GAME NAME SUBJECT TO CHANGE ("argonauts" is just a placeholder)
Argonauts is an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) in which the players create mindfucks, culture jams, and reality hacks. Players will create weird situations in the real world and document them via photography, video, or blogs. These "weird happenings" are related to a surreal parallel universe slowly colliding with ours.
The game utilizes social networking software provided by ning.com - for an example, check out posterquest.ning.com.
This wiki is for the development of the game. All work here is subject to change. Feel free to edit text to your liking, but know that your suggestions may also be changed.
The following is considered in-game text Proposed background
During research in the early 90s, it was discovered by [insert organization here] that, in essence, our Universe was soon to collide with another one. Never mind how we found it, hell I can barely explain the science behind it myself. Nonetheless, we've done the maths, and this is happening. And when it does, life is going to get very weird.
Our company is one of many that takes part in 'strategic forecasting', that is we note social, economic and political trends and tell people exactly what it means, for a suitable fee. And when we found out this event was proposed to happen, and within our lifetimes, we went into overdrive figuring out the potential fallout from this.
And I have to tell you, it does not look good.
This new Universe is similar enough to our own, in some ways. Our scientific research teams tell us that in almost all respects the physical workings of the new Universe match our own. Almost. The differences are small, barely noticeable. However, they have had repercussions on the alternate Universes' development. Which means when we collide, when this Universe and that one become the same reality we experience, there are going to be some rather drastic changes.
We predicted these changes would be resisted heavily by the governments of the world. People would be frightened, panicky, looking for security and stability. Demagogues and unscrupulous leaders will take advantage of this. We predicted that within 20 years, most governments on the planet would be authoritarian dictatorships modelled on totalitarian, police-state lines. It would be a complete reversal of the last twenty years of progress.
Now, stopping this collision is not feasible. Its going to happen, and with it will come many chances for change. New elements, compounds, political systems, religions and ideologies which can only enrich our lives, will become part of our everyday lives. Amazing cultures and food and arts will be injected and assimilated into our own life, to our benefit.
So, we have to get the population ready.
And that is where you came in. Most of the population has mental blinders, which will make them resist change up until the last minute. Only when their mental defences are overloaded will they accept the truth, and the sort of event capable of that would be very traumatic, regardless of what it actually caused. So we need to recruit agents, who will be able to habituate the population to this change. We need dedicated professionals who will be able to readily up the amount of odd events, strange happenings, weird information, so that the population can readily handle such a huge event in their stride.
All this, and according to our top experts, we have roughly 3 years to get ready. In short, we need your help.
There's a paralell universe next to ours. We don't know much about it, except for these things:
- It's the same size and shape as ours. Buildings in the other universe exist in the same place as in our universe.
- People have dopplegangers in the other universe too. There is a version of you there. (You may want to figure out what he's up to)
Players will participate in the game by creating weird situations which prepare our world for the coming of the Next World in 2012. For example, they might put up posters in their neighborhood, create strange graffiti, or video odd characters walking around in public. They post these media to the game website, documenting that they are paving the way for a better, more free world.
On our social networking site, players will join one or more groups (similar to facebook groups). Each group is dedicated to a certain methodology which paves the way for the the new world to unfold. The group leader (a game staff member) will occasionally post updates which tell the players if what they're doing is working or not and advance the game's story.
The way we will prepare our universe for the merger is by creating resonance between our universe and the incoming one. These resonances are often personal events - they occur within someone's psyche in certain emotional states. They can also occur in nature when an environment is in synch with the paralell universe. Without going into too much of the science and jargon, here are some examples of situations which produce positive resonance:
- an environment where people are receptive to novelty and the unexpected, such as a concert, circuis, or art show
- any time a person engages in metacognitive thinking - evaluating themselves, being aware of themselves, personal revelations. (Leary would call these fourth and fifth circuit activations)
- the disjointed feeling of observing a breach in expected-reality. An observer of Improv Everywhere's flashmobs exhibits this type of resonance
In general, resonance is created by creativity, inspiration, flexibility, humor, and neophilia.
Dissonance is the opposite of resonance. It is an event, mindset, or activity in the real world which disaligns our universe with the incoming one. There are corporations and governments who have a vested interest in the Next Age being characterized by mechanization and bureaucracy - these organizations have invested resources into creating Dissonance.
In general, dissonance is created by fear, seriousness, rigidiy, apathy, and neophobia.
Interference is a breach of reality created by the incoming universe. Many unusual real-world events can be traced back to alternate-universe interference. For example, in 1999, a Deep Sea Turtle and a school of amazonian Pirhannas were found swimming in a freshwater lake in Connecticut. These events are not native to our universe!
How to play: As a player
Join one or more game groups. Each group focuses on producing a specific kind of resonance, one that will prepare the world for the coming universe. You should go out into the world and do your best to create that resonance, then document your efforts.
For example, one resonance is the moment where a pedestrian who was in autopilot mode suddenly becomes aware of his surroundings. The group dedicated to that resonance puts up posters, mirrors, and other attempts to raise self-awareness in the public. If you come up with an especially catchy or memorable method, your group leader will award you a merit badge.
Blog about your actions, and suggest new ideas to advance our cause. If we're going to stop this world from going completely gray, we're going to need all your creativity!
How to play: As a group leader
Champion a type of resonance and motivate your group to create it. You will also need to be on the lookout for negative-resonance, the Enemy's attempt to foil our efforts. Many strange real-world events can be traced back to counter-efforts created by the Enemy.