Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) take a cross media approach to game play and attempt to bring the action more into the player’s day to day life. Wikipedia says that:
An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants’ ideas or actions.
The form is typified by intense player involvement with a story that takes place in real-time and evolves according to participants’ responses, and characters that are actively controlled by the game’s designers, as opposed to being controlled by artificial intelligence as in a computer or console video game. Players interact directly with characters in the game, solve plot-based challenges and puzzles, and often work together with a community to analyze the story and coordinate real-life and online activities. ARGs generally use multimedia, such as telephones, email and mail but rely on the Internet as the central binding medium.
There is a new game in the field apparently, tied in to the Terminator based tv series The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It revolves around a revolutionary new type of camera which can photograph events from 1191 days in the future.
This video that I found on Boing Boing sets the scene
[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/Atl6DcL3cwQ” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]
This “rabbit-hole” takes you on to the website for the company which is developing the camera – EniTech Research, where you can find more videos and presumably more ways of playing the game. (I haven’t looked into it yet)
Slightly off topic, I’ve been thinking about other options for “real-world” gaming – having a bit of a fascination with the sport of cyclogaining (a derivative of rogaining), which is kind of like a big bike based treasure hunt.
I was thinking (having been influenced by the mobile-obsession of my friend and colleague Len 🙂 that an addition to this might be to introduce some element of hunting your competitors by setting up a shared Flickr account and having everyone photograph the opposition on mobile phones and uploading these to Flickr. This would give a time-stamp of who got their pix up there first and thus who got the “kill”.
Haven’t really finished thinking that through yet but I reckon it has promise.