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Aca-article: Ethical Behaviour, Personal Growth and Becoming a Citizen of the World - the power of online game
A research study was conducted on an Alternate Reality Game Evoke in spring 2010. The questions explored were around the participants narrative practices, and the potential for players and educators who use similar spaces to develop knowledge and application of critical literacy, as well as grow as individuals in their ethical sensibilities. This paper focuses on players’ moral functioning in the gameworld, analyzed through a Four-component model, including moral judgment, moral sensitivity, moral motivation and moral action. Based on the model, four different themes emerged as a result of players’ participation in the game. Those are: becoming a leader, being a good citizen, supporting and understanding others and expressing freedom of speech. All of those demonstrated that immersive gameworlds could provide space for rich, exhilarating, thought-provoking debate and knowledge building.
By: Natasha Boskic, The University of British Columbia, Canada
Access article here, open-access.
Keywords: Alternate Reality Games; ethics; personal growth; global citizen; leadership
That awkward moment when I really REALLY love ARGs in theory but I'm too dumb to figure out even this beginner's ARG book targeted for high schoolers without help.
They’ve given me TWO e-mail addresses so far and I’m halfway through the book but still have no idea what to do with them. Do I e-mail them something? Do I try to guess the password? Same goes with anything else in the attached evidence packet. I admire the craftsmanship and attention to detail involved in this game but I’M NOT A RIDDLES PERSON.
Alternate Reality Games - I Want to Play For Real
In the new media world, there is a lot of talk about Transmedia, which is telling a narrative across various platforms, and tailoring that narrative to the particular medium chosen. This is not an adaptation. It’s expanding the story. It’s interactivity as well. Alternate reality games, to me, are the epitome of transmedia storytelling.
This article has a “Top 5” list, as of July 2011 and there have been many more since then, but these ones are pretty epic, and are the classics.
Unsurprisingly, three are tied to major entertainment brands: Halo, A.I., and Batman.
I’m fascinated by ARGs and the way that fans get right into them. It’s like being taken on a crazy adventure within a world that you previously only experienced passively (you could make a case for video games, but even then, you are controlling an avatar on a screen, it’s not really you). Participants also get to participate in a challenge, like the most complex game of real-life chess based on a fantasy … how wonderfully contorted!
What strikes me about these ARGs, and the reasons I think it is difficult to pull them off is that unless you: 1) have a mega brand with a mega built-in audience; 2) are a superstar like Trent Reznor (his ARG is one of those top five); 3) have a huge budget; 4) have a large staff complete with strategists, interns, designers, techies, etc., it will be mighty difficult to create anything with worthwhile impact or reach.
While these are obviously fun for those creating and those playing, and they DO create a form of fan engagement and loyalty that is potentially like super-cement-bond, they seem to be extreme forms of marketing only. Surely the monetization comes from that fan loyalty to the brand and the purchase of some part of the property at one of various touch points (i.e. - watching the film, reading the book, playing the game, buying the music), but how measurable is the R.O.I?
I would love to work on an ARG; It is a mixture of creative, technology, psychology, sociology, branding and mostly - strategy. You get to be a part of a team that designs an experience that has so many moving parts, potential consequences, variables, etc. Insurance anyone? What about legal implications? Hmm … technicalities.
There are amazing people doing a lot of avant-garde work in this field, and things will only get crazier and more intricate as time goes on. I’ve never participated in an ARG, though I may do so if it involved chocolate, a tropical location, and a lifetime supply of daily massages!
Game over for Ong's Hat and the Incunabula papers?
Joseph Matheny, who has been bringing the Incunabula Papers and the legend of Ong’s Hat to cyberspace for years has announced he will author his final chapter of the Incunabula Papers titled Game Over? The final chapter will apply game theory to the Ong’s Hat fiasco and will question whether it is really over.
Thoughts on AlphaLupi - Bungie's "ARG" for Destiny
So there’s this new site, see - http://alphalupi.bungie.net
It just launched, and it’s got a couple of strange updating images, see…
And a link to some more instructions, see…
Our sky is filled with unseen signals. Radio-frequency emissions pulse and flit and dance all around us. Yet even a singing patch of sky can be observed, and transformed into a range of frequencies.
Can you hear it? No, not yet. It has not yet arrived. But together we can receive its call.
Imagine combining the observations of thousands across the globe on an object meandering through the heavens. The resulting array would be quite large. Quite powerful. This is your task.
Alone it will not be enough. Coordination and timing is needed. Observations must be made simultaneously.
Your window will be small. Five minutes at most. But windows may be reopened. And the distance between observer pairs will be key.
There will always be limitations in clarity, so the results must be archived for study. Highly technical observers may be required. Detailed frequency analysis is recommended.
Everything that belongs to us will be ours, but only if we create the capacity to receive it.
Seems everyone’s been recording the image that’s shown for them, which is updated every 5 minutes. A collection of the right images shown an animation that looks like it could be a rotating sphere, by what look like land masses. The title “Active Baselines” implies it could be a map of all the sources of internet activity hitting the page.
But reading the instructions just a little more closely, a few more things stand out…
“Coordination and timing is needed. Observations must be made simultaneously.”
“Your window will be small. Five minutes at most. But windows may be reopened. And the distance between observer pairs will be key.”
The link to the instructions page is also a hint itself - “Note: (x, y) visibility limited. (u, v) analysis might prove useful.” - but it could be that the ‘observer pairs’ and the ‘u,v’ are related, and could somehow allow to map out the data in 3D space… or at least find a way to reduce the noise.
Clearly the instructions state that “high technical observers may be required” and “detailed frequency analysis is recommended”.
But could the first step be to compare visual results between two machines, perhaps by recording the difference in IP, or physical location, as part of the algorithm in cleaning up the data? Not just mapping out what current image is for anyone, but to actually attach that image to the location of the viewer, and perhaps compared in some way with another viewer?
The problem is, what is an “observer pair”? How might one determine two locations that form a ‘pair’?
Or could it be as simple as just getting as many people to view the page as possible in a 5 minute window?
To dig a little deeper yourself, here are some resources:
- Discussion: args.bungie.org
- Discussion: neogaf forums
- IRC Chat: #alphalupi on irc.mibbit.net
- Reddit’s on it too: r/halo
AND DON’T FORGET TO VISIT alphalupi.bungie.net!
Do you have any ideas?
Flashman and techercizer on reddit ran with an idea… there’s a filter for Photoshop that does a fourier transformation on the image, producing an analysis of its content — and numbers are showing up.
Not being an Adobe user, I looked for a tool that would do fourier analysis on an image, and found a sufficient tool, for now.
** It does seem that the more activity is shown on the right image - which is actually the interference pattern applied to the original left image - the more the fourier analysis will show white, and the more the numbers will stand out.
The goal? Yep - get as many people around the world to view the page simultaneously; make the interference image on the right as white as possible, so the difference between that rotating map and the fourier analysis image of the left will produce what is likely a subfolder of alphalupi.bungie.net.
Get to it!
—> My alphalupi tumbls
Obligatory First Post!
Okay, so this is going to be a blog dedicated to the weird and wonderful world of alternate reality games and the people who play them. I’ll be studying the great (and not so great) ARGs of the past, the communities that spring up around them, and eventually, I’ll make up one of my own.
It’s also a blog about conspiracies, conspiracy theorists and how they can be blended with ARGs for fun and profit.
Why aren't more people into alternate reality games?
When I was 16 I played EA’s Majestic and it was a pretty neat/bizarre experience. I was also thoroughly enthralled with The Lost Experience when ABC did that after season 2 of Lost. So much more fun than a regular video game. I want a new ARG to get into.