We offer our belated but no less heartfelt congratulations to the team at Xenophile Media, who along with co-creator Matt Wolf were winners of a Primetime Emmy® award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Television, presented at last month’s ceremony in Los Angeles. The team got the nod for “The Ocular Effect,” the alternate reality game tied in to the ABC Family television movie, Fallen. Xenophile previously won an International Emmy® for the ReGenesis Extended Reality Game.
The Ocular Effect told the story of Faith Arella, a girl searching for her roots in a
transglobal hunt for clues that started with a mysterious sphere called the Oculus. Players at Unfiction and elsewhere helped Faith find the secret of the Oculus and deciphered other puzzles along the way to help her on her journey.
We are also bursting our buttons with pride here at ARGNet, because our very own Jonathan Waite was a part of the Ocular Effect team. Congrats Jon, and rest of the crew
at Xenophile. We look forward to your future projects with great anticipation!
This year’s Emmy Awards have a category for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television, and regular observers of and participants in the world of alternate reality gaming may see quite a few familiar names in the candidate lineup. Check out the ITVT Blog’s exclusive on the awards for lots of interesting information.
- Heroes Interactive (NBC Universal)
- DirecTV Interactive Sports
- The Jericho Experience (CBS)
- The Fallen Alternative Reality Game (Xenophile Media & Double Twenty Productions)
- Big Brother Goes Mobile (CBS)
ARGNet Editor Jonathan Waite was behind the curtain on Fallen‘s Ocular Effect game, which has already picked up a few other awards, including a SXSW Interactive Award and a Banff World TV Festival Awards. Unfiction players also participated in the Jericho Experience and Heroes Interactive. ARGs are represented on the judging panel as well, which includes 42 Entertainment President & CEO Joe DiNunzio.
Regardless of which nominee wins, we’re happy to see chaotic fiction/alternate reality games/television extended experiences — or however you’d like to classify these works — getting mainstream recognition for their excellence, and offer all of them our congratulations. Here’s hoping the competition gets even fiercer in future years.
Episode 4 of the ARG Netcast contains more of the same tantalizing discussion that you’ve grown accustomed to over the past few weeks. Regular panel members Sean C. Stacey of unfiction, Brooke Thompson of Giant Mice and ARGNet’s Jonathan Waite are joined by special guest Steve Peters of 42 Entertainment. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through FeedBurner or via iTunes.
Topics of Discussion
- With our special guest joining us, we grill Steve Peters about his move to professional puppetmastery, and get his thoughts on the directions that we might see ARG move towards in the near future.
- Elan Lee, another 42 Entertainment alum, gave a speech at the Montreal International Gaming Summit this past week (our own Carie Ward broke the story here), and our panel looks at some of the things he said.
It’s already Episode 3 of the ARG Netcast series. Once again, this week offers the comedy stylings of unfiction’s Sean C. Stacey, the politically-charged folk songs of Giant Mice’s Brooke Thompson, and the gospel hip hop of M.C. Jonathan Waite of ARGNet. Subscribe to the ARGNet feed through FeedBurner or via iTunes.
Game News and Topics of Discussion
- No response from Mind Candy regarding Perplex City yet, but the Sentinel is back up and us Earthlings are being looked down upon. Oh, those Perplexians.
- AV wraps up, and the Puppetmaster comes out of hiding.
- konamouse of the unfiction forums helps out the Three Blind Mice as they try to make sense of the Puzzle of the Week, Sammeeeees’s “Free the Five”.
- Ny Takma introduces a new character. Trust him at your own risk.
- Ocular Effect — is it rising from a Near Death Experience?
- Cassie is Watching, Cathy’s Book, and Edoc Laundry chug-chug-chug along.
- Hallow’s End launches just in time for Halloween, but we need more information, and you need to send it to us. Yes, you.
- Studio Cypher will release another ARG soon, see descry.us for more details.
The last time we looked in on Ocular Effect there wasn’t much more to report on than a mysterious countdown and possible connection to an ABC Family movie. Since then the countdown has ended and what looks to be an ARG has appeared in its place.
When the countdown ran to zero, an strange coded sphere called the Oculus appeared. When opened, the Oculus now redirects to the website of Miss Vix’s tattoo parlor in Seattle, WA. Miss Vix was lucky enough to stumble upon and hire a young artist named Faith Arella. Faith has become the hottest new thing to hit the Seattle tattoo scene with her own style of tattoos which seem to give their recipients good fortune.
The all knowing Oculus also reveals a school for gifted children called the Bethlehem Conservatory which privately recruits its students, assuredly for some yet-to-be-determined nefarious purposes. Listed on their site are several missing alumni, one of which we’ve seen before, Faith Arella the tattoo artist. Although yet to be directly proven, it is heavily speculated that Faith could be a Nephilim, or half angel/half human, like the main character of the Fallen movie, Aaron.
If you haven’t yet checked out Ocular Effect you can easily catch up by reading through the many resources for the game including the ingame recap, the discussion forums on UnFiction, the official OE forums and the extensive player-created OE wiki.
Check your local listings for the next showing of Fallen or watch the movie online at the ABC Family website.
Hot in pursuit of the internet audience, ABC‘s sister network,
ABC Family, has announced their plans for an alternate reality game
based on their upcoming television show, Fallen. Announced today in a
press release found on SciFi Wire,
the game is set to launch following the 2-hour premire on July 23rd.
Spearheading the project is Matt Wolf, designer of games for other media features,
including The Bourne Identity.
The show is based on the young-adult series of books of the same name by Thomas Sniegoski.
The main character of the book series discovers on his 18th birthday that he belongs to a race
of fallen angels on Earth (The Fallen), and of the prophesy that he is the one who might bridge
the gap between The Fallen and Heaven. Beyond the story of the race and his adjustment to his discovery,
he and his family are pursued by a race of killer angels, out to destroy him. The Fallen ARG,
on the heels of the successful Lost Experience for ABC, is expected to be integrated into the telecast,
with clues to the game hidden within, allowing viewers the chance to engage with the show’s story.
Since the rumor of Ocular Effect‘s
link to Disney and ABC, it was hypothesized that it might be an ARG for The Fallen. With this new information,
the possibility remains, though the links might now be more fragile – for instance, the countdown clock on Ocular Effect
runs out on July 17th, almost a week before the expected July 23rd launch of the game tied to Fallen. Will that week be
a moment for the ARG audience to dabble in the Fallen universe, or is Ocular Effect something different entirely?