Can you help a bunch of ghosts liberate a Google map? Welcome to Open Space, the Alternate Reality Game hosted by the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF).
What Is This?
An Alternate Reality Game (ARG) is an interactive, multiplayer Web-based exercise in collective storytelling and distributed inquiry. Everyone can play, and participants can shape the actions of the characters and the outcome of the story.
The theme for this year's FLEFF is Open Space. This ARG is intended to help us explore how exactly space is opened -- not just physical space, but conceptual and political space as well.
How the Game Works
*Each month or so, we provide a street-view Google Map, a little window into our modern world.
*Then we ask our rival teams of dead or imaginary characters (including intellectuals like Marshall McLuhan, revolutionaries like Commander Ramona, or even mythical creatures like Jingwei) to explore the myriad forms and meanings of ‘open space.’
*Waging a discursive battle (a high-brow flame war), they fight to defend or liberate the Google Map.
*What does it mean to defend or liberate a Google Map? Well, that's up to you! Go to our website, get more information, and start playing!
Play the Game
More on Alternate Reality Games (ARGS):
Open Space ARG Designer
Ulises Mejias is the designer of the Open Space Alternate Reality Game for FLEFF 2010. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies department at SUNY Oswego, where he teaches classes on social networks and the web, videogame theory and analysis, technoculture studies, and media economics. His research interests include network studies, critical theory, philosophy of technology, and political economy of new media.
Originally published in Intercom: Come Play with US: FLEFF 2010 Open Space ARG Launches.