Monday, October 20, 2008

XKCD = LOL

10 comments:

Segosher said...

Love it! Apropos for ARG class... the marketing component triumphs.

Candiluu said...

I know we "voted" in class about how many of these rules we would
consider unnecessary, but I never heard the "none" option. I look at
these the same way I look at Monopoly rules. I didn't make the game.
Someone created a "world" that I've chosen to visit, it's not up to me
to dictate which rules should go to the curb.

BUT... just like Monopoly, traffic laws, and cell phone etiquette, I
join the masses in picking and choosing which rules I'll follow while
expecting others to follow them all. (C'mon! You know I'm not the only
one.)

I don't have time to learn how to de-steg this or that, but I will go
to genre sites and use what others have found. In return, I'll look for
things that fit into my skill set and offer them to the community (just
as soon as I develop a skill set, that is).

So no, I would not kick any of the commandments out, but I also
wouldn't judge too harshly anyone who, like me, picks and chooses which
rules to follow.

Segosher said...

(Sorry this is so long…when it rains it pours.) This is what's on my mind:

The 2008 Presidential Election as Alternate Reality Game

but... surely THIS is NOT a game?

Well, is it not a race? Aren't polling maps analogous to scorecards? We have a countdown. We have a red team and a blue team. Each one is plotting its menacing strategy (depending on which side you are on) to win leadership of the free world. The teams promote their own interactive fictions using multiple media and delivery methods. The fictions are about political ideology but no one wants to say “this is marketing.” Players willingly accept this. As players attempt to ask questions and communicate with in-game characters, they are richly rewarded with media fame and flame. The game is so pervasive that when it finishes it will have involved well over a hundred million players speculating and collaborating to tease out the outcome.

Does it have emergent properties? Yes. Media elements of the game are being used in ways unintended or unimagined by the PMs, and players are able to influence the course of the game on a daily basis. Speaking of the PMs, who are they? No one knows for certain, although the highest level characters of the game are heavily involved. In this game the PMs do not know the outcome of the game any more than anyone else.

Does the game offer mysteries and puzzles? Yes. Players have to figure out who palled around with whom and whether this is significant to the story. They search for revealing clues in the source code of tax strategies and health care plans. They get contradictory robo-calls. Even the scorecard is a puzzle; in fact, it is the grand prize puzzle that no one can solve until the game is complete.

Does it have immersive "real world" elements? I have to laugh at this... Yes. It's most definitely immersive and occasionally even a little reality makes an appearance. Reality is difficult to distinguish from the fictional elements. The question of which elements are considered "real" vs. fiction is really what the game is all about. Trying to find an answer is an obsession leading to sleepless nights and unproductive days—despite factcheck.org.

Does it contain collaborative, interactive storytelling? Joe the Plumber. Need I say more?

There are all levels of players…casual, active and enthusiastic. They form self-organizing structures to influence the outcome of the game. Some are video-taped in rallies around the country, while others tweet and post countless comments and blogs. Some players display game swag in their front yards and on car bumpers. Overzealous players try to use brute force to the detriment of the game as the other players cry “foul.” No matter how active they are, however, all players—even the lurkers—have a vital role in the outcome of the game. That is the cool part. Nice planning on the founding PMs.

Leslie said...

Sherri,

This is BRILLIANT!!!! (and hilarious)

webula said...

"Burma-Shave was an American brand of brushless shaving cream, famous for its advertising gimmick of posting humorous rhyming poems on small, consecutive highway billboard signs."

"Twitter" - modern grapevine, "memes" ancient scribes, and "corporate marketing" commercial advertising - all tied up in one simple cartoon!

JayBe said...

Great stuff, Sherri! I had some of these thoughts floating around during the campaign, what with all the new methods used. You did a great job of relating it to ARG, though, and helping me realize the significance of all the new media and networking avenues.

Leslie said...

Interesting article regarding the downturn and Silicon Valley- the first time I have seen information about Twitter's revenue generating plan or lack thereof...

Down in the Valley
The storm is on Wall Street, but it's rippling out to Silicon Valley and causing investors to be more cautious.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/163443

Zen Almasri said...

I may be slow. I dont get it...

JayBe said...

Finally figured out the joke on this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:BurmaShaveSigns_Route66.jpg

Mary Ann said...

Its ok Zen I didn't get it either. Good old Wikipedia.