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?

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!

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!

The 2008 Peanut Crisis?

superstruct1

I saw this sign at the Supermarket today, and did a double-take…

It seemed fitting to link it to the upcoming Superstruct game, and the above was the product of my lunchbreak. How is it that as soon as you begin to tune into something, you start seeing evidence of it everywhere?

Published in: on 20 August 2008 at 3:49 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A Search for Cognitive Purpose

cognitive

I’m haunted on a regular basis by an Ashleigh Brilliant quote: “Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.” However inevitable that may be, I feel a deep urge to prevent it.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Clay Shirky’s talk on Cognitive Surplus really spoke to me. After being pointed to it a couple weeks ago, it’s really stayed with me – to the point of driving me to find a way of applying it to my own life. If you haven’t watched (or read) it yet, I thoroughly recommend it. Thoroughly.

As I thought about the scenario Shirky describes, I began to realise I’d been in a limbo situation within it. The smug knowledge that I’m already over television soon gave way to concern over where the heck my Cognitive Surplus had been going instead. Eventually it struck me: I spend most of my free time “faffing around” online. Not participating, not learning, not even having much fun really. I was faffing. As a result, my potential & time was being frittered away…

Truth be told, I wanted to put my Surplus to use, but that vague generalised desire wasn’t enough. The essence of what I was lacking was twofold – a pull from the outside, and a push from the inside. A good parallel is my copy of Final Cut Pro and high-speed external hard drive. They sat virtually unused for over a year, for two reasons – noone provided me with any video material to edit, and I simply hadn’t been inspired enough produce my own from scratch.

The first thing to really draw me out of cognitive dormancy was actually the discovery of Alternative Reality Gaming, perhaps an increasingly common story. When The Lost Ring began around five and a half months ago, I was suddenly provided with that pull and push – the invitation to participate was coupled by a real desire to become part of the epic story unfolding before me. This combination drew from me a high level of participation – something that sites such as icanhascheezburger.com had never quite been able to achieve. Oh yes, and I finally found a use for my editing software. =)

What my involvement in The Lost Ring emphasised, however, was my lack of other avenues of participation. When waiting for the next advance in the story, I found myself suddenly at a total loose end – right back into just faffing about. And it was while experiencing this all or nothing scenario that I saw Shirky’s presentation – perfect timing for it really. In the couple of weeks since, I’ve begun working on seeking out new ways in which to engage my brain – options which are inviting, and that I care enough about to engage with.

My first venture is a personal challenge to write the start of one short story a day. As I’m only writing the start, there is no pressure to create an overall structure, or worry about how it will continue – I just write until I’m satisfied (so far usually 2-3 pages in my small journal). The second avenue is deciding to finally attempt to keep a personal blog – this one. I always figured that the last thing the world needs is another blog, but I guess as Shirky says: at least I’m doing something.

Happily, for a six week period I soon will find myself with plenty to do in my spare time. I’m very excited to have been offered a part on the team managing the world’s first massively multiplayer forecasting game: Superstruct. I’m hoping that for many this invitation to participate will be combined with their desire to do so, because it’s got the potential to be something really extrordinary. I reccomend checking out the site, and even having a go at the first pre-game challenge.

Aside from that, I will continue to pursue ways in which to engage my mind fruitfully. I wonder too – am I alone in my tendency to fritter time away online with little to show for it? What ways have others found to direct their energy and attention to good use? In future posts, I intend to follow up on how I’ve been going – as well as devoting some time to considering the parts of The Lost Ring which I’ve found the most interesting. It’s now not much more than a week until the Multiverse Olympics – but perhaps I’ll get onto that next time…

And so this blog begins. Here’s to the pursuit of Cognitive Purpose!