This thread is dedicated to my latest obsession, ARGs. I discovered my first, and only, ARG at Comic Con this year and it is based around the TV show, Dexter. For anyone who has ever played an ARG they probably understand why it would be impossible for me to describe this entire puzzle at this point (it’s been going on for almost 2 months and we have done A LOT). However, the most amazing, Angel, has done a wonderful job of recapping the ARG since the beginning. Check her shit out here: Angel Recaps F8.

For those who have never played an ARG before, ARG stands for Alternate Reality Game. Since I am new to this whole world, I suggest checking out Unfiction or ARGn for a full explanation. However, if you want a brief explanation right NOW I suppose I could provide that thanks to unfiction.com’s history page:

“Alternate Reality Gaming (also known as beasting, unfiction, or immersive fiction) is an interactive fusion of creative writing, puzzle-solving, and team-building, with a dose of role playing thrown in. It utilizes several forms of media in order to pass clues to the players, who solve puzzles in order to win pieces of the story being played out.

Clues can be passed through web pages, email, voicemail, snail mail, television advertisements, movie posters, campus billboards, newspaper classifieds… really, in any way that information can be passed.

Many times, the puzzles that must be solved cannot be solved alone. This genre of game almost requires participation in a group or community that works together to win past the more difficult hurdles.

Beasting is unique in that it wouldn’t be possible without the community-building and networking power of the Internet. Besides the obvious fact that there would be no web pages or email in which to hide clues, it would be nearly impossible for the diverse audience to coordinate the sheer amount of data, speculation, and solutions among players.”

While I have loved following the clues (even though I haven’t solved any riddles/games myself), I think my favorite part of this world are the people you meet and the community you form. The link below is to a Flickr page dedicated to the cartoons/artwork done by a couple of players in this game. In addition, Angel has become something of a guru with regards to the game thanks to her website (she was even accused of being the killer at one point) and I had a whole thread started about my avatar (shiny) being dead because I was gone for a week. It might be considered a time-suck but I absolutely love spending hours talking to these people online and getting a better idea of the wide variety of people out there that are “nerds.” Plus, there are TONS of sexy nerd babes in this game, and we tend to be the dirtier/more inappropriate jokesters in the game (hence the sex-dating jokes).

Please check out my friends’ art and consider checking out an ARG. I think it’s definitely going to be one of many new ways that entertainment companies advertise in the future.

Fun with Dexter ARG

PS – The wonderful term/joke “sex date,” came from one of the multiple spam threads that showed up on Angel’s recap page. It offered sex-dating to us early on in the game and we have not stopped talking about it since.