Friday, August 22, 2008

Welcome to the UTD ARG class blog!

"This is Not a Game" is the catchphrase for "Alternate Reality Games", the newest form of "Online Interactive Entertainment". They were born from interactive forms of "Guerrilla Advertising" and are made up by a blending of Social Networks, Interactive Fiction, and MMOGs.

ARG is one of the hottest new forms of massive multi player online games. Though born in advertising, it has become so much more and is on the verge of splitting into dozens if not hundreds of sub-genres within the next few years. ARG blends virtual and real-world elements into an enticing blend of reality and fiction that has recently been seen in movies, television shows, commercials, and used to promote every type of product imaginable. ARG has blurred the line between fiction and reality for millions of players who have dared to enter the ARG "rabbit hole," follow the "trailhead" laid by the ARG "puppetmasters," and discover the secrets of an Alternate Reality.

This class will explore all things ARG from its history to its future, including the known boundaries of "Interactive Online Entertainment" and "Chaotic Fiction" as they relate to ARG, as well as the art and science of creating and playing ARGs. Students will be asked to research, follow, and analyze past and current ARG games and to engage in the first steps in creating an online fictional self within the context of an interactive online environment through tools such as,,, and the project, as an interactive part of mapping the genre as it discovers itself.

Dr. Adam Brackin has acted as the director of game development at Fundi Interactive Games since 2006. He has been the head writer and Creator of numerous works of Collaborative Online Fiction, most recently the 2006-2007 "Deus City" ARG, and the 2008 "Conspiracy Asylum" Online Interactive Fiction spin-off. He spoke as a panel member in the 2007 San Francisco ARGfest and most recently represented Fundi and UT-D at the Boston ARGfest in August 2008.

This course is part of the new program in Emerging Media at UT Dallas.

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