Production – a videochat via Skype
- Mike Monello andÂ Brian Clark‘sÂ Beyond Blair Witch