ARG Panel at Virtual Worlds London

On Tuesday I’ll be moderating a panel on Alternate Reality Games at the Virtual Worlds London conference.

ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) have become a hot topic in recent months. It’s hard not to think of an ARG as a virtual world in which the interfaces (including websites, email, text message, even telephones) are those we know from everyday life. Is there even more to them than that? Recent franchise tie-ins raise startling questions about business models, while war-stories about user engagement will be of interest to any virtual world designer. Do virtual worlds have anything to learn from ARGs? Find out from a selection of real-life ARG designers, developers and experts.

I’m going to be joined by Dan Hon (Co-founder and CEO, Six to Start [bio]), Kim Plowright (Production Manager, Oil Productions Ltd [bio]) and Fiona ‘Foe’ Romeo (Head of Digital Media, National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory [bio]).

Just some of the questions I’m likely to ask include:

  • Why do people play ARGs? Does there need to be a prize?
  • How do you balance getting someone through the story vs keeping an interesting challenge?
  • How do you maintain a believable universe?
  • How do/can ARGs make money?
  • To what extent can ARGs be user-created?

(I already have many more ideas than we’ll get through during the panel, but if you’d like to suggest topics for conversation or questions then I’m all ears.)

I’m planning to upload slides and notes asap after it’s all over. I don’t have any pre-prepared slides, but will be creating them on the fly in a similar way to the Augmented Reality panel I moderated at LA recently.

See you on Tuesday afternoon? According to the schedule, the ARG panel is 4:45 – 5:45pm on Tuesday. I’ll also be catching some former colleagues hard at work, including Rob‘s panel and Ian‘s talk on Tuesday morning.