Tag: book

39 Clues: Tidings of Good Cheer for a Former Scholastic Book Club Addict

scholastic.jpgA recent New York Times article announced a new and exciting venture by Scholastic, Inc, the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and related products to home and school.

Starting in September of 2008, Scholastic will publish “39 Clues”, a cross-media experience centered around ten books released over the course of 24 months. Scholastic is pulling some of the top childrens authors published under the brand, including Rick Riordan, Gordan Korman, Peter Lerangis, and Jude Watson.

According to the article in the Times, the plot of “39 Clues” will revolve around Amy and Dan Cahill, two adolescent members of the world’s most powerful clan, as they compete against other branches of their family to collect 39 clues that lead to ultimate power.

Tracy van Straaten, Scholastic’s VP of Publicity for the Children’s Book Publishing division, notes that Scholastic’s Lab for Informal Learning is collaborating on the project with “a company that has ARG experience, as well as game designers” in creating this project. This collaboration may include work with GMD Studios, the company that has worked on such games as Art of the Heist and Who is Benjamin Stove, and are currently presenting their project, Eldritch Errors. The experience will extend beyond the books through a website including character blogs, puzzles and mini-games, as well as maps and treasure hunts. Each book will come with six collectible cards that will provide further clues.

Although the project is still months away, both Kotaku and Ian Bogost at Watercooler Games have expressed skepticism regarding the project due to Scholastic’s decision to retain all rights to the intellectual property. Scholastic responded to the criticism, noting that the decision to retain all rights stems from the project’s development through the Scholastic Lab for Informal Learning.

39 Clues has the potential to introduce a younger generation to the world of alternate reality gaming, and Scholastic has the resources to pull it off, especially if the company leverages the resources available through the Scholastic Book Club, their distribution channel in schools worldwide. The bar for transmedia novels has been set rather high by New York Times bestseller Cathy’s Book.

Project MU Archives Book Released

mu_book.jpgOnce upon a time, there was Metacortechs, a Matrix-themed alternate reality game that ran from August to November 2003. The game was good, and the players enjoyed it. Some players enjoyed it so much that in 2004 they wrote a comprehensive archival book, which can still be found at Metaurchins.org. And one day, those dedicated souls took that online book and had it made into a full-color, 218 page print version. That day just so happened to be this past Wednesday, marking three years since the end of the Project MU ARG.

While online guides, wikis and trails for ARGs is commonplace, books related to specific ARGs are rare. And while we don’t have a physical copy of the book in the office (yet), we’ve seen the electronic version of the print copy, and it looks good. Darn good. Plus, at $39.99 (€32.19), the book authors are donating all proceeds to unFiction, the ARG player resource. You can find and purchase the MU Archives Book through its online store on Lulu.com.

Book Release: Through The Rabbit Hole

rabbithole.jpgDave Szulborski — author, puppetmaster, puzzle creator, all-around nice guy — has recently released another book about Alternate Reality Gaming. Billed as a resource “for newcomers to learn about and get started in ARGs,” Through the Rabbit Hole: A Beginners Guide To Playing Alternate Reality Games is Szulborski’s second book about ARGs (his first, This Is Not A Game, came out earlier this year).

A press release suggests that the book is the “perfect introduction” for newcomers interested in the wild world of ARG. The book has it’s own website with additional information about the book, including a table of contents and some downloadable content. There is even a promotion in conjunction with Perplex City cards, as well as other promotions on the publisher’s website.

The book can be purchased at its website or through LuLu online sales. We hope to have a review of the book up very soon.

New Book “Beyond Reality: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming”

beyondreality.jpgA new book about Alternate Reality Gaming is set go go on sale on July 22nd. “Beyond Reality: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming” by John Gosney is the latest book to be released on the subject of ARGs, and discusses the history and implications of alternate reality games, along with numerous examples from the genre.

The publishers will be holding an online chat with the author on August 8, 2005 at 8:00 pm EDT, and inside sources tell us that there just may be more to this chat than meets the eye. Apparently there will be clues within the pages of the book, as well as this chat, that will reveal…something more. We did notice a Secure Login on the book’s homepage that doesn’t seem to be on pages for any other book. Hmmmm.

Information on purchasing Beyond Reality: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming, as well as info for the upcoming chat can be found here.

Update: Because of some technical glitches, the chat had to be moved. It will now take place this coming Sunday, August 14th, at 6:00 ET.

Book Release: “This Is Not A Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming”

tinag.jpgA new book is scheduled to hit the shelves that will really have a big impact on Alternate Reality Gaming. This Is Not A Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming by Dave Szulborski will be available in e-book and print-on-demand format in mid-January 2005 and in a traditional print version in February 2005. An MP3 book “on tape” will also be available. For a limited time, the first 2 chapters of this book are available to download for free!

Dave is the creator of several successful and critically acclaimed Alternate Reality Games including Chasing The Wish and Urban Hunt. From the book’s website:

Some of the founders and leading lights of the newest and hottest trend in entertainment announced today that they have joined forces to produce the first ever how-to book on the subject. Titled This is Not a Game, the new book promises to be a how-to resource for the casual game developer and media strategists alike who wish to explore the genre of Alternate Reality Gaming also called immersive gaming….

…While Alternate Reality Gaming has been around for several years, the recent phenomenal success of the online game “I Love Bees“, produced by Microsoft and Bungie to promote the release of the much anticipated video game Halo 2, has brought thousands of new participants into the genre and launched Immersive Gaming into the mainstream consciousness once and for all. ARG/immersive gaming has been featured in media venues such as CNN, Trendcentral, BBC, New York Times and countless other sources as of late.

This is Not a Game provides a concise and easy-to-understand explanation of the alternate reality game and why so many major marketing and entertainment companies are now turning to immersive gaming and marketing efforts to promote their biggest product releases. Tracing the roots of the genre back to the earliest days of online interactive fiction up through the most recent alternate reality games, This is Not a Game allows anyone, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience with the Internet or online gaming, to jump right in and become fully immersed in this exciting and engaging new form of entertainment.

The new book will also contain contributions from author and media theorist Joseph Matheny, ARGN founder Steve Peters, professional stage illusionist Ben Mack with website and cover design by cutting edge gaming artist Denny Unger of Worldworks Games.

Keep an eye on immersivegaming.com for future announcements and details as they become available.