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Alternative Reality Games (ARG)

For those of us who already love the "I Love Bees" game, there's a new alternative reality game (ARG) in town. Read more on it, and on "I Love Bees" with this post, by J. James Bono who's a very good game scholar that I recently met at the SLS conference.

http://www.semioclast.com/

And, it's under the heading "Project Syzygy, The Cube, or Perplexcity Goes Live."

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Dan Rather on America's Army

Tonight on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, there's supposed to be a report on America's Army, the free recruitment game where you learn what it's like to be in the Army, I guess.

I've played it a bit, and I know Mike has, and I think it's a unique blend of thorough advergaming (like they talk about at watercoolergames.org) and sinister propoganda. (I suspect that Mike leans toward the latter interpretation?)

The tone of the promo I saw this afternoon sounded a bit sarcastic, something like "A recruitment game!?", but do you think it's violence being touted as a "fun" way to serve your country? I haven't played it far enough to get to actual missions, but I understand that you square off against unnamed but clearly Arabian terrorists. What does that mean?

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Re: Interactivity etc

I think you actually nailed it:)

In terms that exhibit this sort of openness - GTA3 seems to be one of the first major mainstream games to do so. Girls and kids games have focused on creating virtual play spaces for a long time, but they aren't generally mass marketed in the same way. Some people have argued that GTA3 isn't really open because all of the options are violent, but they aren't really - the town is just totally amoral and amoral options abound.

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