Tag: australia

Know Hope: Will Bluebird Lead to Paradise?

bluebirdWhen I checked my mail today, I found an envelope from Australia amidst the typical stack of bills, circulars, and coupons to Bed Bath & Beyond. Since I don’t typically receive correspondence from Oz, I snapped a few photographs before opening the letter.

Inside was a letter and an employee badge with an attached USB drive. Both the letter and the badge were emblazoned with the graphic of a blue bird with wings outstreched. On the stationery, I could make out the word “BLUEBIRD” printed underneath the bird. The letter stated,

I need you to look after these for me.
Who knows what’s going to happen to Bluebird
over the next little while . . .
One thing I do know is I can’t let this
bird fly. I’ve got to get the word out.

The employee badge was for Kyle Vandercamp, badge #0004584 at Bluebird. Since the letter was signed “K.” and the attached USB Drive was named “KYLE,” I can only assume Mr. Vandercamp was the source of this message. Kyle has a personal blog, a Flickr stream, and assorted other social media pages.

The USB drive contained a single file: BB_KnowHope..mov (sic.), a video file purportedly created on April 7, 2010 at 4:19:46PM, yet somehow modified on April 7, 2010 at 4:05:50PM. You can view the video below.

What is Project Bluebird, and how will it help stop global warming? Why did Kyle Vandercamp want me to have this file? And will we have a chance to “know hope,” or is there truly “no hope?” At the moment, I only have questions. Hopefully, you can help find the answers.

Click Here for the discussion at Unfiction.

UPDATE:  According to Kyle Vandecamp’s website, this is an alternate reality drama called Bluebird AR, produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and supported by Current. More behind-the-scenes information will be available at ABC’s Bluebird AR page shortly.

Natalie Ross needs your puzzle solving skills!

Last ConferenceG’day Mate! Australia is hosting an international ambassadorial meeting and Natalie Ross has asked folks over at Unfiction if they could help out with the event.  Actually she is just trying to figure out the table arrangements, but it’s still a once in a lifetime opportunity to hone your diplomatic skills!

Meanwhile, coded messages from crack cryptographer Martin Bryce has alerted Ms. Ross that security for the event is in doubt, and an anonymous letter warns that the safety of the conference has been compromised. Together, Natalie and Martin are hard at work down under trying to protect the diplomats while they’re in Sydney, but things are getting out of hand and they need the problem solving skills of all you ARG’ers out there to get to the bottom of this!

Help avoid a devastating international incident by jumping onto the trailhead at ambassadorconferenceinfo.blogspot.com. An Unfiction forums thread has been created to help sort data as well.

The Labratory of Advanced Media Production: It Must Be Bloody Awesome to be Australian

LAMP.jpg“Where the Bloody Hell are You?” It’s a simple question, and yet it becomes a pivotal one in the world of Alternate Reality Gaming, where live events, deaddrops, and local advertisements feature heavily in the experience. And thanks to the dedicated work of the Laboratory of Advanced Media Production, things are looking bright for Australian ARGers.

LAMP is faciliated by the Australian Film TV and Radio School and provides numerous seminars, workshops, and residentials to aid in the development of cross-media entertainment under the direction of Gary Hayes (Personalize Media). Fellow staffer Jackie Turnure refers to the organization as “a hothouse or idea incubator, an intense brainstorming residential” that takes eight development teams away for a six day program to refine their concepts and develop pitches under the guidance of guardian mentors. Past mentors have included Christy Dena author of Cross-MediaEntertainment.com and co-author of the ARG white paper, as well as Evan Jones (Stitch Media) and Tony Walsh (Clickable Culture).

On the first day of the LAMP residential, the eight teams experience a condensed, customized ARG designed by Gary and Jackie as both a team-building exercise and an introduction to the possibilities of the genre. You can find past games documented on the LAMP Wiki, most recently featuring an Italian mystery quest functioning concurrently in the real world and in Second Life. The remaining time is spent working with numerous experts dealing with issues such as cross-media production, financial modeling, and new media models. The residential culminates in a 15 minute visual presentation to a group of VIPs.

Continue reading


neurocam2.jpgAfter almost a month of digging around by ARGN staffers and players alike, the mystery of what exactly is going on at neurocam.com is no closer to being revealed than it was a month ago.

Despite replies to curious players in various countries besides Australia, our best guess is that Neurocam is some sort of art student project. Plus, to confirm our suspicions about what Neurocam is not, their site was recently updated with the following:

neurocam is not a psychology experiment
neurocam is not a terrorist training organisation
neurocam is not a corporate team-building exercise
neurocam is not a security company
neurocam is not a joke
neurocam is not an ARG…”

So, there you have it.

Neurocam: Australia’s Latest Mystery

neurocam2.jpgIf you’ve been driving around Melbourne Australia lately, you may have noticed billboards telling you to “get out of your mind,” and pointing to Neurocam.com. Apparently, those who sign up on the website have been given missions of varying degrees of complexity to complete, such as delivering a locked briefcase to a complete stranger. Failure to complete their mission will ostensibly result in serious consequences. Nobody seems to know who’s behind it, or what it’s promoting, if anything. Metafilter denizens are already comparing it with Fight Club, The Game, Mayday Mystery and The Beast.

A little poking around the Neurocam website reveals very little, but that in and of itself seems a little ARGish to us. Checking the site registration reveals that neurocam.com is the only site hosted on its server, and is registered to what appears to be a bogus address in Beverly Hills. In addition, an unprotected directory on the site reveals some rather interesting images. [EDIT: Seems someone’s been watching us. The images in question were removed soon after this article was published. You can now find them here.]

So, is it an ARG? Marketing tool? Cult recruitment technique? Drug running front? Hoax? We’ll keep an eye on this, but for now will file it under Undetermined.

Discussion at Unfiction