MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

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MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by Grace on Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:12 am

This is going to be a long post - but worthwile reading.
I cannot post everything due to limited space per post - please follow the links.

This goes far beyond any movie theory as you will notice and I will not expand into a theory at all. Theories are like laboratory experiments - they have a predefined set-up of elements (think of your chemistry lessons in school) and a predefined schedule of what should happen and will knit every piece into this storybook that might fit the foreseen end.

We are facing reality - or what we think reality looks like - and this is the field study now, not the lab experiment.

We will all agree that Michael Jackson did reach for higher goals in his work. He was lifting the barriers just higher than anybody else would dare. Where others were satisfied, he wanted more. Kenny said in TII at the cherry picker scene: "Michael, this is just medium height. Just for safety." Michael replied:"Why did you say this? You know that I want to get higher." This has been a life motto for him.

We cannot deny that some persons are speaking to us since the first moment after Michael's disappearance. There is a communication that we noticed very early. Whenever we were lost in our shock and disbelief and asked for clues, photos, more information: BAM there was it - mainly on TMZ.

Now the communication channels have been broadened. It has become a network indeed.
We are wondering about a website "thisisalsoit". We are wondering about LKL blog and whether Michael and his siblings are posting on there. We are wondering why a site like MJHD crashed and what happened in the background there. We are wondering about the many multiple story layers in the movie TII. We are discussing back and forth the occurancies of THE day when we were shocked. We rub our eyes what we find in Twitter and on Facebook. We look at wikipedia, news channels, forums, blogs, PMs, eMails, information and desinformation popping up and many of us are openly confessing that they have become addicted, obsessed, sick, ill, sleepless, fearing to miss something when they are off.

In fact this is the revolution of 5D.
Not 3D where we see interacting loops of a story like green screen to "make believe", supported by any green-red glasses.
Not 4D where we are getting passively into earthquake feelings, getting wet in the cinema from water pouring down when it's raining in the movie.
"This is it" is about 5D where WE are acting and determining how the story unfolds.
Like a combination of computer game, video game, movie, newspapers, internet, image, sound, making characters move the way we want.

Discover how much your spirits CAN indeed move the world.
And if you decide to move the world towards L.O.V.E. with your thoughts, wishes, attitudes and actions, the world will be moved towards L.O.V.E.

Now read the following background information and think of HOW MUCH you already decided to participate. We asked in the forums for guidance - it is there. We asked for clues - they are there.There is always an answer and somebody answering to us.

Participate in Michael's world if you like and change the world. It is feasible.
That's one of Michael's messages.

I would love to have him back for Christmas. Will you be there?

MJ: "I might play a little with the audience."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_Reality_Game
[citing
Alternate reality game
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An alternate reality game (ARG), is an interactive narrative
that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media
and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by
participants' ideas or actions.
The form is defined by intense player involvement with a story that
takes place in real-time and evolves according to participants'
responses, and characters that are actively controlled by the game's
designers, as opposed to being controlled by artificial intelligence as in a computer or console video game.
Players interact directly with characters in the game, solve plot-based
challenges and puzzles, and often work together with a community to
analyze the story and coordinate real-life and online activities. ARGs
generally use multimedia, such as telephones, email and mail but rely on the Internet as the central binding medium.
ARGs are growing in popularity, with new games appearing regularly
and an increasing amount of experimentation with new models and
subgenres. They tend to be free to play, with costs absorbed either
through supporting products (e.g. collectible puzzle cards fund Perplex City) or through promotional relationships with existing products (for example, I Love Bees was a promotion for Halo 2, and the Lost Experience and FIND815 promoted the television show Lost). However, pay-to-play models are not unheard of.
ARGs are now being recognized by the mainstream entertainment world: The Fallen Alternate Reality game [1], produced in the fall of 2007 by Xenophile Media Inc.[2]
was awarded a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for an
Interactive Television Program. Xenophile Media Inc.'s ReGenesis
Extended Reality Game [3]won an International Interactive Emmy Award in 2007 and in April 2008 The Truth About Marika won the iEmmy for Best interactive TV service.[1]
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts recognises
Interactivity as a category in the British Academy Television Awards.
[...]

[edit] Defining alternate reality gaming
There is a great deal of debate about how to define the term
"alternate reality game" and what should be included or excluded by the
definition. Sean Stacey, founder of the website Unfiction, has suggested that the best way to define the genre was not
to define it, and instead locate each game on three axes (ruleset,
authorship and coherence) in a sphere of "chaotic fiction" that would
include works such as the Uncyclopedia and street games like SF0 as well.[2]
If one accepts noted game designer Chris Crawford's
definition of a game (it requires that there is an opponent), then ARGs
are perhaps better understood as puzzles. However, if the puppetmasters are actively changing the game while it is going on (as happened with The Beast), then the ARG does more closely fit the definition of a game.
While addressing all of the various attempts at definitions and
arguments for and against them is beyond the scope of this article,
defining a few terms unique to ARG parlance, identifying precursors and
influences on the development of the genre, and comparing and
contrasting ARGs to other similar forms of entertainment may be helpful
in aiding understanding of the form.

[edit] Unique terminology
Among the terms essential to understand discussions about ARGs are:

  • Puppetmaster - A puppetmaster or "PM" is an
    individual involved in designing and/or running an ARG. Puppetmasters
    are simultaneously allies and adversaries to the player base, creating
    obstacles and providing resources for overcoming them in the course of
    telling the game's story. Puppetmasters generally remain behind the curtain while a game is running. The real identity of puppet masters may or may not be known ahead of time.
  • The Curtain - The curtain is generally a metaphor for the
    separation between the puppetmasters and the players. This can take the
    traditional form of absolute secrecy regarding the puppetmasters'
    identities and involvement with the production, or refer merely to the
    convention that puppetmasters do not communicate directly with players
    through the game, interacting instead through the characters and the
    game's design.
  • Rabbithole - Also known as a Trailhead. A Rabbithole marks the first website, contact, or puzzle that starts off the ARG.
  • Trailhead - A deliberate clue which enables a player to
    discover a way into the game. Most ARGs employ a number of trailheads
    in several media, to maximise the probability of people discovering the
    game. Some trailheads may be covert, others may be thinly-disguised
    adverts.
  • This Is Not A Game (TINAG) - Setting the ARG form apart from other games is the This Is Not A Game
    aesthetic, which dictates that the game not behave like a game: phone
    numbers mentioned in the ARG, for example, should actually work, and
    the game should not provide an overtly-designated playspace or ruleset
    to the players.

[edit] Similarities and differences to other forms of entertainment

  • Computer/console/video games.
    While ARGs generally use the internet as a central binding medium, they
    are not played exclusively on a computer and usually do not require the
    use of special software or interfaces. Non-player characters in ARGs
    are controlled in real-time by the puppetmasters, not computer AI.
  • Role-playing games (RPGs) and Live action role-playing games (LARPs).
    The role of the puppetmaster in creating ARG narratives and the
    puppetmaster's relationship with an ARG's players bears a great deal of
    similarity to the role of a game master,
    gamemaster or referee in a role-playing game. However, the role of the
    players is quite different. Most ARGs do not have any fixed rules --
    players discover the rules and the boundaries of the game through trial
    and error -- and do not require players to assume fictional identities
    or roleplay beyond feigning belief in the reality of the characters
    they interact with (even if games where players play 'themselves' are a
    long standing variant on the genre).[3]
  • Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs).
    As outlined above with computer games and traditional role-playing
    games, non-player characters in ARGs are controlled by real people in
    real time, not by computer AI; ARGs do not generally require special
    software or interfaces to play; the games do not require players to
    roleplay or create characters or avatars; and ARGs generally use
    multiple media and real life in addition to the internet to distribute
    their narratives.
  • Viral marketing/internet hoaxes. While ARGs are often used as a type of viral marketing,
    they diverge sharply from the philosophy behind "sponsored consumers"
    or other viral marketing practices that attempt to trick consumers into
    believing that planted shills for a product are other independent
    consumers. Similarly, they also diverge from sites or narratives that
    genuinely try to convince visitors that they are what they claim to be.
    Puppetmasters generally leave both subtle and overt clues to the game's
    fictional nature and boundaries where players can find them (e.g.
    through clearly fictional names on site registrations) and many ARGs
    openly flaunt obviously fictional plots. The puppetmasters of the
    genre's seminal example, the Beast,[4]
    made it a point of pride never to pretend to be players in order to
    solicit publicity or nudge players along, and the Terms of Service of
    Unfiction, the central community site for the ARG genre, strictly
    prohibit individuals involved in creating games from posting about them
    without disclosing their involvement.[5]

[edit] Influences and precursors
Due to factors like the curtain, attempts to begin games with
"stealth launches" to fulfill the TINAG aesthetic, and the restrictive
non-disclosure agreements governing how much information may be
revealed by the puppetmasters of promotional games, the design process
for many ARGs is often shrouded in secrecy, making it difficult to
discern the extent to which they have been influenced by other works.
In addition, the cross-media nature of the form allows ARGs to
incorporate elements of so many other art forms and works that
attempting to identify them all would be a nearly-impossible task.
[edit] Possible inspirations from fiction and other art forms

G. K. Chesterton's 1905 short story "The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown" (part of a collection entitled The Club of Queer Trades) seems to predict the ARG concept, as does John Fowles' 1965 novel The Magus. The performance artists in Delany's science fiction novel Triton (published in 1976) appear to be playing a type of ARG. Ludic texts such as the popular Choose Your Own Adventure children's novels may also have provided some inspiration. Reader-influenced online fiction such as AOL's QuantumLink Serial
provides a model that incorporates audience influence into the
storytelling in a manner similar to that of ARGs, as do promotional
online games like Wizards of the Coast's Webrunner games. Other possible antecedents include performance art and other theatrical forms that attempt to break Bertolt Brecht's "fourth wall" and directly engage the audience.
Due to the influence the Beast exerted over the form of later ARGs
and the willingness of its creators to talk about its development, its
sources of inspiration are both particularly relevant to the evolution
of the modern ARG and somewhat more verifiable than other possible
antecedents. Elan Lee, one of its creative principals, cites the 1997 movie The Game as an inspiration, as well as the Beatles' "Paul is dead"
phenomenon. Sean Stewart, another of the three principal designers,
notes that designing and running an ARG bears some similarities to
running an RPG,
and the influence of that particular game form is further suggested by
the fact that Jordan Weisman, the game's third main designer, was also
the founder of leading RPG company FASA. Stewart also noted that the sort of "creative, collaborative, enthusiastic scavengering behavior"[6]
upon which the Beast depended has its antecedents outside the arts: the
Beast just "accidentally re-invented Science as pop culture
entertainment."[7]
The conspiracy in Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 may be an ARG set up by Pierce Inverarity to bedevil Oedipa Maas, as may be the hallucinatory Turkish frontier across which A.W. Hill's Stephan Raszer tracks his quarry in the current literary thriller Nowhere-Land.

[edit] Basic design principles of ARGs
ARGs are sometimes described as the first narrative art form native
to the internet, because their storytelling relies on the two main
activities conducted there: searching for information, and sharing
information.

  • Storytelling as archaeology. Instead of presenting a
    chronologically unified, coherent narrative, the designers scattered
    pieces of the story across the Internet and other media, allowing
    players to reassemble it, supply connective tissue and determine what
    it meant.


  • Platformless narrative. The story was not bound to a single
    medium, but existed independently and used whatever media were
    available to make itself heard.


  • Designing for a hive mind. While it might be possible to
    follow the game individually, the design was directed at a collective
    of players that shared information and solutions almost instantly, and
    incorporated individuals possessing almost every conceivable area of
    expertise. While the game might initially attract a small group of
    participants, as they came across new challenges, they would reach out
    and draw in others with the knowledge they needed to overcome the
    obstacles.


  • A whisper is sometimes louder than a shout. Rather than
    openly promoting the game and trying to attract participation by
    "pushing" it toward potential players, the designers attempted to
    "pull" players to the story by engaging in over-the-top secrecy (e.g.
    Microsoft did not acknowledge any connection between the company or the
    movie and the game, the game did not acknowledge any connection to
    Microsoft or A.I., the identities of the designers were a
    closely-guarded secret even from other Microsoft employees, etc.),
    having elements of the game "warn" players away from them, and
    eschewing traditional marketing channels. Designers did not communicate
    about the game with players or press while it was in play.


  • The "this is not a game" (TINAG) aesthetic. The game itself
    did not acknowledge that it was a game. It did not have an acknowledged
    ruleset for players; as in real-life, they determined the "rules"
    either through trial and error or by setting their own boundaries. The
    narrative presented a fully-realized world: any phone number or email
    address that was mentioned actually worked, and any website
    acknowledged actually existed. The game took place in real-time and was
    not replayable. Characters functioned like real people, not game
    pieces, responded authentically, and were controlled by real people,
    not by computer AI. Some events involved meetings or live phone calls
    between players and actors.


  • Real life as a medium. The game used players' lives as a
    platform. Players were not required to build a character or role-play
    being someone other than themselves. They might unexpectedly overcome a
    challenge for the community simply because of the real-life knowledge
    and background they possessed. Participants were constantly on the
    lookout for clues embedded in everyday life.


  • Collaborative storytelling. While the puppetmasters
    controlled most of the story, they incorporated player content and
    responded to players' actions, analysis and speculation by adapting the
    narrative and intentionally left "white space" for the players to fill
    in.


  • Not a hoax. While the TINAG aesthetic might seem on the
    surface to be an attempt to make something indistinguishable from real
    life, there were both subtle and overt metacommunications in place to
    reveal the game's framework and most of its boundaries. The most
    obvious was that the story itself took place in the year 2142, and the
    websites ostensibly existed in the future (visitors to some of the
    sites would trigger a pop up warning that their browser was obsolete
    and unrecognized). The designers also outlined the borders of the game
    more subtly, e.g. through the names on the site registrations.

Development and history
Main article: History of Alternate Reality Games

Early examples
The first example of an ARG style game was Dreadnot[8], a (non-commercial) web game produced with a grant from the San Francisco Chronicle and published on sfgate.com
in 1996. It included most of the techniques above that would, in
upcoming years, become the standard for most ARG games. The game
included working voice mail phone numbers for characters, clues in the
source code, character email addresses, off-site websites, real locations in San Francisco, real people (including then Mayor Willie Brown), and of course a fictional mystery.
In 1997, a year prior to the release of the Douglas Adams computer game Starship Titanic, The Digital Village
launched a web site purporting to be that of an intergalactic travel
agency called Starlight Travel, which in the game is the Starship
Titanic's parent company. The site combined copious amounts of Monty Python-esque writing (by Michael Bywater) with ARG-type interactivity.
The marketing for the 1999 movie The Blair Witch Project resembled ARGs in many ways (and some of its makers went on to create the 2005 Audi promotional ARG The Art of the Heist),
expanding the world of the movie online, adding backstory, and treating
the fiction as reality through real-world media such as fliers and a
fake documentary on the Sci-Fi Channel. However, perhaps in part due to
the subject material and the absence of overt metacommunications that
this was fiction, it also resembles an internet hoax or attempt to
create an urban legend.
Pervasive play games like the Go Game and the Nokia Game
also incorporated many elements similar to ARGs (although they tended
to lack the narrative element central to ARGs) and prefigured the
public play components of large-scale corporate ARGs like I Love Bees, The Art of the Heist and Last Call Poker.
Electronic Arts' Majestic
began development in 1999, although it didn't launch until after the
Beast had concluded, in 2001. Featuring phone calls, emails and other
media that involved players in a multiplatform narrative, the game was
eventually cancelled due to lack of players. This was due to many
factors, ranging from the monthly subscription fee (as part of
Electronic Arts' EA Online venture) to Majestic's unfortunate
timing and subject matter in relation to the September 11 attacks on
the World Trade Center. Many players also criticized the absence of the
TINAG principle (e.g. in-game phone calls were preceded by an
announcement that they were part of the game).
[...]
[edit] The rise of the self-supporting ARG
As the genre has grown, there has been increasing interest in
exploring models that provide funding for large-scale ARGs that are
neither promotions for other products or limited by the generally small
budget of grassroots/indie games. The two major trends that have
emerged in this area are support through the sale of products related
to the game, and fees for participation in the game. A third possible
model is one using in-game advertising for other products, as in The
LOST Experience, but at this time no large-scale game has attempted to
fund itself solely through in-game advertising.
The first major attempt (other than EA's failed Majestic) to create a self-supporting ARG was Perplex City,
which launched in 2005 after a year's worth of teasers. The ARG offered
a $200,000 prize to the first player to locate the buried Receda Cube
and was funded by the sale of puzzle cards. The first season of the
game ended in January 2007, when Andy Darley found the Receda Cube at
Wakerly Great Wood in Northamptonshire, UK. Mind Candy,
the production company, has also produced a board game related to the
ARG and plans to continue it with a second season beginning March 1,
2007. This model was delayed till June 1, and has again, been delayed
to an unspecified date. Mind Candy's acceptance of corporate
sponsorship and venture capital suggests that the puzzle cards alone
are not enough to fully fund the ARG at this time.
In March 2006, Elan Lee and Dawne Weisman founded edoc laundry,
a company designed to produce ARGs using clothes as the primary
platform. Consumers decipher the codes hidden within the garments and
input the results into the game's main website to reveal pieces of a
story about the murder of a band manager.
Reviving the pay-to-play model, Studio Cypher launched the first
chapter of its "multiplayer novel" in May of 2006. Each "chapter" is a
mini-ARG for which participants who pay the $10 registration fee
receive earlier access to information and greater opportunities to
interact with characters than non-paying participants. VirtuQuest, a
well-known corporate team, also attempted a pay-to-play model with Township Heights
later in the year, but despite initial enthusiasm on the part of the
ARG community, the game was not well-received due to the design team's
use of player Hybrid-Names based on their real life names. Also the
short run time frame was not appreciated by some seasoned players.
In June 2006, Catching the Wish launched from an in-game website
about comic books based on its predecessor, 2003's Chasing the Wish. 42 Entertainment released Cathy's Book, by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman,
in October 2006, shifting the central medium of this ARG from the
internet to the printed page. The young-adult novel contains an
"evidence packet" and expands its universe through websites and working
phone numbers, but is also a stand-alone novel that essentially
functions as an individually-playable ARG. Neither the cost of creating
the book nor sales figures are available (although it made both American[36] and British bestseller lists) to determine whether the project was successfully self-funded.
It is difficult to judge the efficacy of self-funded ARG models at
this time, but it seems likely that exploration of ways to fund
large-scale ARGs without using them as marketing for other products
will continue as the genre grows.

[edit] The Serious ARG
In a 2007 article, columnist Chris Dahlen (of Pitchfork Media)
voiced a much-discussed ARG concept: if ARGs can spark players to solve
very hard fictional problems, could the games be used to solve
real-world problems?[37] Dahlen was writing about World Without Oil, the first ARG centered on a serious near-future scenario: a global oil shortage.[38] Another ARG, Tomorrow Calling, appears to be a testbed for a future project focused on environmental themes and activism. [39]
Serious ARGs introduce plausibility as a narrative feature to pull
players into the game. People participate to experience, prepare for or
shape an alternative life or future.[40] The games thus have the potential to attract casual or non-players, because ’what if’ is a game anyone can play.[41] Serious ARGs may therefore be sponsored by organizations with activist or educational goals; World Without Oil was a joint project of the Public Broadcasting Service's Independent Lens and its Electric Shadows Web-original programming.[42]
Their serious subject matter may lead Serious ARGs to diverge from
mainstream ARGs in design. Instead of challenging collective
intelligence to solve a gamemastered puzzle, World Without Oil’s
puppetmasters acted as players to guide the “collective imagination” to
create a multi-authored chronicle of the alternative future,
purportedly as it was happening.[43] By asking players to chronicle their lives in the oil-shocked alternative reality, the WWO game relinquished narrative control to players to a degree not seen before in an ARG.[44]
In October 2008 The British Red Cross created a serious ARG called Traces of Hope to promote their campaign about civilians caught up in conflict.[45]
There are possible future Serious ARGs described in fiction. In his novel Halting State, Charles Stross foresightedly describes a number of possible ARGs, where players engage in seemingly fictional covert spy operations.
In 2008 the European Union funded an ARG to support motivation for
multilingualism within European secondary school students called ARGuing for Multilingual Motivation in Web 2.0 [4].
This project is now completed and papers on the project and the
resources produced for education (a Methodology and Teacher Training
guides)are available and have been presented at the 3rd European Conference on Games Based Learning.
In 2008-2009 the MacArthur Foundation supported an ARG The Black Cloud to teach US high-school students about indoor air quality. The project is active and allows teachers to rent sophisticated air quality sensors to run the game locally.

New developments
2006 produced fewer large-scale corporate ARGs than past years, but
the ARG form continued to spread and be adapted for promotional uses,
as an increasing number of TV shows and movies extended their universes
onto the internet through such means as character blogs and ARG-like
puzzle trails, and as an increasing number of independent/grassroots
games launched, with varying levels of success.[46] One of the more popular indie ARGs to launch in the fall of 2006 was Jan Libby's dark yet whimsical "Sammeeeees". Lonelygirl15, a popular series of videos on YouTube, relinquished an unprecedented amount of control to its audience by recognizing a fan-created game as the "official" ARG.
In August 2006, Hoodlum produced 'PSTRIXI' for Yahoo!7 Australia. PSTRIXI
was designed around a young DJ Trixi and her boyfriend Hamish. Players
were engaged across all of Yahoo!7's platforms and asked to help solve
the mystery of Trixi's missing sister Max. The multiplatform ARG ran
for 12 weeks and used websites, email, Yahoo!360 forums, Yahoo Radio
and viral television to engage the audience in the game. PSTRIXI was a
major success with the Yahoo!7 community; players spent an average of
16 minutes per session on the websites and returned more than once a
week.
2007 got off to a strong start immediately, with Microsoft's Vanishing Point to promote the launch of Windows Vista. The game was designed by 42 Entertainment and, due in part to many large-scale real world events, such as a lavish show at the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas as well as a prizes of a trip into space[47] and having a winner's name engraved on all AMD Athlon 64 FX chips for a certain period of time,[48] received large media attention.[49] It was followed almost immediately by another 42 Entertainment production for the release of the Nine Inch Nails album Year Zero, in which fans discovered leaked songs on thumb drives in washrooms at concerts,[50] as well as clues to websites that describe a dystopian future. Monster Hunter Club, a promotion for the U.S. release of the movie The Host, launched by sending action figures and other items to prominent members of the ARG community.[51] Perplex City concluded its first season by awarding a $200,000 prize to a player who found the game's missing cube.[52] They plan to continue the ARG into a second "season" under the name Perplex City Stories, although they have said that there will not be a large grand prize this time around. [53]
Meigeist, produced by a new professional puppetmaster team, garnered a
great deal of community attention and affection with a light, humorous
storyline and numerous references to past ARGs. The teaser site for World Without Oil,
the first major "Serious ARG," was unveiled in March 2007; the game
itself launched on April 30 and ran through June 1, gathering over 1500
videos, images, blog entries and voice mails to document the "Oil
Crisis of 2007."[42]
In May 2007, 42 Entertainment launched Why So Serious, an ARG to promote the feature film The Dark Knight. Hailed as being the single most impressive viral marketing campaign of all-time [54],
it played out over 15 months, concluding in July 2008. Millions of
players in 177 countries participated both online and taking part in
live events, and it reached hundreds of millions through internet buzz
and exposure,[55].
In March 2008 McDonalds and the IOC launched Find The Lost Ring (game official site), a global ARG promoting the 2008 Summer Olympics
in Beijing, China. The game was run simultaneously in six languages
with new story lines developing in each, encouraging players to
communicate with residents of other countries to facilitate sharing of
clues and details of the game as a whole. American track and field
athlete Edwin Moses acted as a celebrity Game Master, and McDonalds Corporation promised to donate $100,000 (USD) to Ronald McDonald House Charities China on behalf of the players.
February of 2009 saw the launch of the ARG Something In The Sea, designed to promote the videogame Bioshock 2
by immersing players in character Mark Meltzer's quest to find his
missing daughter. In addition to the messages, documents, photos and
puzzles on the website, those lucky enough to be following along on
August 8th, 2009, were given the coordinates of 10 beaches worldwide
and told to go there at dawn. Those who did found objects planted by
the game runners designed to look like they had washed ashore from Bioshock's
fictional underwater city of Rapture. Players who wrote letters to
Mark, whose address was advertised on the website, also sometimes
received items such as wine bottles, records, or masks.

Television tie-ins and "Extended Experiences"
Even before the development of the ARG genre, television sought to
extend the reality of its shows onto the web with websites that treated
their world as real, rather than discussing it as fiction. An early
example was Fox's Freakylinks, developed by Haxan/GMD Studios, creators of The Blair Witch Project, who would later go on to develop the well-known ARGs The Art of the Heist and Who Is Benjamin Stove.
Freakylinks employed a website designed to look like it had been
created by amateur paranormal enthusiasts to generate internet interest
in the show, which gathered a cult following but was canceled after 13
episodes.[56] In September 2002, following a successful initial foray into ARG-like territory with 2001's Alias web game,[57] ABC brought alternate reality gaming more definitively to the television screen with the show Push, Nevada. Produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon,
the show created a fictional city in Nevada, named Push. When
advertising the show, they advertised the city instead, with
billboards, news reports, company sponsors, and other realistic
life-intruding forms.[58]
During each episode of the show, highly cryptic clues would be revealed
on screen, while other hidden clues could be found on the city's
website. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled mid-season, and all of
the remaining clues were released to the public. Clever watchers
eventually figured out that the show would still be paying out its $1
million prize during Monday Night Football. The last clue was revealed during half-time,
prompting those fortunate enough to have solved the puzzle to call a
telephone number. The first person to call received $1 million.[59] In October 2004, the ReGenesis Extended Reality game launched in tandem with the Canadian television series ReGenesis. Produced by Xenophile Media in association with Shaftesbury Films, clues and stories from the series sent players online to stop a bioterrorist attack.[60]
In 2006, the TV tie-in ARG began to come into its own when there was
a surge of ARGs that extended the worlds of related television shows
onto the internet and into the real world. As with Push, Nevada, ABC led the way, launching three TV tie-in ARGs in 2006: Kyle XY,[61] Ocular Effect (for the show Fallen)[62] and The LOST Experience (for the show LOST).[63] ABC joined with Channel 4 in the UK and Australia's Channel 7 in promoting a revamped web site for The Hanso Foundation. The site was focused on a fictitious company prevalent in the storyline of the TV series, and the game was promoted through television advertisements run during LOST
episodes. The Fallen Alternate Reality Game was launched in tandem with
the Fallen TV movie for ABC Family and was originally conceived by Matt Wolf and created by Matt Wolf (Double Twenty Productions) in association with Xenophile Media.
"I am humbled by this honor..." said Wolf when accepting the Emmy for
The Fallen Alternate Reality Game at the 59th Annual Primetime Creative
Arts Emmy Awards, live at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on
September 8th, 2007.
NBC followed suit in January 2007, beginning an ARG for its hit TV series Heroes[64] launched through an in-show reference to the website for Primatech Paper,
a company from the show, which turned out to be real. Text messages and
emails led players who applied for "employment" at the site to secret
files on the show's characters.[65]
In May 2007 the BBC commissioned Kudos and Hoodlum to produce an interactive ARG for their flagship drama series Spooks,
"Spooks Interactive." The game enlists players to become MI5 agents who
join the Section D team on missions crucial to the security of the UK,
and launched on September 26th. In 2008 it won the Interactivity Award
at the British Academy Television Awards and the Interactive Innovation
-Content Award at the British Academy Craft Awards.
The November 9, 2007 episode of Numb3rs entitled "Primacy" featured alternate reality gaming, and launched the ARG Chain Factor,
which centered on players using a flash-based puzzle game to
unknowingly destroy the world's economy on the whim of one of the
characters from the "Primacy" episode.
In January 2008, BBC launched "Whack the Mole" [5] for the CBBC show M.I. High in which viewers are asked to become M.I. High field agents and complete tasks to capture a mole that has infiltrated the organization.
CBS made an ARG for Jericho to promote the series in 2007.]

------------------------------------

[Blurring the line between games and life
By John Borland
Staff Writer, CNET News

February 28, 2005 4:00 AM PST

The first advertisement appeared in USA Today a week ago, right on schedule. People from around the world had stayed up all night waiting for it,
talking in chat rooms and online forums. It had to be a clue, they
thought. Everything before it had been a clue.
"LOST. The Cube," read the ad, posted at the top of the paper's
"Notices" section. "Reward Offered. Not only an object of great
significance to the city but also a technological wonder."

News.context

What's new:
"Perplex City," a cryptic mix of Da Vinci Code
mystery and video game logic, is generating buzz as the latest
alternate-reality game.

Bottom line:

Alternate-reality gaming blends real-life treasure hunting, interactive storytelling,
video games and online community--and may be one of the most powerful
guerrilla marketing mechanisms ever invented.

The cryptic notice, along with several subsequent ads in The New York
Sun, The Times of London and Monday's Sydney Daily Telegraph, are the
first tangible signs of a mystery called "Perplex City" beginning to unfold online.
It is the latest well-funded entry in a young medium called
"alternate-reality gaming"--an obsession-inspiring genre that blends
real-life treasure hunting, interactive storytelling, video games and
online community and may, incidentally, be one of the most powerful
guerrilla marketing mechanisms ever invented.
These games are intensely complicated series of puzzles involving coded
Web sites, real-world clues like the newspaper advertisements, phone
calls in the middle of the night from game characters and more. That
blend of real-world activities and a dramatic storyline has proven
irresistible to many.

"It's a very addictive form of entertainment," said Steve Peters, a Las Vegas musician who is one of the founders of the Alternate Reality Gaming Network, a set of Web sites devoted to the topic. "People stay up all night; it really is very immersive."

It's exactly that dedication that has made alternate-reality games
powerful marketing mechanisms. The two biggest games so far have been
associated with products: Stephen Spielberg's "A.I." movie and
Microsoft's "Halo 2." Advertising executives say it's a promising tool.

"When other people are missionaries for your brand, you've got
something special," said Jordan Fisher, director of brand planning at
Perceive, an advertising agency in Los Angeles. "The brand becomes
something much bigger, has a purpose rather than being just another
product on the shelf."

To many players, that marketing role barely matters, however. If the
experience in an alternate-reality game, or ARG, is good, that's all
that matters, they say.

"If done by the right people, ARGs of any style can be amazing
things," said Geoffrey May, a player from Canada. "Whether it's selling
something or it's just for fun, most ARGers simply enjoy the game
itself."

Transformed reality or underhanded trick?
Indeed, the appeal of playing the games--and of writing them, their authors say--is
that the lines between what's real and what's part of the game quickly
become blurred. It can be an extraordinarily paranoia-inducing
experience.
As part of the run-up to Perplex City, known as "Project Syzygy," a
series of postcards began appearing around the world. ]

http://news.cnet.com/Blurring-the-line-between-games-and-life/2100-1024_3-5590956.html
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by Grace on Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:40 am

Just to add some features:

http://larrykinglive.blogs.cnn.com/2009/11/11/michael-jacksons-burial-cost-1-million-including-35000-for-burial-outfit-16000-for-flowers/

Kindness
November 12th, 2009 9:18 pm ET
*Michael...L.O.V.E.*
wow.. I see.. remember you need some rest sometimes;))
Michael, can I ask you about this site www. thisisalsoit. com? Do you
know who created it? It always resends me to different other sites like:
- MJHD
- this is it movie http:/ /www. thisisit-movie. com/
- 2012
- V for Vendetta
- End Game (Alex Jones)
- Final curtain
- Liberian girl
- Performance_art
Initially it had to be a site of This is also it movie, as I
understood... What do you know about it? You said there would be one
more movie..

*Michael...L.O.V.E.*
November 12th, 2009 9:21 pm ET
@ Kindness
It is a friend of mine and I think you overlooked ARG and Faked
Death. There will be at least one more movie. That's all I can say at
this time.


Kindness November 12th, 2009 9:24 pm ET
*Michael...L.O.V.E.*
It is kind of a game I guess:) however I love this game, but really miss you.. Want to see you so much!
And isn't it a coincidence that before TII movie all over the world in
cinemas there is a trailer of the film "2012"? You said about 4 years
in the movie.. So there are exactly 4 years till 2012 if we include
2009.. What can it mean?
*Michael...L.O.V.E.* November 12th, 2009 9:27 pm ET
@ Kindness
It's really not a game. It's actually quite serious but I have need
to let everyone know that I am okay because I would never intentionally
cause anyone pain. Those who know me, such as yourself, understand my
attempts to let them know I am okay and I do not want anyone to be sad,
in despair or turmoil.
It's all for love...L.O.V.E.
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by katson45 on Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:50 am

Let it simmer...and BAM ! amen
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by Grace on Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:28 am

1,2,3,4

This is it, Here I stand

I’m to light up the world

I'll feel grand

Got this love, I can feel

And I know, Yes for sure

It is real


And it feels as though I’ve seen your face one thousand times

And you said you really know me too yourself

And I know that you have got addicted with you eyes

But you say you’re gonna leave it for yourself

Oh

I never heard a single word about you

Falling in love wasn’t my plan

I never thought that I would be your lover

Come on baby just understand


This is it

I can say

I’m the light of your world

run away

we can feel

This is real

Every time I’m in love that I feel


And I feel as though I’ve known you since a thousand years

And you tell me that you’ve seen my face before

And you said to me that you don’t want me hanging around

many times wanna do it here before

Oh yeah

I never heard a single word about you

Falling in love wasn’t my plan

I never thought that I would be your lover

Come on baby just understand


This is it

I can feel

I’m to light up the world

This is real

feel my song

we can say

And I tell you can feel that way


And I feels as though I’ve known you for a thousand years

And you said you saw my face yourself

And you said want to go with you on a while

And I know that it’s really for myself

Oh yeah

I never heard a single word about you

Falling in love wasn’t my plan

I never thought that I would be your lover

Come on please dear understand


I never heard a single word about you

Falling in love wasn’t my plan

I never thought that I would be your lover

Come on dear please understand

Oh yeah


I never heard a single word about you

Falling in love wasn’t my plan

-This is it lyrics.-
----------------------------------------

This is about P.T. Barnums exhibition of "What is it?"
Despite we may laugh in retrospective about the manipulative yet sincere and determined way of appraisal of a mystery in order to attract masses, translating the mechanisms to today's world will well serve as an eye-opener.
We still experience "somebody says it's this way and therefore it is this way and therefore I believe it's this way".

Enjoy:

http://chnm.gmu.edu/lostmuseum/lm/126/
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by Kirsche on Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:50 pm

Really great posts! That's all I can say at this moment
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by whateverhappens on Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:10 pm

this is really it - only mj could do it

wow
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by CantStopLovingU on Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:43 pm

Well it sounds like we are smack in the middle of an ARG - Not a game for fun but of necessity. Now I am wondering, should we also go see the movie 2012?
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by Léa on Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:48 pm

CantStopLovingU wrote:Well it sounds like we are smack in the middle of an ARG - Not a game for fun but of necessity. Now I am wondering, should we also go see the movie 2012?

Well Maybe it's searching a bit too far... I mean Michael knows we would go to see TII and he knows we would rechearch about the things he liked ( just lie Peter Pan) and the people who were close to him.

But he didn't see the movie and how could this help us ?
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by mjgirl86 on Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:00 pm

WHOA!!!!!! What a load of information!!!!!

BAMMM!

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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by Grace on Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:21 pm

I know it's a lot. Just broadening the horizons.
This is the real adventure of this journey - learning about the world (and MJ ;-))

I said very early on MJHD that when a job cannot be done all on your own one has to call others for help and adding up capacity and resources.

I am not thinking of ARG in a bad way.
I think Michael needs us and cannot do it on his own all alone.
He knew about the means how to get close to people, wake them up, unite them and ask them to go and act for the better.

I know that some already left the forums because they understood why they have been called. They are now concentrating on doing something about Michael's wishes and messages to us and they are acting towards a better world.

Sit back and get it digested. Sleep well and enough over it.
Michael for sure does not want any manipulation for the negative. But he needs us.

I have to admit, I don't care so much whether he had a twin or a double or was all himself in the movie.
Michael is an artist and uses all kinds of tools and measures to promote his art and get his message across.

Adorable from head to toes.
If you listen to your heart, you know about him and what he wants us to do. No matter whether he's there or not, whether he's alive or not, whether he's black or white, whether we are right or wrong.

You know it.
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by mjssoulmate on Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:35 pm

This has already been discussed in another thread. I have felt like this is a game for awhile now. Let's see how this develops. Hopefully our wishes will be granted!

Keep the Faith!
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by SPAKKLE29FUL on Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:58 pm

it is quite mind blowing and i have said before look how many strangers from all over the world michael united .
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by DooDoo on Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:26 pm

Grace, what an amazing post!!! If there's someone capable of doing a 5D new adventure , this one is surely Michael!
The thought of being part of it, of having a role in it is a bit scary though... Smile
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by Kirsche on Sat Nov 14, 2009 7:15 pm

Scary, but an big adventure for all of us!

I understood his message and I'm tryin' to do all the best I can do for Michael...to save the planet, but anyway, I won't leave this forum. Why should? Michael wanted us to unite and we did! But why should I leave here, just because I got his message! I love it here and we're a great community!! And this will last at least until the truth is out!At least!


I love u all! flower ( sorry I was a little bit sentimental)
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by mjssoulmate on Sat Nov 14, 2009 7:27 pm

SPAKKLE29FUL wrote:it is quite mind blowing and i have said before look how many strangers from all over the world michael united .

The article on the Year Zero Game said something like this:
People don't get messages through media, etc. anymore because they are completely saturated. But being in a game involves them and they get the message. (I paraphrased here)
So, I remember Kenny Ortega saying pretty much the same thing about Michael's songs, and so did E' Casanova. They said that people hear the songs, but not necessarily the messages in them, because Michael is so captivating and mesmorizing on stage that people concentrate on his dance, not the songs.
An ARG could be the way for Michael to get his messages out to the world. Honestly, haven't we all become better listeners since June 25th?
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by Grace on Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:42 am

Yes indeed, we have become better listeners, see-ers, watchers, thinkers, questioners, questioners again twice, not-believers what others tell us, believers what we think is right.

I do love this picture of a Houston, Texas billboard:
he's watching. Invincable. He's leaving traces all over the globe.



And in 2009 it's still there:


Always giving input whether to an ARG or not. Always adorable.
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by rag doll on Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:11 am

This is about P.T. Barnums exhibition of "What is it?"

Enjoy:
http://chnm.gmu.edu/lostmuseum/lm/126/[/quote]


HA! Delightful, thank you Grace! Very Happy
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by DooDoo on Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:27 am

Kirsche wrote:Scary, but an big adventure for all of us!

I understood his message and I'm tryin' to do all the best I can do for Michael...to save the planet, but anyway, I won't leave this forum. Why should? Michael wanted us to unite and we did! But why should I leave here, just because I got his message! I love it here and we're a great community!! And this will last at least until the truth is out!At least!


I love u all! flower ( sorry I was a little bit sentimental)

I'm not leaving the forum either!!! even if it's a bit scary I'll be part of it!!
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Re: MJ, ARG and new levels of entertainment: 5D - the big adventure

Post by Léa on Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:25 pm

mjssoulmate wrote:
SPAKKLE29FUL wrote:it is quite mind blowing and i have said before look how many strangers from all over the world michael united .

So, I remember Kenny Ortega saying pretty much the same thing about Michael's songs, and so did E' Casanova. They said that people hear the songs, but not necessarily the messages in them, because Michael is so captivating and mesmorizing on stage that people concentrate on his dance, not the songs.
An ARG could be the way for Michael to get his messages out to the world. Honestly, haven't we all become better listeners since June 25th?

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