Alternate Reality Games

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What. Urban Games are games that take place in the real-world of the players, and which make use of the properties of the city. Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) are urban games that pretend to be conspiracy theories that really are happening in the life of the players. The games are experienced through events, challenges and collaborative puzzle solving and may evolve through the engagement of the players. This new design method, Aulaia, addresses the design of urban games in the form of ARGs. Along with the design method several examples from real world ARGs are given.
Why. ARGs and other urban games are usually large and complicated undertakings, which require many coordinated activities in order to make successful games. This design method secures a structured approach, not only for the design of the game, but also for the launch and running. ARGs develop along with the players and require special monitoring when running.
Where. ARGs are increasingly popular entertainment, typically used as marketing stunts and learning games. They are played world-wide by a large number of players and known as an example of 21th century entertainment featuring city exploration, interactive challenges and collective intelligence.
How. The method includes directions for idea generation, site exploration, how to write the narrative, design of the player experience, design of challenges and how to run and monitor the game. In addition several tools are suggested in order to facilitate the process. Urban games are examples of highly situated games as they are dependent on contextualized play. Likewise the design method benefits from both in-situ design and situated action.
Translated title of the contributionAlternate Reality Games
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSituated Design Methods
EditorsJesper Simonsen, Connie Svabo, Sara Malou Strandvad, Kristine Samson, Morten Hertzum, Ole Erik Hansen
Number of pages18
PublisherMIT Press
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
SeriesDesign thinking, design theory

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