Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's In The Box? (ARG)

Following my post yesterday I was excited to see an article by Hashem Bajwa on Augmented Reality over on AdAge today. Hashem discusses some recent AR campaigns, including General Electric's Smart Grid technology (also here) and the Topps' 3-D baseball cards system. He also goes into detail on the Mobilizy app that I've previously posted about. All this even further reinforced my belief that ARG or AR apps/games are the way forward.

Low and behold I then received an email asking for my help with a Flash file and an image. Two guys I know were trying to crack an ARG that they had been sent a link to.

Have you seen this:

Do a Google Search for 'what's in the box?' and you'll see a lot of online chatter. Admittedly this video first appeared online about 4 weeks ago but the microsite didn't arrive until a week or so later, and it's only in the last 2 weeks that most of the really interesting stuff has come to light. Most probably this is an ARG for the next Half Life episode (based on the sound effects and audio used). There are also a lot of clues pointing to J.J. Abrams, which immediately brings to mind his 'Magic Box' outlook on storytelling (see his TED presentation).

I really want to go into the details about what I was able to work out so far but what's the fun in that. Go check it out and see if you can get anywhere. But be warned, I quickly discovered that whoever is behind this definitely sees their target audience as being very familiar with Flash, Java, Photoshop, HTML and CSS. Perhaps the modern gamer is far more educated then we were back in my day?

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