Yes, that’s right — World Without Oil, the socially conscious alternate reality game that kicked off in April 2007, has won the Activism award at this year’s SXSW Web Awards!
Although word is just now coming in, and there’s no official note on the SXSW web site, we’re happy to be able to congratulate the team, including our very own Marie Lamb and Michelle Senderhauf!
You may have noticed from the banner at our main site that ARGNet is an Official Media Sponsor of Screenburn 2008. As part of SXSW Interactive‘s series of conferences taking place in Austin, Texas March 7 – March 11, ScreenBurn is bringing in an impressive cast of panelists. Notable speakers include Rachel Clarke (Behind the Buzz), Keith Clarkson (Xenophile Media), Dan Hon (Six to Start), Rebecca Newton (Mind Candy), and Kevin Slavin (area/code). Jane McGonigal (Avant Game) will be presenting the final SXSW Interactive Keynote on March 11th, the final day of the conference.
A few more familiar faces are bound to show up, as World Without Oil, the alternate reality game with a heart of gold, is a finalist for the SXSW Web Awards in the Activism category. The ‘serious game’ attracted a lot of attention for drawing upon the powers of collective intelligence to address peak oil concerns. Numerous ARGNet staffers past and present worked on this project (Dee Cook, Michelle Senderhauf, Marie Lamb, and Krystyn Wells), so our collective fingers are crossed for the team.
Mind Candy, who were at one time a major player in the ARG genre with Perplex City, is also nominated in the Games category for Moshi Monsters.
Do you like spending money? How would you like your very own American Express Black card? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, I have some good news for you. Jackie Turnure (Rockpool Productions and LAMP Story Mentor) won a Content 360 award at Milia 2007 in April for her Alternate Reality Game, “Diamond Reef”. As the Ogilvy One Worldwide Category winner at the conference, Jackie is engaged in talks with American Express to get the project underway, with a development prize of 10,000 euros. Milia is an annual conference in Cannes, France that brings together content creators, producers, and distributors to conduct business and discuss the future of creative content.
The award-winning “Diamond Reef” alternate reality game centers around the American Express online credit card. While following a gripping tale of adventure and intrigue, players will explore the features of American Express credit cards within the spy thriller format. Jackie describes the project as a collaborative online treasure hunt paying homage to James Bond stories: in her words,
The world’s most expensive diamond has been stolen, a beautiful young woman has gone missing, and you must find the diamond and rescue the girl, using your American Express card. This alternate reality game is an interactive treasure hunt where clues and story are distributed across the real and virtual worlds. And the stakes are high – if you are one of the top 10 players to solve the mystery, you win 10,000 euros!
Players are issued a Blue Amex card and make numerous virtual purchases both on their own and in groups to arrange for DNA tests, billboard purchases and package deliveries. Through the course of the game, savvy players will see their cards upgraded from Blue to Green to Gold and finally to the famed Black American Express card in an extended experience. A game that integrates money management with mystery solving should be a novel experience. And with the backing and support of OgilvyOne Worldwide, a major player in the advertising world, this game has the potential for truly redefining the cross-media experience.
Although a launch date for “Diamond Reef” has not yet been set, keep your eyes peeled over the next few months for updates on this exciting project. This might be your only chance to experience the American Express Black card firsthand, unless you have a rich great-uncle on his deathbed who always thought of you as his favorite.
It was announced today that 2004’s runaway Alternate Reality Game hit “I Love Bees” won the 2005 Webby Award for Best Games-Related website. The Webby Awards are the internet equivalent of the Academy Awards.
A complete list of the winners can be accessed at the Webby website. Congratulations to the entire 4orty2wo Entertainment Team behind I Love Bees! This award is well-deserved.