Friday, October 07, 2005

More on SWIM

There is a lot of words to be had right now about the plethora of blog networks in existence. A lot of business models and attention and energy and time and money focused on the content that blogs facilitate the creation of.

But what SWIM has been since the beginning has been a tool inspired by blogging and blogging tools, but focused on the value for the individual creator/blogger him/herself. Specifically, the value that microcontent creation and the linear and nonlinear management thereof can bring to that creative person (read: most everyone, at least in these circles). The latter (the nonlinear management part) being the focus of this blog in particular (and narrative a particularly fequent topic for reasons I'll perhaps expand upon in the near future).

I still see an untapped sector. There are PIMs coming out of our ears (I would try to make or link to a list, but there are so many, so diverse tools out there, and more every friggin' day). But none of them help with anything besides email and scheduling, age-old problems (that obviously are still problems or there wouldn't be a rash of new tools coming out to address them). I'm more interested in what new things can be found out through the intelligent and possibly unorthodox parsing of all this personal detrius we're throwing out there every darn day.

That has been the driving force behind all the empty promises* of SWIM, and the end-goal that, honestly, I've been working towards. It has taken many adjustments. I can't tell you how many iterative changes have been made to this product since its inception (pretty much just before I started this blog). And so far there has only been one release. We are making another release in a week, and making dramatic changes regarding how we license, manage, and move forward with this project. And it's breathing the slightest bit of fresh breath into it all.

As does realizing that, still, after years, this piece of the market/problem has yet to be satisfactorily met.

* We don't make those anymore, but the site used to say: The creative mind--be it in an entrepreneur, artist, writer, software developer, architect, wherever it might express itself--brings a life of constant creative unfolding, the perpetual onslaught of small ideas and big plans. SWIM brings that creative unfolding into focus, helping to preserve the small ideas and connect them to the larger schemes and paradigms in an intuitive and nonlinear way. ...It's still in the plan...We'll just talk about it publicly when we can actually deliver in the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

architect Steve Collins on narrative spaces

it occurs to me that designersblock can be thought of as 'just because you're in the kitchen...' in action - just change the captions.

like i said somewhere in the photo album, it reminded me of the installations of the 90s such as HG and self storage. a warehouse in a decaying part of town, wondering whether you're at the right address, trying to find the actual entrance; following a trail through a musty warehouse or cellar, wondering whether what you find is art or just left by squatters... i learned that narrative was more important than technical polish; that discovery and lack of explanation were good; that time should be taken to gather meaning... so all this prepared me for alt worship.

except alt worship is still mostly too tidy and too church. we should be in warehouses. or ruined churches.

and then it would be an event, not a 'church service'. so you'd run it  every day for a month, and then do nothing for six. forget all this 'how do you do it every week' nonsense. why would you want to go every week, if you're going to remember it for ten years after one visit, like art?
from his blog. his main site is a wealth of original content on such matters.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

denisemartine.com

I appreciated the language on About Denise:
All of my adult life, I’ve worked with mystery and symbol systems in the forms of astrology, tarot, mythology, poetry, etymology, psychology, and numbers. My mind seems to work with ideas in an architectural fashion, and I’ve always been easily able to grasp the skeletal structures under the scrim of things. I naturally and consciously look for correspondences, meaningful connections, the lay of the land... patterns. I am fascinated with how significators and meanings intersect and play with each other, particularly in the rapidly transforming cultural context of post postmodern America...

theworld.ae

http://www.theworld.ae/ offers a semi-nonlinear, natural navigation experience exceptionally similar to a couple digital installations I've done, Hate Mail and Order/Disorder (part of WTF?). Extra kudos for Flash text I could actually read.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must go feel poor.

via http://www.erikbenson.com/

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Wikipedia used for ARG

BBC punks Wikipedia in game marketing ploy? (boingboing.net)
Someone has apparently abused collaborative reference site Wikipedia in a viral marketing campaign for a BBC online alternate reality game, or ARG. Boing Boing readers ask whether the BBC (or someone acting on their behalf, like a promotional agency) is responsible.

Here's the original Wikipedia entry, which presented fictional details from the game as real: Link. Here's the entry in its current state, after having been "outed" as bogus and edited by Wikipedians into a factual article about the game: Link.
...much more at the entry.

I'm not sure how to feel about this. I don't think I mind. This is kind of the point of ARG, and apparently the entry(ies) were not created by the game's project team at BBC.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

articles by Clark MacLeod

Digital Storytelling

Mental Models for Producers

Creativity and The Creative Process

Introduction to Information Design

by Clark MacLeod, also at Kelake.org, chefan.com, and 35togo.com.

On SWIM

It was actually while looking at the Technorati info on SWIM that I thought about this page's sidebar link/blurb on SWIM. "WTF does SWIM have to do with nonlinear anything?" I hear nonexistant readers asking.

SWIM the web CMS is the first baby step towards SWIM the nonlinear mind mapping slash organization slash CMS tool.

Eating lots of my own dog food this morning with a fresh install of SWIM destined for danielsjourney.com (sometime in the next century), I realized that SWIM is pretty damn impressive.

One feature (and I'll get to how this links to future SWIM nonlinear goodness later) that was a pain to develop, but that I like alot, is the ability to linearly display the taxonomy. Other CMS's can do this too, I know, but it's a built-in characteristic of SWIM.

Here's an example display of a taxonomy in a typical outline format:



Here's the display of an entry-specific taxonomy in a linear format:



...indicating the tree structure of the entries existence in one category and the stand-aloneness of another category.

Now where this will get cool sometime in the next decade (or much sooner, god willing) (investors, anyone?) (just kidding) (no i'm not) ...is where there will be meaning links between not only categories in the taxonomy, but between individual entries. Then SWIM can start doing creative analytics on your entries and suggesting interconnected meanings between entries. Something akin to this, but, you know, much more useful (*Upon request for the info*: "This entry may relate to: x, y, and z").

For now, we need to get some basic CMS features released, and again not to gush but I am really happy with the way we've made a lot of these basic CMS features work already. We're talking in depth about how to get a tagging system working in SWIM, and then make it work intuitively/seemlessly with our existing taxonomy system, and how to make it then work with the future "meaning tags/links" system.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

testing / the multitude of tools

I have three blogger accounts with a total of 9 blogger blogs.

I have a drupal blog.

I have two SWIM blogs.

I have a livejournal blog.

I have a MT blog.

Most of the blogger blogs exist elsewhere now, I just haven't deleted them from blogger for redundancy purposes. Should I delete them?

This blogger blog is active, obviously, but should I move it into my main blog?

Drupal was adopted because of their classification system, but we've never really used it and a flat category taxonomy would really be best in that instance. Do I keep Drupal and just modify the taxonomy (and the template, which is fug).

...Well, now I'm testing out w.blogger to see if centralizing the updating interface for all these blogs (except SWIM, will have to work on that) helps this situation. I'm tired of having 8 bookmarks with 8 different username/password combinations.

...update: well the actually posting part is faster than through the web UI. Interesting, f'n blogger! Some connection problems though...and it doesn't know what my default browser is.

Friday, June 24, 2005

FreeMind

FreeMind

FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java. The recent development has hopefully turned it into high productivity tool. We are proud that the operation and navigation of FreeMind is faster than that of MindManager because of one-click "fold / unfold" and "follow link" operations.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

ARGN: BBC Announces Jamie Kane Beta

I need to just stick ARGN's feed on here (any 3rd party tools for that?)

ARGN: BBC Announces Jamie Kane Beta
The BBC has announced today that it is accepting beta testers for its upcoming alternate reality game Jamie Kane. The game is aimed at a teenage audience and revolves around the search for a missing popstar.

Those who are familiar with alternate reality games may be a little surprised by the lack of stealth here, but Jamie Kane is treading into new territory in numerous ways. This game, while employing classic ARG elements, will be aimed at a primarily teenage market, so the plot and puzzles will be targeted accordingly. In addition, it won't be played in real-time, so that players may begin at any time and all have the same experience. Nevertheless, Jamie Kane will employ numerous websites, emails, mobile phone alerts, videos and instant messaging to help players discover what happened to their favorite pop-star, Jamie Kane.

According to Rob Cooper, the head of the BBC's interactive drama and entertainment department, 'You play for around 20 minutes a day and it makes use of AI chats to feed you info. Typically, it will take around 15 days to solve, a clue at a time.'

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

OSL



...getting inspired...

The Electronic Labyrinth and more on Tristram Shandy

The Electronic Labyrinth is a study of the implications of hypertext for creative writers looking to move beyond traditional notions of linearity.

Time Line


I had very briefly blogged a link to the Tristram Shandy page of the above site, but apprently never followed the rabbit hole upwards. *Excellent* resource.


More on Tristram Shandy / Laurence Sterne:

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent. (1759-67) (complete text online).

SparkNotes: Tristram Shandy.

tristramshandyweb.it (don't worry mostly in english...very academic and thorough)



highest quality images here.

finally some obvious links: wikipedia entry for Tristram and Sterne, and via that, an upcoming film version, a 1.1M ZIP of the illustrated hypertext of the books.



# One of the meta-statements Sterne seems to be making is he has no respect for your time, nor your desire for narrative cohesion -- and why should he? Defiant, Sterne is. Very defiant. Cool.

Eat yer heart out David Foster Wallace.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Grokker - A New Way to Look at Search

Grokker - A New Way to Look at Search

A bit of a change from all the ARG stuff I've been posting lately, here's another visual map metaphor thingie, this time for web search (my actual search results weren't great, but for a browser-based app I thought their execution was good).

Sunday, May 08, 2005

ARGN: Ares Station Completes Its Mission

ARGN: Ares Station Completes Its Mission
aresstation.jpgThe indie Alternate Reality Game Ares Station came to a close on May 5th, with an announcement on its trailhead page. Although nobody likes it when a game ends, those who played the two-month long ARG seemed to be extremely happy with the game overall.

Ares Station was designed by Indiana University Bloomington graduate students Nathan Mishler and Will Emigh as a Telecommunications thesis project. Ares Station represents about a year of work, and included excellent quality design and multimedia elements, as well as a very effective "stealth" launch.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

more on Perplex City

follow up to this and this...

perplexcitysentinel.com

thescarlettkite.com

projectsyzygy.com

perplexcity.com/video.html


ARGN: "Touch Me, I'm Perplex City"

unfiction interview with game head honcho


This looks like it's going to be a good one. Will follow along in this space.

More...

blog.unfiction.com/perplexcity


idfuel article

news.com article
The first advertisement appeared in USA Today a week ago, right on schedule.

People from around the world had stayed up all night waiting for it, talking in chat rooms and online forums. It had to be a clue, they thought. Everything before it had been a clue.

"LOST. The Cube," read the ad, posted at the top of the paper's "Notices" section. "Reward Offered. Not only an object of great significance to the city but also a technological wonder."

The cryptic notice, along with several subsequent ads in The New York Sun, The Times of London and Monday's Sydney Daily Telegraph, are the first tangible signs of a mystery called "Perplex City" beginning to unfold online.

It is the latest well-funded entry in a young medium called "alternate-reality gaming"--an obsession-inspiring genre that blends real-life treasure hunting, interactive storytelling, video games and online community and may, incidentally, be one of the most powerful guerrilla marketing mechanisms ever invented.

These games are intensely complicated series of puzzles involving coded Web sites, real-world clues like the newspaper advertisements, phone calls in the middle of the night from game characters and more. That blend of real-world activities and a dramatic storyline has proven irresistible to many...
Both he and Stewart say they see the medium as a developing art form--even if it's equivalent to moviemaking in 1903--rather than simply a convoluted promotional vehicle.

"The Internet basically is about searching for things and gossiping, and we invented a way to tell stories that's about searching for things and gossiping," Stewart said. "It is a much nicer way to deliver art across the platform."


Perplex City :: Primer

Times article

article in French

cartoon ref

cards on ebay

not sure about this one (flash)


mindcandydesign.com

Saturday, April 30, 2005

holy crap what a rabbithole, right?

So I was simply going back to the beggining of this blog and followed ONE link, to cloudmakers, which I had checked up on probly a year ago (more I guess), and found this whole new niche world of "ARG" (which I think is a pretty funny acronym, but hey).

I don't have time to properly explore all the links I just posted, when I found context I posted it, just in case these are transient sites. Perhaps I will have time to explore more, but if these things interest you and you find more stuff, please leave comments or email me.
Adventure Gamers: Pervasive adventure games feature
As far as I can tell, Majestic was the first pervasive adventure game. Its publisher EA advertised it as being The Game: the game – it would essentially "take over your life" for ten dollars a month (the reference is to the David Fincher movie). By blurring the lines between fact and fiction, Majestic was designed to induce high levels of paranoia. Players had to take clues from mysterious midnight phone calls, anonymous e-mails and faxes, and fake websites. However, it turned out few people were actually interested in paying for that. EA pulled the plug not long after its launch. The reason for its failure may have been that gamers were uncomfortable with allowing a game to intrude their daily lives. On the other hand, most players reported that the game didn't deliver on its prime selling point — the mysterious phone calls and e-mails were quite obviously part of the game. Regardless of whatever the reason was for Majestic's quick demise, it was an adventure game, although not recognized as one at the time. The gameplay focused completely on research and clue gathering. Majestic was much like an X-Files mystery, where players could peel off layer upon layer of a big conspiracy. Although Majestic was a little self-obsessed so to say with its focus on technology angst, it was the first commercial experiment in pervasive gaming.

In Memoriam is another pervasive adventure, but it's very different from Majestic both in its commercial success and its contents. Whereas Majestic's story dealt with UFOs and an all-encompassing government conspiracy, In Memoriam casts you in the role of a simple investigator, tasked with finding a serial killer. The game combines full motion video clips and in-game puzzles with web research and e-mail. In Memoriam's marketing campaign was decidedly more successful than that of Majestic. Instead of claiming that its pervasive gameplay would 'spook you out', it said it would draw you in and compel you to solve the puzzles.

In his review of In Memoriam, Jim Saighman explains that there's no apparent exploration or character interaction in the game, which leaves many in doubt whether In Memoriam is a true adventure game. Jim says that it is an adventure game — and I agree. In Memoriam is founded upon puzzle solving and story development, two essential components of adventure games. While there is no exploration in the sense of moving an avatar on the screen, the player is sent on a trail hunt through various websites (both fake and real ones). Although the browsing of a website may appear to be unrelated to adventure gaming, I wouldn't say it's very different on a conceptual level. The pervasive elements of In Memoriam are an integral part of the game world which players have to explore. You could even consider the e-mail correspondence of In Memoriam as an equivalent of character interaction in a traditional adventure game.

There is more pervasive gaming to be found outside of the game industry. As part of a guerrilla marketing campaign for the movie A.I., Microsoft and Dreamworks designed and operated a web-based game in 2001, known by its players as “The Beast” or “the A.I. Game”. The game was never officially announced, nor did it require any form of subscription. Instead, the movie's trailer contained a hint leading to the game, causing curious viewers to stumble upon the game by accident. Although no one told the players they were playing a game, everyone knew the events were orchestrated by an anonymous team of developers — the “Puppet Masters” — who updated the game every Tuesday.

A.I. was different from In Memoriam and Majestic in that it was inherently collaborative. Most puzzles in A.I. were so difficult that they required the involvement of the entire player community to be solved. Puzzles had players reading Göedel, Escher, Bach, translating from German, Japanese, and an obscure language called Kannada, decrypting Morse and Enigma code, and performing a range of operations on sound and image files downloaded and swapped between players. A.I. was, essentially, a collaborative multiplayer adventure game — perhaps even the first one. (E-mail me if you know of an earlier example.)

However, pervasive games can be taken one step further. Uncle Roy Is All Around You is an experimental location-based game that was funded by Microsoft Research and a number of academic sponsors, such as the University of Nottingham. During May and June 2003, street players — working alone, equipped with PDAs and wireless connections — explored the city of London in search for clues that would get them closer to the location of a mysterious Uncle Roy. Meanwhile, internet players could either collaborate or interfere with the street player's effort through an online 3D modeled map of the city. Street players had to make their location known at certain intervals in exchange for hints — dots on the 3D city map represented the positions of the various street players.

I'd known about Uncle Roy for some time, probably (but not sure) through locative academics such as purselipsquarejaw.org or angermann2.com. I hadn't made the connection b/w those types of games and immersive/web/nonlinear games, but damn if it ain't obvious.

also: Adventure Gamers: The Future of Adventure Games feature

ARGFestNYC

Main Page - ARGFestNYC (a wiki)

The Trail of the Heist

The Trail of the Heist

Grand Text Auto

Grand Text Auto: procedural narrative, games, poetry, and art.

sean stewart

sean stewart

blog?

Vital Interactive Media-Alternate Reality

Vital Interactive Media-Alternate Reality
In addition to music and audio, VIM is also involved in the development of dynamic media experiences known as pervasive 'alternate reality' games.

In these types of games, a dynamic online world is created, consisting of multiple websites, interactive characters, live phone numbers, emails, phone calls to the players, instant messages and realworld clues. It's the job of the player to follow clues, respond to realtime challenges, and solve puzzles to progress in the story.

This is a very new, cutting edge genre that has attracted the press as well as earned an interested player base in the hundreds of thousands, with more interested every day. Gaming experiences have effectively been used for promoting games, films and television shows, as well as for corporate teambuilding and training.

The experience can provide additional story elements, run parallel to an existing storyline, or stand completely on its own, all the while building momentum and gaining the attention of players in a variety of demographic markets as well as the press.

With an effective stealth launch and no 'official' tie-in admitted to by anyone, the mystery of what's going on adds to the fun and addiction for the players. In addition, this air of mystery inevitably leads to media coverage, as well.

Here is the entry point to a recent game. Start poking around and see if you can find out how deep the rabbit hole goes! Or, if you'd like a shortcut to more, click here.

jadedmedia experience 2

jadedmedia experience 2
jadedmedia is an online project put together by a team of collaborators. the intention is to keep you guessing by helping you see what you already know. the project has been put together by friends, colleagues, and allies. it is an alternative to what you would normally do in a place that is not even there.

jadedmedia started out as a lie. it evolved into a half-truth. in its present form, it can hide the lies through half-truths, or it can expose the half-truths through lies. it's all up to the eye of the beholder.

jadedmedia is a beautiful thing in the ugliest sense. it is the high, the low, the far, the near, the up, the down. it is a veritable fountain of information, but it's really not saying much of anything,

jadedmedia is what you make of it. you are the beholder. #

ReGenesis Extended Reality

regenesistv's ReGenesis Extended Reality

developed by xenophile media

EpiGuide: Web Entertainment

EpiGuide: Web Entertainment

avantgame.com

avantgame.com

From her bio:
I'm a Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies with a designated emphasis in New Media Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.  I'm also a member of UC Berkeley's Alpha Lab in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and a resident game designer for the Berkeley Institute of Design.

Outside of academia, I am an active game designer (high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech), currently with 42 Entertainment (named Most Enterprising New Business in the 2005 Best of the Bay).  I specialize in massively-collaborative game models and games that are played in everyday public spaces. Some of them have won awards (I Love Bees won the 2005 Innovation Award from the International Game Developers Association and was honored by the New York Times' 2004 Year in Review; the Go Game was named "Best Way to Rediscover Your City" in 2002.) Most of my creative projects are covered by strict Non-Disclosure Agreements or secret blood pacts, or both. However, I give away some of my secrets here.

...and lots of pictures of herself. {aside: is there some inverse relationship between academic tech/design involvement and actual well designed personal/public websites?}

4 o r t y 2 w o

~4 o r t y 2 w o~ . . . Capabilities & Approach
At 42 Entertainment, we help our clients bring their brand and product message to consumers through immersive, entertainment-based alternative marketing campaigns.

Our aim is to carve the client's world into today's cultural landscape, so that, like Middle Earth or Hogwarts, it becomes a priority destination for the American imagination.

We tell our stories in the form of 'search operas' -- narratives that spill off the page, the screen, the web, the phone--and into peoples' lives. We don't send an advertising message into the maelstrom of other competing messages: we reverse-engineer the process, so that the consumer comes looking for our campaign and our client's product. We create communities passionately committed to spending not just their money but their imaginations in the worlds we represent.

Ok, what I find really interesting is that I was thinking toolset and obviously a lot of people were thinking marketing/design firm. I wonder what Hugh would think of these co's.

VirtuQuest.Com

VirtuQuest.Com: "Where Reality and The Internet Converge"

Pretty cheesy again, but from their about page:
VQC is an Internet Design Company specializing in tailor made Internet Adventures. These "NetVentures" can be based on any storyline desired to suit your needs.

NetVentures are designed as intriguing mysteries where participants help unfold the story. As a participant you search the internet for clues, use your intellect to crack coded messages, interact with real characters within the storyline, solve cutting edge technology based puzzles and communicate with other individuals that are involved in the mystery. The point of the adventure is to bring reality and real life interaction into the game. That is of 'course, if it is a game?

A NetVenture is an integrated Internet experience where players participate in a story that unfolds through a series of Clues, Puzzles, Contacts and Research. Storylines can range from simple missing persons to corporate espionage. Players begin a NetVenture by being prompted to a web site via an Email, Fax, or any other way of communication. Flyers, Newspaper Ads and Billboards have been used for large NetVentures.

The fun in a NetVenture is the progression of events and information that a player discovers. By decoding a secret message or discovering a password to a blocked Internet node, players reveal story components to solve the NetVenture.

VirtuQuest can create an interactive Internet experience "Net Venture" for individuals or groups to participate and become part of the adventure. Through a wide array of interactivity, such as Flash, Shockwave, Java Script, Online Video, Online Voice Mail, fax machines, Personal Cell Phones, and even real life contacts / "dead drops", participants will be immersed in an adventure story developed specifically for them.

Imagine being part of an adventure where you are the covert operative searching out mysterious contacts or being the first participant contacted by a secret informant with information about your adventure. Participants visit and search real Internet Web Sites, Data Bases and Message Boards to gain information in order to solve puzzles, decode messages or post information.

VirtuQuest designs NetVentures for all types of needs:

* Corporate team building activities
* Internet education awareness
* Group technology experience, i.e. Boy Scouts
* Publicity or Ad campaign

Perplex City

Perplex City

As referenced in the prior post/site.


...on 5/5/2005

mssv.net

mssv.net, "massively multiuser online entertainment · biology · space"
...is the personal weblog of Adrian Hon, featuring articles on massively
multiplayer online entertainment and science. The 'middling' and 'tiny'
sections include more general posts and links.

When someone asks me what I do, I used to be able to say that I was
a neuroscientist. This was a wonderfully simple and, as it turned out,
apparently very impressive answer, especially when backed up with the
whole Oxford-PhD thing.

Unfortunately, those days are now gone. I left my PhD at Oxford in August 2004 to work in London on something called Perplex City
(formerly named Project Syzygy). Gone was the easy answer to that
standard question. For the first few weeks in my new job, I actually
attempted to give an accurate answer, which went something along the
lines of:

"Well, do you remember the movie A.I. by Steven Speilberg? See, Microsoft and Dreamworks SKG did this marketing campaign for the film..." and so on.

This wasn't an answer that could last. Not only was it too long, but
people still didn't understand what it was that I did. So I changed it
to:

"I work in a multimedia entertainment company developing a new type of cross-platform game."

Slightly better, but not really any more informative since I
generally ended up explaining the whole thing all over again. I then
made a radical change to it and now when asked, I simply say:

"I'm a puzzle designer."

If they want to know more, fine, if not, at least we've both saved
some time. It's not a particularly accurate answer but it'll have to do
until Perplex City launches and I can just tell people that I work on
that.

I do other things apart from being a 'puzzle designer'. I'm the editor of New Mars

(which I have been horribly neglecting of late) and a member of the
Mars Society UK steering committee, and I hold several other positions
within the Mars Society International. In 2001, I was a moderator for
the Cloudmakers community following Microsoft's AI online immersive game and wrote the Guide for the game.

I still retain a healthy interest in neuroscience and recently I
contributed a chapter to 'Mind Hacks', a neuroscience book being
published by O'Reilly.

Most recently with the very interesting The Reality Artificers: "How the BBC, Orson Welles, ancient Egyptian scribes and alternate reality game designers all follow the same 3900 year old tradition."

immersivegaming.com

immersivegaming.com: This Is Not A Game.

Pretty cheesy site promoting the book "This Is Not A Game."
Imagine a world of mystery and excitement, adventure and fantasy, waiting for you to explore. A world that reacts to your every move, with characters and companies that talk to you, send you messages, and even give you items to help you in your quest. A world so immersive that you can no longer tell where the reality ends and the fiction begins. Welcome to the world of Alternate Reality Gaming. This Is Not A Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming by Dave Szulborski is the perfect introduction to the unique and exciting world of Alternate Reality Games. Written by the creator of five successful and critically acclaimed ARGs, This Is Not A Game features detailed sections on the theory and history of Alternate Reality Gaming, as well as a “How To Guide” for aspiring game creators. The book also includes Dave’s personal reflections on creating some of the most popular ARGs ever developed, and essays on gaming and cooperative writing by award winning authors Ben Mack and Joseph Matheny.

I'll leave the rest of my negative comments to myself, but I'm still considering laying out the 25 clams at lulu for the book.

Immersion Museum

Miramontes Studios / Jim Miller: Immersion Museum
Interested in immersive techniques in entertainment marketing? We're collecting examples here in the Immersion Museum -- summaries, links, and opinions on the latest uses of immersive techniques. And, as befits the term museum, you'll also find here the most innovative uses of immersive techniques from the past.

Smirkbox.com

Smirkbox.com - Your Source for ARG Humor

MetaUrchins Book Project

MetaUrchins Book Project

Creating a book from an ARG. Similar to what I proposed here.

The online book requires the Flash plugin. Will have to look at that later.

Check out their very readable About Us (and then some).
This website was formed as a hub for the creation of a book chronicling the recently concluded "MetaCortex" Alternate Reality Game (ARG).  "MetaUrchins" is just a name we came up with to identify the many players of the ARG. As you may have already seen, the book is still a work in progress, and we're always adding to and changing it. Once we finish it and decide it's ready, we may publish it through CafePress Publishing.
In the summer of 2003, a fascinating socio-zoological development in the MetaUrchin sub-civilization occurred. Hearing a beacon call previously known only to birds preparing to migrate for the winter (or perhaps demonstrating characteristics commonly found in another red-eyed, furry creature, the lemming), hundreds of MetaUrchins began congregating around the vicinity of Unfiction, a formerly pristine and untouched wilderness of the internet, whose ecosystem soon buckled under the weight and pure bandwidth-consuming power of these resource-sucking byte monkeys.

In numbers far too great to be tabulated by any hit counter, they came. No cyberscape was left unsullied, no stone was left unturned, no Flash was left undecompiled. And what was the clarion call that beckoned these fair travelers to their voracious feedings? Sustenance? Wealth? Manifest Destiny? No. They came to play an Alternate Reality Game.

varin.org

varin.org

I'm not sure about this one, but they're using Mambo, which has some interesting features, it seems...

Deaddrop.us

Deaddrop.us
With the successful relaunch of the website, deaddrop has redefined its mission. Our goal is to be the definitive resource for experienced and prospective PuppetMasters.

unfiction.com

unfiction.com

forums.unfiction.com/forums

ARGN - Alternate Reality Gaming Network

ARGN - Alternate Reality Gaming Network

www.argn.com/forums

I love bees

I love bees

ilovebees.blogspot.com

welovebees.com

jawbreak

jawbreak

Networks & Narratives

destinationKM.com: Networks & Narratives
Models and theories from disciplines like complex adaptive systems should be deployed in this regard, Davis and Alleyne recommended. Organisations like IBM's Cynefin Centre have developed classifications of knowledge work into categories like known, knowable, complex and chaotic, focusing not just on storytelling but on narrative analysis for collaborative sense-making and decision-making inputs. Tools like participatory observation, anecdote circles, deep immersion, organisational metaphors and naive interviews are useful in this regard.

Storytelling is used to promote knowledge sharing at NASA, via Transfer Wisdom Workshops and Project Management Shared Experiences Program conducted by the Academy of Program and Project Leadership (APPL).

In terms of narrative structuring, tools like 'knowledge blogging' (or k-logs, a term coined by John Robb, president of Userland) have a lot of potential. Stories are a good framework for sharing information, meaning and knowledge. Blogs encourage story-telling and foster understanding because they usually offer context,' according to Darlene Fichter, library coordinator at the University of Saskatchewan Library.

'Knowledge blogs help encourage brain dumps, exploration, and think-aloud behaviour. They create connected content, break down silos, allow comments, and can also be treasured as useful searchable archives,' she observed.

Besides, over time, blogs are self-rewarding. 'Often bloggers report that they discover their own interests and refine their perspectives. It leads to peer recognition,' according to Fichter.

Klogs are also a useful, low-cost and flexible tool for competitive intelligence (CI), said Arik Johnson, managing director of Aurora WDC. Well-designed CI blogs can help collect, analyse, package, and deliver current awareness and early warning of competitive and regulatory developments for sales staff and top managers.

Blogs help write thought pieces to guide the organisation on a strategic path. Bloggers can collect and connect information and provide useful overlays of context. 'Blogging has enough critical mass and momentum, and will soon be integrated with other KM tools,' predicted Johnson.

Monitoring, metrics and measurement are important requisites to understanding the effect of KM networks and narrative databases, but companies often confuse technology, process, knowledge, employee and business metrics.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

z15 intelligence agency - journal

z15 intelligence agency - journal: "writing about her is like dancing about architecture, for sure."

Electronic music as nonlinear storytelling. Discuss amongst yourselves.

download the entire Aleksi Virta record "...Meets Torsti At The Space Lounge"

I just realized that "dancing about architecture" is the new record of/from/whatever The Letters of Gary Benchley, Rock Star...please conjecture about the connection between these two seemingly disparate bits of data.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

link love!

Wood links to Rob.

I comment there.

In case it's not obvious, Rob is mostly a commentary on art. It's a story about a play about a play.

Following the rabbit trail will answer some questions about WTF Rob is. The script is down that hole. I'm making sure the entrance to the hole is still open right now. Will fix it if it's not. (Bit later: doh! Sorry! Fixing...try again a bit later...) (Later still: Ok, it wasn't too terribly broken...there are actually four emails, the one that was broken was ancillary. ...Oops still issues. Arg! I will resolve this and stop posting retarded updates here.) (Fixed!)


In case you haven't seen it before, John Heron Project is also an experiment in alternative narrative. Wood was the first person I saw writing fiction to the web in what I call the "daily serial" format (or maybe I stole that term from him, I don't know). I became engrossed in JHP and soon after began publishing fiction on my blog, little bits of the story at a time (Rob was published in this way, if you go back in the archives far enough you'll find the original draft). (Rob is actually the oldest work I still make public at all; it was first a short story of mine in high school, written for my creative writing course, based on two words pulled out of a hat; later it was a play, written for my "French existentialism and the absurd" class at the UofA {I got an A-} {I can't remember what grade I got in high school}; now it is both a play and a short story {the short story on my site is not the original I wrote in high school, the play itself is based on that short story}.)

Soon enough Wood and I began communicating (after I had linked to his site a couple times) (this was back before referrer spam!). Turned out that we had mutual friends in the UK. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the 2002 Greenbelt Festival (picture below; when I first published this picture to my site, I thought it cool to hide the identity of the mysterious author(s) of JHP), and saw him again during 2003's (sadly I couldn't make it last year).

I later gave up on the daily serial format. I found it too hard to follow as a reader. It was a good exercise, a great way to get stuff written. I'm not against it, and I may return to it for my own reasons later.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Confession

I have some frustrations regarding nonlinear processing, and nonlinear narrative in particular.

I've done some experiments in 3D nonlinear storytelling. I've done online writing that requires a bit further expanded border than what most of us have in our narrative experience.

Most of my artistic work, in fact, involves multi-media, multi-modes, and a lot of requirements on the artistic consumer to do some puzzle solving.

People like regular puzzles, right? (I actually don't. I can't work on a old-fashioned puzzle for more than 3 minutes.)

Part of the problem is the exponential increase in freedom for interpretation when dealing with work like this. There are big holes, and you fill those holes with your experience. That's kinda the point, actually. (I'm going to contradict myself later, just FYI. Well, not really but it's going to sound like it.)

My frustration is, people don't want holes. They don't want to work. They don't want to think about their art.

They want to be entertained. They want to be told. Just give them the soundbyte. The elevator pitch. They're busy. They've got friends waiting. They've got more to consume.

» Previously mentioned Rob and the Dancer: the original required the users to click through on an unmarked link onto a page that consisted entirely of an imagemap. The image was/is of a text, and various names contain/ed mailto: links. Emails sent to each of these gave clues as to how to continue. Two of them responded regardless of what you said in your email. One of those two hinted at what text was required in the third email in order to receive a response. That third email reponse gave a link to a hidden directory which contained all sorts of materials which fleshed out the story some more, but in few ways brought any closure to the story. If anything, it expanded it by connecting it to other work I had already published on the web.

This was a bit too much apparently. One or two people pinged the automated email replies, but none got the critical third email reply.

I've made it easier since recently republishing Rob and the Dancer. No one has yet to ping the emails.

» Artifacts was an installation I did for IR Gallery's opening. Few people got it. None have requested the password for the website devoted to the installation and its story.

» I like dionaea-house, I really do. But it was laid out right in front of ppl. Yes all the different modes (although all websites) were brilliant. But the rabbit trail was damn well worn.

Check the archives here for other stories and games on the net that have very interesting rabbit trails.



Just tonight I overheard art professionals judging the merit of narrative work (in this case photographic) based primarily on aesthetics. When they did consider the narrative element of the work, they considered it only from their own point of view, superimposing their own autobiographies and expectations overtop of the story being told, as opposed to "reading" the story the artist was "writing."

Wild tangent: this is my main issue with the way most Christians read the Bible.



Stories are living things.

...perhaps because they come from living humans...and as with humans, treading anyway but carefully upon them will cause instant karma to getcha.




Sorry for the personal, rambling post.


No I'm not.


Will he post?

May return to this space more; may not. Been so buried in the practical endings and new beginings of anything and everything that I hadn't spent much time in this.

But.

This is the future of writing. This is the future of everything.

And a good dumping grounds on my thoughts regarding it. A good place to play.

The Dionaea House

The Dionaea House

down this rabbit trail:

LJ: adventures in babysitting

missing since sept

dionaeahouse.blogspot.com/ ....212 comments on the last post and counting...

dionaea-house.com/aimlog.htm

ohholycrap.blogspot.com/

mhondrie.blogspot.com/

Ted's caving page.

Ted's Caving Page

"page 11", "page 12"

snopes.com: Ted's caving page. ...if anyone can locate the original story (PDF or otherwise) referenced in this snopes thread, please comment

http://www.google.com/search?q=thomas+lera

http://www.amcgltd.com/archives/001372.html
8march2003