When ReGenesis hit the airwaves last year, people were not sure what to expect with the “extended reality” that was built for the show. After all, this was the first time that a Canadian-made television series had attempted to try anything as large in scale as an Internet-based companion adventure. The end result, to the delight of many fans, was an interesting and immersive experience that showcased the talents of the team at Xenophile Media, creators of the game. Tonight, season two of ReGenesis will debut on The Movie Network/Movie Central, and with it comes a new extended reality game. This season, the game will hit the ground running, starting with tonight’s episode. Players will be able to participate on many different levels, and the worldwide audience will have greater access to key game elements, making it more accessible to people who are unable to view the series on television.
Two bits of exciting information coming out of the ReGenesis camp this week, one concerning the relaunch of the series on public television, and the other regarding the nomination of the ReGenesis website for a major Canadian award.
We last reported on ReGenesis back in October of 2004 when the series was first aired on Movie Central and The Movie Network, both subscription-based cable networks in Canada. The series included an ARG element, or “extended reality” to it. Now, almost a year later, ReGenesis is enjoying a resurgence in popularity with the broadcast of Season One on Canadian public television channel Global. (Unfortunately, there is no current syndication deal for any networks outside of Canada.) With the re-airing of the series on Global comes the relaunch of the web-based ARG. This is the first instance of an “replayed” ARG — that is, the reset and replay of an ARG that had previously run its course.
The Production team behind the Alternate Reality Game for the recent Canadian TV series Regenesis will be featured in an upcoming moderated IRC chat on Monday, January 31st, 2005 at 5:00pm Pacific/8:00pm Eastern. They will be fielding questions and giving a behind the scenes look at the world that’s been consuming them for the past 15 weeks.
Regenesis’ final episode will air January 23rd, bringing the accompanying ARG portion to a conclusion as well. The Regenesis Extended Reality, as it was called, was developed by a team at Xenophile Media, and was groundbreaking in that it was the most extensive Alternate Reality Game that has been officially tied to a television series to date.
Regenesis was a biotech thriller produced for Canada’s The Movie Network/Movie Central that premiered on October 24th. Players of the Extended Reality received emails from the game during the show’s airings, and gathered together on ingame boards at ScienceSucks.com to figure out the nefarious goings on at the North American Biotechnology Advisory Commision (NORBAC).
The chat will be moderated (attendees will only be able to speak while asking questions) and is scheduled to last about an hour and a half.
When: January 31st, 2005 at 5:00pm Pacific/8:00pm Eastern
Where: #regenesis on irc.chat-solutions.org (browser-based access here)
Earlier tonight, Canadian subscribers to The Movie Network (Movie Central in Eastern Canada) bore witness to the unveiling of new series ReGenesis, which has an ARG element. Some of you will remember those snail mail correspondences that were sent out to ARG community members, leading people to the Science Sucks and NORBAC websites. Well, having just viewed the show, I can tell you that it certainly did not disappoint.
The series started with a situation involving a hazardous biothreat, which spreads across parts of Ontario. The first two episodes (shown back to back, commercial-free) mainly centered around the development of some of the key characters, as well as exploring the genetic make-up and possible sources of the virus. There was a lot of technobabble, which sounded perfectly rational — a sign that the writers had some excellent consultants in the process of developing the show.
The ARG tied in really well. Despite not getting a live phone call (which I had expected), I was not disappointed in how the plot of the ARG was duplicated and expanded on the small screen. The characters of the game are the same characters on the show, for example. Halfway into the first hour, I got 3 email updates from various sources within the game. And I was definitely watching closely for in-game phone numbers & login codes (although upon first viewing, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary).
Overall, I was uberimpressed as to how this ARG complimented the TV show. It has definitely left me wanting more. Hopefully the international audience will be able to view the episodes soon, because it’s really a fairly decent series.
One of our Canadian friends received a hand-delivered package today. It consisted of a newsletter about an alarming outbreak of a disease in northern Ontario, and a grid of letters, which led to a couple very interesting sites:
Norbac is the North American Biotechnology Advisory Commission, an organization that investigates biotech issues and questionable practices.
Science Sucks looks to be a grassroots site fighting to free scientific knowledge from vested interests like government and corporations. The site includes a poll, forums, and a page of links. We’ll leave it to you to find out where the links may lead.
A little more research revealed this press release announcing a new television series on Canada’s Movie Central/The Movie Network:
“ReGenesis is a new, 13-part one-hour original Movie Central/The Movie Network dramatic series about the North American Biotechnology Advisory Commission (NorBAC), an organization formed to investigate questionable advances in biotechnology.”
Regenesis premieres on Movie Central on Sunday, October 24 at 9 p.m.
Normally, a site or two tied to a film or tv series isn’t that remarkable, but the fact that there are mysterious packages being sent to select individuals around Canada make us suspect that this is indeed a new rabbithole for a Regenesis-related ARG. Happy Hunting!