Alternative Reality Games (ARG) stands for „alternative reality games“. ARG games are significantly different from classic computer games. The games blur the boundaries between reality and fiction. Players have to take action in the games themselves, in reality. For example, they receive objects in the mail, the secrets of which they have to decipher with the help of Internet research. As technology has advanced, the possibilities for designing ARG games have grown. Here is more information on how the concept works and much more.
Process and concept of ARG games
There are a variety of concepts when it comes to ARG games. Basically, there are no limits when it comes to implementation. The games can be played in teams or alone. Thanks to the technical possibilities, you can even play the games internationally. In the past, for example, there were games in which participants had to search for objects. These provided important clues for solving a puzzle. In this case, the players are dependent on the Internet, because they have to search for further information. Along with this, it may be necessary to make phone calls or receive letters.
In international ARG games, it is inevitable to cooperate with other participants. It may happen that clues and items are in different countries. Consequently, the participants have to search together and share the information in order to make progress in a puzzle. In the course of the game, various websites must be visited and much more. For some games, it takes a longer period of time to find a solution.
Other peculiarities and distinctive features
Often, the games are advertised with the statement „this is not a game“. Thus, manufacturers want to give the impression that it is not a game. This is exactly what makes the atmosphere special. In most cases, players do not know whether it is actually an ARG game or not. Producers make a big mystery out of it to keep players interested. The boundaries between reality and fiction become blurred.
Thus, it is usually impossible to tell whether it is an ARG game or not. The manufacturers keep a low profile to encourage participation. That’s why there are games that make big waves because users suspect more behind the game. Still, ARG games have not made it into the mainstream. They are not yet standard and the number of followers is limited. One reason for this is that the games are not marketed as such, at least in most cases. Still, chances are good that the demand for ARG games will increase.
In addition, some game producers are using ARG games to promote computer games. Movie producers are also adopting the method to boost sales. Meanwhile, there are also providers who specialize in ARG games. Here, the focus is on the individual’s experience rather than on another game or movie.
Conclusion: What are Alternative Reality Games (ARG)?
ARG games are a special form of games that come with excitement and thrills. It is the ideal change from computer games, which are played entirely virtually. In ARG games, participants are challenged much more. Along with this, players have to be active and do research to solve mysteries. It stimulates the imagination and provides a unique sense of achievement that can be shared with other players. The fact that you sometimes don’t know if it’s a game until the very end is what makes ARG games so appealing.