On 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.
Written by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson
Our day began with the International Game Developers Association’s Alternate Reality Gaming Special Interest Group’s (or IGDA ARG SIG) White Paper presentation. Adam Martin, founder of the SIG, introduced the project and overall goals of the special interest group, to provide a network for potential ARG developers who might need advice on the various aspects of creation. He offered the group up as a networking resource for authors and producers, support with design, and advice on how to obtain funding. He then presented Brooke Thompson, who filled most of the first hour with an intriguing lecture on current trends in Alternate Reality Gaming. Brooke talked while Sean Stacey took notes and occasionally heckled.
On April 26th, the International Game Developers Association will present “THINKING OUTSIDE THE (x)BOX (or “HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE BEES”) at 7:00 PM at the Metreon’s Action Theater in San Francisco (101 4th Street @ Mission).
Featured speakers will be Jordan Weisman, Sean Stewart and Jim Stewartson of 4orty2wo Entertainment, the team behind the Alternate Reality Game “I Love Bees.”
4orty2wo’s Alternate Reality Game became a phenomenon last year, sending thousands of players running to payphones around the world. The innovative Halo 2 prequel involving a seemingly innocent website of a Napa Valley beekeeper and a shipwrecked AI from the future received a Game Developers Choice Award for Innovation, was featured at GDC’s Experimental Gameplay Workshop, and became the latest and most successful example of the nascent Alternate Reality Games (ARG) genre.
But what place do ARGs have in the world (and future) of video games? What is their relation to one another? Are there lessons to be learned from ARG production that can impact the way video games are made?
Join Jordan Weisman, Sean Stewart, and Jim Stewartson of 4orty2wo Entertainment as they examine I Love Bees to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of ARGs, their intersection with traditional video games, and the future of this exciting new form of digital play.
This event is free and open to the public. For more info: www.igda.org/sf
Inside word comes to us today that “I Love Bees” and lead designer Elan Lee will receive a 2005 Innovation Award from the International Game Developers Association, to be announced at the upcoming Game Developers Choice Awards in March. The Innovation award is a special creative/design award given to standouts in innovation every year. Previous games that have won this award include Counter-Strike, Rez and Black + White. As this is a largely console/PC focused organization, we think it’s great for a game like ILB to be recognized.
The award will be presented at the 5th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards on March 9, 2005 at a ceremony during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. For a list of the other nominees, check out the IGDA website.
Congratulations go out from ARGN to Elan Lee and his ILB team, for a job well done and recognition of what a cool thing Alternate Reality Games are!