During the gargantuan annul Hobbie Star Fan Expo held this year in Toronto a rather peculiar guest named Professor Declan Grey gave a presentation and provided welcomed guests to his quirky and mysterious booth. The professor laid a challenge out, to go and scan QR codes around the Expo in order to solve the secrets of a macabre place called God’s Lake. For those with an iPhone there was an App for that and those without could use a standard QR code scanner.
Declan was in fact an actor and the main character of an alternate reality game designed by Vancouver’s Zeros 2 Heroes (Z2H) Media, an incredibly inventive social media firm. Z2H‘s current alternative reality game, which they featured at the Fan Expo is entitled Animism: Sacred Sites and it requires users to go on a digital and real world scavenger hunt to locate clues and puzzles, which will unearth what is shaping up to be a grand narrative.
What differs Animism from other such games is it that thus far it is just the tip of a multimedia iceberg, which will become progressively richer and will progress off the net and into traditional media. Details concerning the growth of the Animism world will be unveiled as the game progresses, but the names funding the project seems to allude to broadcast; being Bell Broadcast , New Media Fund, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and British Columbia Film; this is not going be a web exclusive.
The amount of mixed media present for this project seems to be growing all the time. Web sites, live action, interactive games, web comics and traditional broadcast are making Animism out as the perfect example of transmedia. Transmedia is the telling of stories or the building of worlds that use content that span multiple media platforms, users can engage in some or in all of the content depending on how rich of an experience they are looking to have.
If you are into really progressive, experimental media and gaming it is highly advised you have a look at Animism: Sacred Sites. Not only is the momentum starting to build but it seems that further broadcast media will actually be impacted and developed based on the input of players at this early stage of the experience.
Here’s a great quote from Zero’s 2 Hero’s Media about ARG: “There are no set rules in an ARG (alternative reality game). The possibilities for a player are only limited by their ingenuity and creativity.”