Tag: charlie higson

NEWSFLASH: “Major” Charlie Higson and James Bond are Not Dead

The Shadow War logoFor followers of The Shadow War alternate reality game, the success and excitement generated by the experience might convince them that The Shadow War was the game with the golden gun. Charlie Higson, the author of the Young Bond series, kicked off the alternate reality game with a little help from Six to Start at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, launching the main game website YoungBond.com. The first mission went live on August 27, and players were taken on a worldly, online adventure that spanned seven missions.

On Wednesday, October 6, players faced their final mission. Players supporting the OGPU and SIS raced through the Alpine castle, Schloss Donnerspitze, desperate to save captured British soldier “Major” Charlie Higson, James Bond, and themselves from a bomb. Higson regularly appeared within the game to offer hints and encourage the players in their race to the finish. Prior to the final mission, Higson stated that “it’s the final stage of the game this week, and a chance for all those kids to come together in a race against time and finish the story. I’m really looking forward to playing a part in it and appearing live in the game as a British agent. I just hope the kids solve the problems in time or I risk being liquidated by a fiendish foreign power!”

Upon the successful completion of the final mission, you can see the obviously grateful Charlie Higson thanking his rescuers in this video.

You can still replay the first six missions online, and according to the Danger Society News, there is still more content to discover: 20 copies of By Royal Command include a special variant codeword that unlocks additional content for the third mission. To my knowledge, none of the variant books have been located yet.

You can also view a portion of the live event with Charlie Higson, sans sound, on ustream.tv. It gets quite interesting at 5:42.

Puffin Books Announces “The Shadow War”: Young Bond ARG for Young Players

The Shadow War logoPuffin Books announced the launch of The Shadow War, an alternate reality game set in the Bond universe. The game was designed by Six to Start and written by Charlie Higson to create a parallel experience for Higson’s newest Young Bond novel, By Royal Command. The series is intended for 9-14 year old children, and has sold over three-quarters of a million copies in the UK alone. Over 35,000 fans of the series are registered as members of The Danger Society over at YoungBond.com. While the Shadow War is intended for children 9 years and older, the young at heart are still permitted to play.

The game is comprised of seven missions spanning seven weeks, culminating in a live event on October 8th featuring Charlie Higson, allowing players to ask questions and influence the game. Each mission takes about an hour, and allows players to work as a British SIS agent or a Soviet OGPU spy, exploring familiar locations. Player decisions will directly influence the outcome of the game. Players can join and leave at any point, and can even switch sides if they choose to defect.

Penguin Group has been experimenting with book publishing, most recently with We Tell Stories, a reimagining of six classic novels using different media created with the help of Six to Start. In addition, Jasper Fforde released an alternate reality game to promote his most recent Thursday Next novel under the Penguin imprint, First Among Sequels.

The first mission for The Shadow War will be revealed by Charlie Higson at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on August 23rd. The festival will also feature a panel exploring the future of ARGs including Dan Hon (Six to Start), Alex Fleetwood (Hide & Seek), David Varela (formerly of Mind Candy), and Yomi Ayeni (Expanding Universe).