Tag: conference (page 1 of 2)

PICNIC 08 is days away

Picnic 08 LogoMy oh my, how the time flies. We are on the edge of our seats as PICNIC 08 fast approaches, now only three days away. As we have told you before, those of you lucky enough to be in the Amsterdam area with a few days to kill can still register for this cross-media conference at a discount rate. We are fortunate to have received an invite for the partner/speaker breakfast, and are fairly confident that Daniël van Gool will be on scene to meet and greet with industry leaders, visionaries and those that will shape the future.

We’ll be bringing you coverage of the event in the next few days, so keep it tuned right here for the latest news on PICNIC 08!

We’re helping to create the future at PICNIC ’08

PICNIC 08 LogoBack in 2006, a cross-media festival in Amsterdam called PICNIC ’06 caught the eye of our friend and cohort Sean C. Stacey. Billing itself as the “first ever annual event for people interested and involved in cross media content and technology in Europe, North America and Asia,” speakers included John de Mol, Philip Rosedale and Craig Newmark. It also included a presentation by the ARG IGDA SIG, who talked about their first published white paper. The conference was a smashing success, and plans were made for the following year’s festival.

In 2007, PICNIC ’07 expanded on the format of the previous year, incorporating nightly entertainment, partner events and a Green Challenge with their speaker presentations. Sir Richard Branson got involved with the Green Challenge, and visionaries such as Cory Doctorow, Walt Mossberg and Dennis Crowley delivered speeches and participated in discussion panels. Our man on the scene, Daniel van Gool, was especially impressed by a trio of speakers — Eduardo Dias, David Polinchock and Jeroen Mol, who collaborated on a presentation called “Augmented Reality for Advertisers.”

This brings us to 2008, and another installment of the popular cross-media festival. Things kick off on September 24th, and once again ARGNet is a proud media sponsor of the event. This year’s conference will feature a wide range of speakers which include Jyri EngEström, a co-founder of social networking site Jaiku, Martin de Ronde of the Onebiggame charity, and Kara Swisher from AllThingsD.com, a tech and media web site. There are also special events planned for each day of the festival, such as book releases and breakfast sessions with speakers, and PICNIC Labs, which are “practical workshops that challenge you to re-imagine your business, develop new products and services, refine ideas and formats and come up with creative business concepts.” Daniel van Gool will once again attend the conference for ARGNet, and we’re looking forward to more of his stellar reporting and analysis.

You too can attend PICNIC ’08, and because you are such wonderful, loyal readers of this little news site, you get a discount! So, if you plan on being in the Westergasfabriek area of Amsterdam and want to save a few bucks on attendance costs, click the link below for details on how to register and to find out how to apply the discount code.

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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).

Is This a Game? IGDA Talk on ARGs in NYC

igda_logo.gifOn May 14th from 6:30-9:00 pm, the New York City Chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) will host a meeting entitled “Alternate Reality Games: Is This a Game?” The announcement describes the meeting as follows:

Alternate Reality Games blend the real world with the online world and fuse the players’ creativity with that of the designers as the story unfolds. A genre that began just a few years ago, ARGs have been used for marketing, for independent and self-funded storytelling, for serious games, and for no other purpose than to have fun.

This panel will address the genre’s roots in games and with gamers, explore what ARGs and traditional video games have to learn from one another, and even speculate on how the ARG is changing the face of 21st Century entertainment.

The panel will be moderated by Andrea Phillips, best known for her work on Perplex City, and a leadership council member of the IGDA ARG SIG, and will include panelists Frank Lantz, a founder and director of area/code, the creators of the Chain Factor (Numb3rs) game; Catherine Herdlick, creator of the grassroots game, Lawn Games for Life, co-organizer of the Come Out and Play Festival and a designer for The Case of the Coveted Bottle; and Mike Monello, co- founder of Campfire Media, who has been involved in transmedia storytelling since the Blair Witch Project.

You do not need to be a member of IGDA to attend, but you do need to RSVP.

Thanks to Rose from unFiction, the meeting’s organizer, for letting us know about this event.

The Brooke Thompson 2007 Conference Tour, Part One

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.

GDC.jpgWhat 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.

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My ARGFest

SFimage.pngAs the wheels of the small commuter plane touched down on the tarmac of San Francisco International Airport, the rush of excitement I felt having arrived for ARGFest-O-Con 2007 was almost overwhelming. It had been less than two years since I had attended the large-scale conference dedicated to alternate reality gaming – the 2005 event in New York City was my first ARGFest – but the anticipation for this event had me giddy as a schoolgirl. As I navigated through the weaving maze of gates and security checkpoints, I knew that in less than an hour, I would be meeting up with people from around the globe, some of which I had seen in late 2005 at the Last Call Poker finale, and some that I had never even had the chance to talk to in the online chat rooms that dot the ARG community landscape.

I had the benefit of arriving in San Francisco within minutes of Unfiction owner Sean Stacey and 42 Entertainment’s Elan Lee. After some careful coordination, we were able to share a cab to the convention’s home, the Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf in northern San Fran. We began to talk, and it was obvious that despite a bit of fatigue, the other two were just as excited about the conference as I was. We chatted as though we had seen each other only days earlier, and as we traversed the streets leading to the hotel, fifteen minutes elapsed before Elan finally said, “Hey, San Francisco is really pretty.” We hadn’t even looked out the window of the cab, too busy talking with each other.

The rest of the evening went by much faster than I would have liked. Arriving at the hotel to see old friends and meet those I had previously talked with online, events quickly led to a wonderful Chinese meal, a regrettable absence from the Cruel 2 B Kind game that over 50 teams enjoyed, and a number of beverages at the hotel lounge. It was great to see people I write with on this site, people like Jackie Kerr and Marie Lamb, people who I had never met with in a real-world setting previously. Smiling faces and loud, raucous cheers littered the gathering place, and the festival moved forward, full tilt.

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