Ways of measuring social media
Now, almost ten years later, this type of experience has evolved into something called an “Alternate Reality Game,” a term that, as far as I can tell, nobody likes. There continue to be endless debates over what exactly an ARG is, or what it is not, how to make them, how to sell them, how to make money from them, etc. In 2001, we had no terminology to describe these experiences and had to invent or appropriate our own. One of the terms that sprang up quickly – and which has survived in the lexicon – is “rabbit hole,” meaning an entry point into the experience where a player/follower discovers a seemingly innocuous detail in the real world and follows it into the fictional construct of the game.
Alternate reality games aren’t dead, but they have certainly evolved over the past year, as terms like “transmedia storytelling” and “gamification” have insinuated their way further into the developmental lexicon. In April, the Producer’s Guild of America added the “transmedia producer” credit to their Code of Credits, swiftly followed by the formation of the rival Transmedia Artists Guild in July, which aims to provide a support structure for creators. Prominent figures in the entertainment industry including Anthony Zuiker, Tim Kring, and Guillermo del Toro have all publicly committed themselves to transmedia production. Meanwhile, Jane McGonigal’s TED Talk on gamification as a means of leveraging our penchant for play for social good has reignited interest in serious games.
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