Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What is Black Helix?

Alternate Reality games (ARG), otherwise known as Transmedia games cross multiple platforms to fully involve the player with real world elements such a parcels in the post, phone calls and co-ordinates for meetings. They are fully immersive games in which players interact with the characters as well as each other. Each ARG has a trailhead which starts the game and helps you to find the next place to go.

The Dark Knight used ARG to good effect to promote the release of the film, the success of the 'Why so Serious?' campaign was phenomenal with 10 million participants online:

Black Helix is a new ARG that is running throughout March 2011 and looks to take Transmedia gaming a step further. Over a period of four weeks players are engaged into an interactive game that will include live events, phone calls, parcels in the post, real world tasks and a final role playing event.

Unlike most ARGs (and this is where it gets really interesting) players of Black Helix will become part of an unwritten story - the game is responding to the players and the alias names, information, research and sub plots that develop over the period of the game will all be integrated into the final story to create a unique ebook.

What's more, players can join the game at any point via the Black Helix website where all of the videos, photos and clues so far are presented. There is also a Black Helix Facebook page and Twitter feed.

The plot revolves around the kidnapping and players must hunt both online and off to discover the victim’s whereabouts. Here's the first video:

I've been playing the game and it's been really good, although I've not got as involved as other players who have received packages in the post.

The game is set to step up a notch tonight at 9:30pm GMT with a live interrogation on Tolerate Nothing with players able to ask questions to help them in their hunt to solve the case.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Booth at the end

The Booth at the End is a web series for Fox Entertainment that seems to have been made for the age of internet and short attention spans. The entire series is broken down into 62 short episodes with one episode released each day.

Xander Berkley (24, CSI, Terminator 2) stars as a mysterious man who sits at the booth at the end of a diner. People come to him with things they want: a parent with a sick child, a woman who wants to be prettier, a nun who wants to hear god again. The man can make these things happen. For a price. In exchange for what they want, these individuals must sacrifice their morals and do deeds normally inconceivable to them. Set off a bomb. Rob a bank. Kill a child. They must return to the man and describe every step in detail. As the characters' tasks begin to overlap, complications ensue. But the man never forces anyone to do anything.

I really want to visit the location where they filmed this

What's more, they're promoting the series with the Can you kill? game to test the morals of the player - would you kill for the thing you want?

if only: