Wednesday, September 19, 2001

2. AI Online Game

Immediately I was struck with the AI Online Game. This ingenious little venture was a co-conspiracy by both Microsoft and DreamWorks as a viral marketing campaign for the movie A.I. There is too much to this game to describe here, however the following links might help you understand it if you have not already experienced it in some way: (link from Google search) (explore links within)

The first link provided (the Google search) was most people's entry into this online experience. In the online trailer for the film A.I., there was a strange credit for a person named Jeanine Salla. Following the rabbit hole, as it were, produced a vast world of websites, emails, phone messages, audio and video. The world was set in the futuristic landscape of A.I., and the mystery, a murder. While set in the same world as the movie, this game did not depend on the storyline from the movie, nor did the movie play to any of the online content.

While the potency of the game as a marketing tool for the movie may never be known, what is known is that a very large and very involved audience quickly developed around the game. Websites sprung up wholly devoted to the game (see the Cloudmakers dot org link above).

While learning of the existence of this game, begun in March when I first had my idea in June, was at first quite a blow, I quickly realized many holes in the processes of the A.I. game. After the game was over and the creators came out in the open, many more were made known. While Microsoft apparently plans to pursue such a game in the future, perhaps even promoting it as a traffic-building venture as I had already proposed, how they will properly execute another game like A.I. is yet to be seen. Knowing Microsoft, they will most likely succeed. As with many things, however, it may be their girth that topples them.

In fact, here you can find the actual “Puppetmaster”’s remarks on their past difficulties and future plans:

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