This August, the Finksburg Library in Carroll County, Maryland, finished up Mystery Guest 2010, its second alternate reality game to encourage summer reading for middle-schoolers and high-schoolers in the area. Linked with the summer reading program, players earned Library Bucks to use at the Auction Wrap-Up Party where there were prizes like a hockey puck signed by Washington Capitals right-winger Mike Knuble or tickets to Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore, MD.
As reported previously on ARGNet in July, participants were challenged to identify (and deal with) the rather unpleasant Mystery Guest, a literary character that fell out of a book. The game played out mostly through the Mystery Guest 2010 blog, with 4 teen voluneers acting as main characters and liaisons, along with the Librarian to keep things in line. Just as the Mystery Guest was identified, however, he escaped from the library.
ARGNet had the opportunity to ask a few questions to the organizer for the library’s first alternate reality game, Find Chesia, and for Mystery Guest 2010, Library Associate II Heather Owings, about what it’s like to create ARGs for local teenagers.
Last month, the Finksburg Library in Carroll County, Maryland, started its second alternate reality game tied to its summer reading program. The Mystery Guest is a strange, out-of-place fellow who has fallen out from the pages of a book, and local teens in Finksburg are trying to find a way to put him back. They tried using an iron (ouch!) and stuffing him in, but nothing is working.
Will young Finskburg readers be able to uncover the Mystery Guest’s identity and return him to wherever he came from? You can follow the adventure at The Mystery Guest blog shared by tweeners Kitty, Alyson, and Caroline and the “voice of reason”—the Librarian.
Last year, the Finksburg Library hosted its first alternate reality game, Find Chesia, which centered on a 14-year-old girl whose parents had gone missing on an archaeological dig. The game itself was created by small teams of young local teenagers.
In The Mystery Guest, local players can win limited edition gold Library Bucks and other prizes for answering the Librarian’s challenges. The overall story is linked with Carroll County Public Library System’s summer reading program. Teens can use Library Bucks to buy things at the Auction Wrap-Up Party on August 21st to be held at the Westminster Branch Library. The Mystery Guest adventure ends August 14th.