Help find Kevin Flynn & get your ARG on…

Flynn Lives

Following the awesome Comic-Con live event, now we might all get a chance to dive into the universe of Tron and its upcoming sequel. The sign-up button shown above helps to cement hopes that this ‘viral’ is going to evolve into a fully-fledged Alternate Reality Game.

There have already been a number of ARGish elements surrounding the first event. Alongside these have been more than one suggestion of 42 Entertainment‘s involvement & comparisons to the start of their Dark Knight game.

I briefly described the path from received packages to Flynn’s Arcade in my last post, but not what proceeded from there…

Those at the arcade over the weekend who played ‘Space Paranoids’ found a code appear onscreen. These codes were given context once the “Flynn Lives” t-shirts provided were viewed under blacklight to point us to a new webpage at http://www.flynnlives.com/derez.

Each code entered unlocked a partial high-res image of a lightcycle and an audio clip. Once all five codes were finally entered, a high-res teaser trailer for the film was revealed – the link for which quickly spread across the net.

Which brings us up to today, when a sign-up form appeared. If you’re interested in playing a new ARG, or have never experienced one before, I suggest adding your email and seeing where it goes.

As always, there are no guarantees as to where this will all lead – but what have you got to lose?

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Awesome Start to ‘Tron Legacy’ Viral Promotion

Flynn's Arcade Tokens

This past weekend has seen a most awesome viral promotion event take place in San Diego to promote the upcoming Tron Legacy at Comic-Con. Packages were sent out containing Flynn’s Arcade tokens and flash drives – the latter which contained an animated gif which pointed to the website http://www.flynnlives.com.

Alongside providing insights into the mythology surrounding the Tron Sequel, the site provided a countdown and a location – near the main Comic-Con convention centre. Those who assembled there and then were given blacklights and sent to scour the area to check “Flynn Lives” posters for hidden messages. These messages pointed to a new location – where the crowd awaited a grand opening.

Those of us living vicariously through those there rapidly refreshed our Twitter searches, and the photos and videos began to roll in. Flynn’s Arcade had been recreated in downtown San Diego, complete with Flynn’s game from the first film “Space Paranoids”. On top of this, a secret door eventually opened – and those present could feast their eyes on one of the stunning new Lightcycles:

(video via Dave Cobb)

Naturally a long queue extended out the door, and the crowds were moved into and then out of the arcade until late. The games were free, cast and crew of the film were present (apparently along with staff of 42 Entertainment), and the mood was euphoric.

All in all, a wonderfully successful viral event – awesome nostalgic fun for casual fans, and providing an entry point for what we hope will be a great deal of extra depth for those looking for it…

A big thanks to all those who posted updates, photos & videos!

Permission to Play

Last Friday I took part in an impromptu bit of fun which arose out a discussion in the Wellington Twitter community. Thanks to a tweet by @mikeforbes and the efforts of @spanishmanners, we christened our inaugural #formalfriday.

Formal Friday

With casual clothes the norm in so many many of our workplaces these days, the concept of a Casual Friday is increasingly irrelevant. Going to work wearing formal wear, however, has become both novel and fun. Especially when followed by drinks and dinner afterward to see what the others decided to wear.

As ‘adults’, most of us are simply too shy to appear silly in front of our peers. To dress up, to slide down banisters, or to randomly break into song. I for one (I’m sad to say) tend not to step out of line unless perhaps others are doing the same.

In an organized group, I’ll run around in circles, dance in the street, or even wear a suit to work. For some reason, however, I seem to need permission to play. If I feel like I’m not alone in it, if I feel that it’s a condoned activity, then I’m in.

It’s a start, I guess. At least I’m playing at all. I figure the best way forward is to simply ensure there are more group activities awaiting me in the coming weeks, months and years. In time, maybe I’ll find myself playing without even thinking about it.

So what’s next? Firstly I intend to organize some Cryptozoo runs here in Wellington. If you’d like to get involved, just let me know.

Secondly there’s a little something a bunch of us devised today – a multi-day group gaming, reading, watching and playing binge we’re calling #schoolholidays…

How Wellington PWNed the Multiverse…

I recently gave a talk for Wellington’s 5th Pecha Kucha Night at the (soon to be demolished) Overseas Terminal building…

I quickly realised that my chances of *explaining* what Alternate Reality Games, or even just what ‘The Lost Ring‘ was all about in 6 minutes & 40 seconds was futile. As a result, I just went for a scrapbook approach – here are a series of extraordinary experiences which came out of this game.

This means of course that if you’re not familiar with these forms of entertainment & collaboration you may be at a bit of a loss – but I hope you find it entertaining all the same…

If you’re interested in finding out more, I’d be happy to fill you in on the details over a beer, coffee or the interwebs.

Provoked Creativity & Balderdash

Balderdash

Something that truly amazes me is what I am capable of when given a bit of provocation. I’d certainly never imagined that I might one day record my own dance videos, forecast a possible future for my family-to-be, or lead a sports team to global victory.

I will elaborate further on each of those things in the future, but today I would like to touch on a more common experience of Provoked Creativity. Yesterday we had a bunch of friends around to play Balderdash, a game where the aim is to get others to choose your invented definition/synopsis/organization/event as true for a series of words/movies/acronyms/dates.

We were constantly amazed at the clever, funny, brilliant and sometimes even believable options people kept coming up with – such as movie synopsises:

All In A Night’s Work:
Two grave diggers struggle to understand why every hole they dig uncovers a cache of whoopee cushions.

I’ve Got Your Number:
The twelve members of a hung jury become the murder victims of a maths professor in this Irish black comedy.

Yellow Cab Man:
1940’s educational film on tooth decay and drug use featuring Cab Calloway.

Surprise Package:
A young courier gets more than he bargained for when he discovers that a package he is delivering is in fact the body of his dead mother.

unusual word definitions:

Podobromhidrosis:
A condition which causes the sufferer to believe they are a dinosaur fossil.

and individuals of note:

John Spilsbury:
Dog trainer who rose to fame in the 1890s when he taught a terrier to fetch bananas for monkeys in the local zoo.

In fact, we discussed the idea that a 48 Hour Film Festival team would do well to play a few rounds using just the movie titles to kick off their scripting process. (Due to rating classification limitations, however, they would have to chuck out all the ideas beginning with “A 1970s adult feature in which…”.)

Anyway, what I’m trying to get at here is the magic of being in an environment where those around you are coming up with quirky, inventive ideas – where you’re given provocation after provocation to kick start your imagination – and where you are invited to exercise your creative muscles and contribute to something larger. The more time I spend in this kind of space, the more I want to continue doing so – and the more I want to help others do the same.

If you haven’t already, I’d reccomend picking up Balderdash for such an experience in a local group – and if you’d like to try it on a global scale, check out my previous post and activate your Dance Secret

Finally, thanks to all those who played with us yesterday and came up with the brilliant ideas featured above. =)

Have You Activated Your Dance Secret?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Over the past month I’ve had the pleasure of assisting with a most awesome project, and it’s high time I posted about it here.

Top Secret Dance Off is the creation of Jane McGonigal – a personal project with no funding, no sponsors, but all the right reasons:

“So we can dance together on the Internet.

Also, so we can have real life adventures with a soundtrack. So we can throw our bodies around more.
So we can make each other laugh. So we can convince each other to dance more than we thought possible.
At home. In public. Wherever.”

Suffice to say, the concept has taken off in a big way. Since the site’s launch at the very end of December, over 300 videos have been posted by dance enthusiasts from all across the globe.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, check out the Beginner’s Guide.

All you really need to do is watch some of the videos people have uploaded, find yourself a disguise, and start unleashing your inner dancer in front of a camera. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask me about them either her or on the site.

And yes, as well as working as a volunteer Community Moderator, I’ve also uploaded a video or two of my own.

Hope to see your Dance Quest #1 video sometime soon!