Alternate reality game
An alternate reality game (ARG), is an in-
teractive 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 defined by intense player in-
volvement with a story that takes place in
real-time and evolves according to parti-
cipants’ 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 charac-
ters in the game, solve plot-based challenges
and puzzles, and often work together with a
coordinate real-life and online activities.
ARGs generally use multimedia, such as tele-
phones, email and mail but rely on the Inter-
net as the central binding medium.
ARGs are growing in popularity, with new
games appearing regularly and an increasing
amount of experimentation with new models
and subgenres. They tend to be free to play,
with costs absorbed either through support-
ing products (e.g. collectible puzzle cards
fund Perplex City) or through promotional re-
lationships with existing products (for ex-
ample, I Love Bees was a promotion for Halo
2, and the Lost Experience and FIND815 pro-
moted the television show Lost). However,
pay-to-play models are not unheard of.
ARGs are now being recognized by the
mainstream entertainment world: The Fallen
Alternate Reality game , produced in the
fall of 2007 by Xenophile Media Inc. was
awarded a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding
Achievement for an Interactive Television
Program. Xenophile Media Inc.’s ReGenesis
Extended Reality Game won an Interna-
tional Interactive Emmy Award in 2007 and
in April 2008 The Truth About Marika won
the iEmmy for Best interactive TV service.
The British Academy of Film and Television
Arts recognises Interactivity as a category in
the British Academy Television Awards.
Defining alternate reality