Tag: interview (page 1 of 3)

We Lost Our Gold: 3 Pirates, 1 Ninja, 10,000 Dollars

A poor, adorable pirate-and-ninja crew have misplaced their pirate booty somewhere in the five boroughs of New York City, and if you can find it, you might walk away with a chest filled with 10,000 gold-colored dollar coins. We Lost Our Gold is an eight-part web series that will contain clues to the location of the loot. To prevent complete chaos in the city, the organizers have asked that people not dig randomly, and instead watch the videos for clues because the spot will be marked. The We Lost Our Gold website itself will be the “treasure map” as the hunt begins in earnest on August 1.

Who has 10,000 dollars to drop somewhere in New York? The creators of We Lost Our Gold are keeping this kind of out-of-game information very close to the chest, and very little can be found about them despite mainstream coverage of the project on the Huffington Post. The pirates themselves have issued what might very well be the best press release ever written.

We Lost Our Gold will be a true, modern-day treasure hunt: according to the creators, “We’ve always wanted to experience the excitement of searching for pirate treasure, so we decided to give that feeling to everyone else.” That the pirates (and ninja) have made an appearance on a Times Square billboard suggests some serious resources, and at least one social media blogger has suggested that We Lost Our Gold might be a promotion for New York City tourism.

Although We Lost Our Gold doesn’t start until next month, two trailers have been released, with another trailer scheduled for July 18. The three pirates and ninja can be reached over email, and two of them, the Captain and first mate Mulligan, have active Twitter accounts. The Captain is sharing his piratical wisdom in a series of useful “pirate tips,” and Mulligan has learned to navigate the city by subway. We Lost Our Gold also has a Facebook fan page for updates, and there’s some speculating over at the Unfiction forums.

While waiting for the madness to begin, I decided to email the Captain a few innocent questions. The Captain wasn’t too thrilled about it, but still I got quite the response, edited below as an interview for ease of reading.
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Interview with Cathy’s Book Co-Author Sean Stewart

Below is an interview that Michael Andersen conducted with Sean Stewart regarding the release of the Cathy’s Book app for the iPhone.  In addition to co-authoring the transmedia storytelling experiment Cathy’s Book, Stewart worked on ARGs including The Beast, i love bees, Last Call Poker and Year Zero.

MA: How did you and Jordan come up with the idea for Cathy’s Book?

SS: It was Jordan’s idea (things often are).  After the Beast we were talking about how fun it was, but how frustrating it was, too, that it was over: even if someone heard about how cool it was, they couldn’t DO it.  “Hey!  You’re a book guy,” Jordan said.  “We should do a book using the same kind of techniques!”

So we did.

We came up with the broad outlines of the story together.  We figured YA was a good place to start, and, to be honest, having written a fair number of somewhat dark sf/f novels, I wanted to write a book I thought my teenage daughters might like.  (They have a cameo in the first novel which Sharp Eyed Readers may spot…)

MA: How would you compare the writing process you used for Cathy’s Book, as opposed to what you used for traditional novels like Perfect Circle or full-blown ARGs like The Beast?

SS: We determined that the thing HAD to work as a book, first and foremost; if you never did any of the ancillary material, you still had to have an enjoyable, satisfying experience.  So I wrote Cathy’s story, if you will, much as I would a regular book.

We used the extra material to fill out the life of Cathy’s love-interest, Victor.  Readers looking through the extra evidence can eventually work out almost every detail of the Many Lives of Victor, from gold camp ragamuffin to WWI flying ace to mobster, and so forth.

Trying to fit together the various pieces of evidence was much more like the storytelling method of The Beast.  Over time, we also changed how we did that.  Cathy’s Book, like the Beast, has a ton of little pieces of stuff for players to link together.  In Cathy’s Key and Cathy’s Ring we moved increasingly to building “interactive arcs,” so that a reader might, for instance, send an email and go through a 3 or 4-step investigation to arrive at a satisfying endpoint.
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Dr. Jane McGonigal Featured in BusinessWeek’s “Innovation” Section

janemcgonigal.jpgBusinessWeek’s November 10th “Innovation” special report features none other than Dr. Jane McGonigal, the Institute for the Future‘s Director of Games Research and Development. Dr. McGonigal is known for her work on Microsoft’s Halo promotion, “I Love Bees”, the award-winning “World Without Oil” game, “Find the Lost Ring” and her current project, “Superstruct”. In her article, “Jane McGonigal’s Brave New Worlds”, BusinessWeek’s Innovation Department editor Reena Jana gives an overview of Superstruct and its goals, as well as insight into how information gathered through Superstruct’s scenarios will be used once the game is concluded.

In a short video embedded in the article, Dr. McGonigal answers five questions about Alternate Reality Games. The questions:

  • Can you define exactly what an ARG is?
  • Can you give more insight into the collaboration skills of “signal/noise management” and “multicapitalism”?
  • Are ARGs more affordable and more efficient than expensive digital graphics and virtual worlds?
  • How will “Superstruct” serve as a real-world tool for companies and individuals?
  • Are you still working on promotional games?

Always looking for ways to turn real-life tasks into games, Dr. McGonigal set her video camera to stop recording at the six minute mark in her attempt to answer all five questions in five minutes. At the end of her video, she asks viewers to give her feedback on the interview and help her earn level-up points for her personal gamer stats by visiting +1me.com.

ARGNet Owner/Editor to appear on Irish talk radio morning show

newstalk_argnet.jpgSo, it turns out that the folks in the Emerald Isle are itching for news on alternate reality gaming. After RTÉ news ran a nice feature about Traces of Hope earlier in the month (which featured a brief appearance by yours truly), the newstalk radio station has called and arranged for a chat about ARGs on October 31st at 10:45 am local time (and yes, as I write this, that’s only a few hours away, at 6:45 am ET).

I am pleased to be a part of the on-air discussion, and hope that a few of our readers will be able to tune in, either on the radio or via the live Internet audio stream.

Editor’s note 10-31-08: Leave it to me to leave out the time zone. Added, but the interview has already happened. Watch this site for a downloadable mp3 version.)

ARG Netcast, Episode 17: Meigeist, Yourgeist

argnetcast.jpgMeigeist special! Host Jonathan Waite and panelists Marie Lamb, Jessica Price, and Sean Stacey are joined by Meigeist puppetmaster Hazel Grian and Meigeist player Karl Smith for an intensive post-game Q&A session. Read the show notes at the ARG Netcast web site. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through this link or via iTunes.

Elan Lee: Long Time Launderer, First Time Guest

Spreading the ARG love like butter, listeners in the San Francisco Bay area can tune in this Thursday, October 19th, to KALX radio (90.7 FM) and hear 42Entertainment’s and Edoc Laundry’s Elan Lee as he breakdances slip-slidey around the recording studio for a special broadcast of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s Northgate Magazine.

Ok, so he’ll really be discussing Alternate Reality Gaming. (A girl can dream, right?) Lee will focus his attention on game design, ARGs as a new artform, and the future of independent and marketing-driven ARGs.

The broadcast starts at 9am Pacific on October 19th for those in the area, while streaming audio is available for internet listeners. If you can’t make the date, an mp3 recording of the newshour will be available on the KALX website the following weekend.

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