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Finding the Rabbit Hole

Since again our “printed ARG” requires you to assume or imagine some aspects of play that you otherwise might directly interact with if this were a “real world” ARG, you need to “suspend your disbelief” for a moment (which you should be doing, anyway, if you are really getting into this gaming genre!) and imagine that you are living in the vicinity of St. Louis, Missouri. As you know from your readings of actual ARGs, real physical locations can play a key factor in how the game is developed. For this ARG, we’ll assume that you’ve caught the lucky break of living in St. Louis so that you can participate firsthand in the ARG that will be developed here. That said—and from this point forward—read the material in these chapters as if you were reading it “in real life,” so as to help simulate the experience of finding the rabbit hole for this ARG and, of course, playing it, too.

As you play through this sample ARG, again keep in mind that because of the constraints of presenting it in printed text, I have taken several liberties in how the game is presented. A typical ARG would have an active, online collaborative discussion component and would play out “in real time,” with specific clues and other pieces of information being given out on a regular (and well-organized basis). Since we can’t really assume that kind of regimented approach in a printed book (since we can’t, from all practical perspectives, update this book’s content on a weekly basis!), I have again written this sample ARG from the perspective that you will suspend your disbelief and imagine the ARG playing out as if you were actively involved, and that you will also accept printed e-mail messages and other “...and then this happened”-type clues to simulate the typical ARG environment.


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