Friday, 30 January 2009

ARGs ain't so AARRrggghh!!

Dinosaurs courtesy of the first Barg Alt. pass the parcel.

So through my new Twitter universe came this emerging buzz about a new forming Birmingham ARG group (#BARG hashtag). Now i'm not going to bother to try to define exactly what Alternative Reality Games are or even point you at an ARG website because i feel that would be pointless* (and confusing) suffice to say i tagged along out of curiosity. The fascinating thing was to be in a Digbeth backstreet pub room of about 20 people discussing the vague concept of games which appear to not be games (another ARG concept which has to be witnessed first hand) played out within different layers of 'reality' (the tangible, the digital, the artistic, the imagined, etc) slowly the fog starts to clear. When Benjamin (Not Brum) did his talk on his many intense ARG experiences and the fact that on an informed hunch he'd took a day trip to New York to desecrate a chunk of Central Park suddenly it became a bit clearer about what could possibly develop. So we shall see what we shall see but as one guy said 'it would be great to be in at the beginning'.

PS: In a few months if you're walking through Digbeth and get accosted by a 'Peaky Blinder' don't panic, ARG has just hernia'd into your reality.

*Yeah, ok i give in, here some pointers...

Barg the initial Brum 'is anyone out there' ARG post.
Futurelab's take on ARGs.
GiantMice take on ARGs.
Mirlando's take on ARGs.
Maquerade The 70's 'treasure hunt' game with clues hidden within a book leading to a Golden Hare
Perplex city
SFZero ARG based around San Francisco.
The Beast ARG based around Steven Spielberg's A.I.
Year Zero ARG based around the Nine Inch Nails album of the same name.
Rider Spoke ARG on bikes using GPS technology and such.
Hide And Seek an ARG variant on the popular parlour game.
GeoCaching I think this falls within the realm of ARGs?.
I Love Bees i'm led to believe this page is not what it first appears to be!?.
World Without Oil an ARG which addressed a real world issue (ARGs as problem solving).
Flickr a game? slightly offtopic concept that games are all around you.
All The Above Are Wrong?.

(Not sure if it has any relevance but ~20 years back i bought a copy of James P Carse's 'Finite and Infinite Games', there was a similar vein of defining games, rules and players running through that, i'll probably give that another read.)

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