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Anyone play ARGs?


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#1
Nerdlinger

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ARGs seem to be getting bigger and bigger lately; they're not quite "mainstream" yet, I don't think, but I feel like they're going to be there very soon. It's a great way to get people involved with a game outside of the video screen - a lot of them are doing stuff with payphones and random phone calls and such, which I think really adds to the illusion of it all.

I've gotta admit, I've really gotten into this whole ARG thing recently, since I was dragged into one at the NY Comic Con. I'm curious - does anyone think they might eventually be "mainstream" enough to the point where the general populace looks at them as a viable gaming option on the level of console gaming, etc.?
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#2
starjax

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you mean this?

http://en.wikipedia....te_Reality_Game
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#3
Nerdlinger

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you mean this?

http://en.wikipedia....te_Reality_Game


Right - I probably should have clarified that. :) ARG="Alternate Reality Game"
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#4
Troy

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How about just trying to live in reality? Man, that's hard enough... phew!
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#5
Tal

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How about just trying to live in reality? Man, that's hard enough... phew!


:) Same here
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#6
Nerdlinger

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How about just trying to live in reality? Man, that's hard enough... phew!


lol maybe I should explain. :) I'm talking about these games where puzzles and stuff occur in the "real world", like that show that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck did about the town in Nevada (got cancelled quick, but that was sort of the idea).

Like, for example, I was at the NY Comic Con, and this guy suddenly handed me this strange kit for sewing stuff and a fake tattoo. Nothing on them except a bunch of code and a picture of a bee, but the sewing kit said Take Control Of Your Destiny and a web address for FraternityofWeavers.com. When most people are handing you buttons and stickers and crap, this kind of weirdness stands out. :) I check out the website, and it looks like a historical website, but there's also passwords and puzzles and stuff that slowly lead into a creepy secret society element; after reading about it on UnFiction, I find out that some people are getting randomly picked to become "assassins" or something for this game, for that new movie "Wanted" - now there's a big group of people trying to solve the puzzles and figure out where this game goes, thus creating an interesting community aspect. Now, do I really think it's a REAL assassain group? Of course not, but the idea of this weird sort of roleplaying type thing taking place in the "real world" is kind of cool.

It's not the first time an ARG like this has been sprung unsuspectingly upon the public - go check out the history of "the Beast" on Wiki and see how big this stuff can get. What I'm wondering is, if these start happening more and more, could they become as popular as other game styles are - not just video games, but board games, card games, and all that sort of thing. What will their place in the world end up being?
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#7
Chopin

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I honestly prefer god games and RTSes. Exceptions include NetHack.
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#8
Nerdlinger

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I honestly prefer god games and RTSes. Exceptions include NetHack.


What are "god games"?

...If that was just a typo, my apologies; I'm not trying to rip you or anything! :) Oh, and didn't NetHack come out like 10 years ago?
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#9
Chopin

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God games are games where you control EVERYTHING. NetHack came out 26 (I think) years ago, the latest version (3.4.3) has been out for 4-5 years.
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#10
Nerdlinger

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God games are games where you control EVERYTHING. NetHack came out 26 (I think) years ago, the latest version (3.4.3) has been out for 4-5 years.


I think I know what you're talking about with the god games; I think I played something like that on my old SNES years ago, but I can't remember what it was called. You're talking about stuff where you control like the rain and crops and such, right?

NetHack came out 26 years ago?!?! I must have been thinking of something completely different.

I guess the thing I really like about ARGs is that, unlike other games (like the ones above), you don't necessarily realize it IS a game when it starts. I mean, with regular video games and such, the game experience ALWAYS starts the same way - you pushing the "on" button. With ARGs, though, it can start pretty much any way the game creators can think of - a weird phone call, a bunch of graffiti, some random guy handing you a friggin' sewing kit at a convention :) (I'm really enjoying that one at FraternityofWeavers.com, BTW) - it's only limited by their imaginations. In console gaming, you don't see that kind of uniqueness quite as often; somebody might come out with a new type of periphereal, like that Wii Fit thing, but that's pretty much it.

It's always fun to make believe this stuff is real - and it gets real easy to believe when the game IS taking place in real life (albeit with fictional circumstances or characters)!
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#11
Troy

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God games are games where you control EVERYTHING.

Yeah, like Age Of Empires.

*troy still likes the original game :)
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#12
EagleheartDave

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Where do MMORPG's fit into this? LoL... I ask only because I am a Cabal addict myself. Granted I usually only get to feed my addiction once a week, but, well, I'm still addicted.
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#13
Nerdlinger

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Where do MMORPG's fit into this? LoL... I ask only because I am a Cabal addict myself. Granted I usually only get to feed my addiction once a week, but, well, I'm still addicted.


I've never played Cabal myself, but I have played MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Ultima Online, so I know what you're talking about - they are INSANELY addictive! :) ARGs are kind of like MMORPGs, in that you have a large community of people working together to solve goals and whatnot, but unlike MMORPGs, they're not usually "video games", per se - or rather, they're not just confined to the computer screen. A lot of the action in some ARGs tend to take place "in real life" - it's more like a giant conspiracy theory game, instead of a video game. Like, for example, the thing with the coded sewing kits folks have been receiving for the FraternityofWeavers.com game, where people are trying to solve the history of the "secret assassain society" stuff (kind of like "The Da Vinci Code", with real history tied into fictional history), or the one they're doing for "The Dark Knight" movie, where recently they had a bunch of coded bowling balls hidden in random bowling alleys around the country (placed by "The Joker"), and players who found them would discover the next clue in the puzzle - that kind of stuff.

I would say that as ARGs become more "mainstream", they'd probably be more likely to follow the growth patterns of MMORPGs than even more "standard" video games like console titles, as I would assume that the intense mental tasks and social aspects of the ARGs are more akin to something like starting a guild in WoW.
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