Saturday, September 1, 2012

ARGs: Blurring the Line between Reality and Fiction

Recently I heard about the project Jer3miah, which was a transmedia project created by a BYU class. In talking to some people about it, I found this TEDx talk by one of the professors for that class:

There are so many points I could comment on, but the ARG (alternate reality game) is particularly interesting to me. What happens if you give people the opportunity to interact with fictional universes beyond the game console or computer? Do the elements of the fictional universe become somehow real? For example, does the door the woman sees through her phone actually exist? If it makes her walk only through it if it's "open," yet she won't hit a door if she does try to walk through it, is it really a door?

I'm torn between fear of the unknown and excitement for the possibilities--can you imagine how engaging it would be to somehow participate in the story of your favorite book or TV show? Or how easy it could be to get children excited to read a book because it uses the universe in their favorite video game? How does this change how we tell stories and listen to them? What else could ARGs be used for?

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