Now that Book Two of Eldritch Errors has wrapped up, the people behind the curtain are eager to get together with ARG players to talk about things, and so tonight at 9 pm ET, you can join Brian Clark, Brooke Thompson and a few other distinguished guests in the #stfeline room on the Chat-Solutions IRC network (irc.chat-solutions.org). If you’ve never accessed IRC chat before, you can use our handy-dandy chat applet here at the web site — simply pick the room from the drop-down list and give yourself a nickname, and join in the fun!
In case you’re not up to speed on all things EE, the puppetmasters have their own behind-the-scenes blog at Schmeldritch.com, where they have commented on a very interesting (and somewhat creeptastic) three-day live event that occurred late in October. While we missed the boat on live coverage (sorry!) you can read all about it at Sentry Outpost, the in-game forums for EE, through Biff’s summary post, as well as Mapmaker’s four-part detailed recap (part 1, 2, 3 and 4). From all accounts, it was a nerve-wracking, intense, unforgettable experience.
Dan Hon was kind enough to send us an email letting us know that the transcript from the 2007 SWSX panel discussion “ARG! The Attack of the Alternate Reality Games” is pubished on his blog, Extenuating Circumstances. Alice Taylor, the Vice President of Digital Content at the BBC, was the moderator for the panel which included Hon (also the COO of Mind Candy), Brian Clark (Founder/CEO, GMD Studios/IndieWire), Evan Jones (Creative Director/Producer at Stitch Media) and Brooke Thompson (Giant Mice and ARGNet).
There is a lot of information to sift through, as the panel talks about everything from how ARG is still “emerging” to how budgets are created. Thanks, Dan.
In the eighteenth installment of the netcast series, we are pleased as punch to have special guests Will Emigh and Nathan Mishler from Studio Cypher joining us for a fantastic discussion. Will, Nathan and I are joined by Brooke Thompson of Giant Mice, Nicko Demeter of ARGNet and Sean C. Stacey of Unfiction.com. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through this link or via iTunes. Contact us at our special netcast email address, [email protected] with your tips, suggestions, concerns and submissions. Call us on the ARGNet voicemail at 630-274-5425.
Editor’s note: Brooke Thompson is back after a whirlwind tour of some of the biggest festivals so far this year. She attended the Game Developer’s Conference and was a speaker at the South By Southwest (SXSW) and ARGFest-o-Con conferences. This article is the first in a series about her experiences.
What happens when you spend 15 days on the road traveling from conference to conference? You get just about nothing done, including writing reports from the road for one of the greatest websites on the internet (that’d be ARGNet, of course). At first this distressed me, but then I realized that most of the conference sessions that I had attended were well documented on blogs and news sites – some nearly word for word! – and that waiting allowed the experiences that I had to sink in and meld together into a bigger picture. It’s that picture that I hope to paint for you over the next few articles.
The thing that I realized as I traveled from ARGfest to GDC to SXSW is that Alternate Reality Gaming is leading the future of entertainment.
We’ve been saying that for a long time. So, what’s different? What’s changed?
The word is out. People hear “Alternate Reality Game” or “ARG” and they understand what you are talking about. I don’t mean to say that everyone that I met understood it, but if I walked into a crowd at least one or two people did and they were able to get the rest of the crowd excited and curious. And explaining it to those that have never heard of ARGs is easier today than it’s ever been. People might not know that Lonelygirl15 has an alternate reality game component, but they’ve heard of it and when you talk about how the story is out there and it’s fiction outside of a book or TV show and, in fact, might send you an email or call you on the phone – they get it. It doesn’t seem strange, it seems cool.
We are happy to announce that ARGNet is an official media sponsor of the 2007 ScreenBurn festival, taking place at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival this weekend in Austin, Texas. The ScreenBurn festival is an initiative dedicated to providing programming about the newest developments in the gaming community, and we are honored that the festival’s coordinators are recognizing alternate reality gaming as an important piece of the gaming landscape. The festival will run from March 9th through the 13th, and will feature panelists many ARG fans are already familiar with. Brian Clark from GMD Studios and Tony Walsh from secretlair.com will be there, as well as Evan Jones from Stitch Media and Dan Hon from Mind Candy Design. We are fortunate to have representation at the festival as well, as staff writer Brooke Thompson (representing giantmice.com) will be talking on the panel entitled, “ARG! The Attack of The Alternate Reality Games,” which will be moderated by Alice Taylor of the Wonderland blog.
For those looking for a more robust experience (you know, the kind that goes beyond the realm of ARG), you’ll be happy to know that, according to the ScreenBurn website, “panels cover topics such as blogging, business models, content creation, digital convergence, e-learning, entrepreneurism, open source, ubiquitous computing, web design, web hacks and web standards.” With such a depth of topics and panels, the festival should be one of the can’t-miss events of the year.
So, with all of those superstars in attendance, how do you get in on the festivities? Easy! You show up at the door of the Convention Center in Austin, and you pay your money to get in. For the sheer amount of panel discussion and events taking place this year, the $350 cost for the weekend is a bargain. So, if you want in on one of the greatest cutting-edge festivals of the year, get down to Austin and get in to SXSW Interactive. Oh, and if you see Brian, Evan, Dan, Tony or Brooke, say hi for us.
We bring you a merry netcast,
We bring you a merry netcast,
We bring you a merry netcast,
The last one of the year (maybe)!
Carie Ward, Brooke Thompson, Sean C. Stacey and Jackie Kerr return to sling the ARG dirt with Jonathan Waite. Episode seven is a doozy, clocking in at 1 hour and 7 minutes, but it’s definitely something that’ll warm your heart this holiday season. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through FeedBurner or via iTunes.
- A bit more on the Lost Planet ARG we talked about last week, which Carie wrote about on Wednesday.
- Lawn Games For Life is sweeping the U.S. with geocaching and puzzle solving. Not only did Carie write about it for us here, but she also started a guide. You go, girl!
This is also our Puzzle of the Week, as the players need help getting to items left in the Southwestern U.S.
- Steve Peters of 42 Entertainment continues on his cross-podcast tour with an exciting and informative interview with GeeksOn.
- Enoch of Gatewood is new on the scene, but the story leaves us giggly.
- The creator of Hell Is Not Gone asks for help in advertising their game, almost a month after players were first pointed to it. By him.
- Jericho may have something ARGish brewing for their off-season, but if they don’t, it’d be a shame.
- Second Life Future Salon panel discussion on ARGs took place on the 27th of November, we hope to have access to the audio from that discussion soon.
- EDOC Laundry stirs back to some sort of life, partly by accident. Whatever the case, this might be your chance to get in on the ground floor, again.