Alternate reality gaming howto

Again, one of these report that piled up on my desk: the IGDA white paper about Alternate Reality Gaming is a very valuable document that describes ARG (background, relation to MMOG, mechanics, business models, etc).

ARGs do not require there be an avatar to build up, grow bored of and cast aside, or that there be a sandbox world for this creature to inhabit. There is, rather, the insertion of additional slices of reality into our own, and the only demand is that you interact with these as yourself. (...) The basic recipe for an ARG could be boiled down to Exposition + Interaction + Challenges (...) Exposition: The primary problem of storytelling in an ARG is how to convey expository information. In order to run an ARG, you need to present a cast of characters and their motivations, flesh out the world they live in, and deliver information about backstory and real-time story action simultaneously. (...) Blogs, audio/video, non-blog websites, other media. (...) Interaction: By "interaction" we mean both direct conversation with story characters and with the game world. Through interaction, players have the chance to influence the progress of the story even when there is no specific challenge at hand. (...) Chat, telephone, email, SMS/TXT, live events (...) Challenges: In a traditional video game, this would be the part labeled as ‘game play,’ in which the player shoots zombies, jumps over ravines, stacks blocks, etc. Challenges in an ARG take on varied forms, and are rarely very similar from challenge to challenge even within the same game. Cryptography, games, achievements, social engineering, puzzles.

Why do I blog this? the document is a good primer on the ARG topic with some applicable issues regarding game creation. Might be useful for a possible project about transmedia gaming.