Geo-locative check-in app SCVNGR has pulled off some crazy stunts in the past few months. Modernista used the app to lead Dexter fans to a kill room set up at Comic-Con in San Diego, and the New England Patriots used it to help nose tackle Vince Wilfork recover his Super Bowl XXXIX ring. But this time, SCVNGR has gone too far: they’ve unleashed zombies.
Or at least, zombie badges. Just in time for Halloween, SCVNGR has infected ten SCVNGR players with a Zombie badge. Once infected, these hapless souls will be informed of their sad state, and are doomed to wander the streets, spreading the infection. The transmission vector? SCVNGR’s new social check-in feature, where players can earn points by bumping phones together. Normally, engaging in unprotected bumping lets players earn points, with the rewards increasing based on the size of the group. When a player bumps with a zombified SCVNGR user, all the users in the group become infected with the zombie badge.
What will you do to avoid joining the ranks of the living dead? Will you stock up on supplies at Sears’ zombie-themed sale, purchase a Faraday cage bag, or go off the grid entirely? Luckily, this is a limited engagement, so you only need to make plans to protect yourself for the next few weeks. If for some unknown reason you actually want to become a mindless zombie, email [email protected] with the subject line of “BRAINSSS!!” — the first ten to do so will be infected.
Since news of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus broke this past March, the world has been watching and waiting for signs of the next devastating pandemic. But what if H1N1 is only one mutation of a human-engineered virus more deadly and infectious than any that has yet emerged? One group of researchers has turned to the internet to alert the world to the terrible possibility of a new biological threat – Z1, the Zombie Virus.
According to ZombieTruth.com, in 2001 a medical research team died at the hands of their patients, who had succumbed to a “viral-induced psychosis”. Researchers in the rescue teams tasked with retrieving the victims managed to salvage some of the data gathered by their dead colleagues. After several years of subsequent study, the troubling characteristics of the virus have worried researchers enough to go public with some of their findings and their continuing progress in order to help the world prepare for a possible outbreak.
While the weekend represents quiet and solitude for many of you, alternate reality gaming does not stop for days of the week that begin with an S. We received a plethora of ARG tips, tidbits and updates through the past few days, and here are the highlights:
- Lance Weiler, a recent guest on the ARG Netcast series, has written about Hope is Missing, the ARG that was created to promote the DVD release of his film Head Trauma. His article at The Workbook Project is chock full of details and statistics about the campaign, and is an excellent read for people finding themselves on either side of the Puppetmaster curtain.
- This year marks the second time that the Trinity University’s Coates Library in San Antonio has run Blood on the Stacks, an alternate reality game that helps new students to get familiar with the school’s library. According to this entry at the SHU – Blogcause07 blog, “anecdotally the library and support staff reported feedback from students of feeling more familiar, less alien in the environment, the library was associated with fun and the staff were more approachable.” This appears to be yet another neat way that people are using ARGs to assist in a social environment.
- Thanks to a press release we received, we know how survivors of a zombie-apocalypse will find each other — Last Day’s Journal. This is a project that began in 2005 at the hands of Superfreako Productions, a two-brother team that had the idea for a television show dedicated to the concept of a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested world.