The ARG research

It is my intention to create an ARG for my transmedia project

iI began to research in more depth exactly what creating an ARG entails. Here is my research on it.

Transmedia storytelling and ARG’s are  characterized by a high degree of audience participation, decision-making and collaboration.It’s like a jigsaw puzzle. The story is scattered across different media platforms – the job of the audience is to find these pieces and combine them together.

As users engage with transmedia narratives, worlds and experiences across multiple platforms and spaces, participants make a series of personal choices that shape and define their experience and understanding of “the whole.” An audience that interacts in this manner is regarded as “active”.

An ARG is a game deliberately blurs the line between the game and the real world. Players investigate the world of the game using the same tools with which they interact with the real world such as websites, email, telephone conversations and even in-person discussions with actors playing game characters.

Characters Development in an ARG

The most important thing about ARG’s is that playing these games does not consist of role play but instead “real play”. Your’e not playing a character and you dont have a little 3d Avatar. In the game you are yourself and you talk about your own life in your’e own everyday circumstances, except you talk about them as if the fiction of the game were true. The power of having people live in this alternate reality is that they have to change the way they live their lives. They are not simulating it in a 3 d environment, they are simulating it in their own lives, changing how they commute to work, how they cook, how they go on dates! And so it’s not just thinking about change , but making change, but in a really fun context where other people around the world are doing it also.

Narrative devices

Jeff Gomez has argued all along that transmedia storytelling, in its purest form, is a technique. Just as an architect aims to design something to be marveled at,  transmedia producers specialize in bridging narrative mater, creating  intriguing mythologies and storylines, and embedding satisfying revelations for those who want a closer look at the details. The narrative structure they design must be well thought out and organized, all while allowing room for future construction and additions to further enhance the interactive experience and storyline when needed.

“Transmedia storytelling, because it constructs a story across different platforms and invites audience participation and collaboration, is simultaneously linear and multi-dimensional, and both individual and collaborative. Transmedia storytelling is not the same as taking content and ‘repurposing’ it for different media; it builds a story universe (what psychologists call a narrative) and invites the audience in. The storytellers take advantage of the characteristics of each medium—traditional and new—to contribute a distinct part of the narrative that is satisfying as a standalone experience. Yet each part also adds a unique and meaningful contribution to the overall story experience. Transmedia storytelling has multiple points of entry making accessible to different types of consumers and media-users. It relies on the audience and so it by necessity treats them with respect.  It does not “sell” them, but rather invites them to become co-participants to expand the narrative.”....quote sourced at

Therefore the use of multiple platforms in transmedia storytelling a must.  Linear exanples of this could be a movie or tv show, a newspaper advert or maybe a billboard. Other everyday communication devices such as telephones or voicemail or instant messaging can also be used to add momentum to the narrative.

THe use of new media platforms are also extensively used. A good example of this is given below. The information was sourced from a talk by Anthony Lilley Chief Creative Officer and CEO of Magic Lantern given at the Imagine Create Conference in Derry in April.

we can see in this advert created by Intel. The  advert  was created  to build excitement around the 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor, Intel launched  an action-adventure video titled “The Chase.” The storyline of the advert features a multitude of new media platforms including Apple’s iTunes*, Facebook*, YouTube*, Microsoft Office* and the Adobe Creative Suite*.

you can view the advert on

World Without Oil

World Without Oil combined elements of an alternate reality game with those of a serious game. The game sketched out the overarching conditions of a realistic oil shock, then called upon players to imagine and document their lives under those conditions. Compelling player stories and ideas were incorporated into the official narrative, posted daily. Players could choose to post their stories as videos, images or blog entries, or to phone or email them to the WWO gamemasters. The game’s central site linked to all the player material, and the game’s characters documented their own lives, and commented on player stories, on a community blog and individual blogs, plus via IM, chat, Twitter and other media.

WORLD WITHOUT OIL is a serious game for the public good. WWO invited people from all walks of life to contribute “collective imagination” to confront a real-world issue: the risk our unbridled thirst for oil poses to our economy, climate and quality of life.” It’s a milestone in the quest to use games as democratic, collaborative platforms for exploring possible futures and sparking future-changing action. WWO set the model for using a hot net-native storytelling method (‘alternate reality’) to meet civic and educational goals. Best of all, it was compellingly fun.”

THis transmedia project and its participation showed that players will engage in serious issues, people will think about important social and political topics that might not normally engeage them in the context of a game they will engage.



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