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The lost ring- a breakthrough arg?

March 17, 2008

The Lost Ring is one of the most lavish alternative reality games ever presented. It probably helps that it has the massive budgets of the International Olympic Committee and McDonald’s to leverage.

Like every great ARG it has lots of layers/nuances and really engaging ways to drag players into the mystery of The Lost Ring.

A quick peek at the trailer and it’s easy to see they are trying to take ARGs to the next level; somewhere between movies and video games.

The problem is that ARGs are pretty inaccessible to the masses.

Unlike movies and video games, which operate on the “sit and watch” or “pick up and play” modes of operation, ARGs demand a lot of attention from the players as they trawl through clues to crack codes.

While the IOC and McDonald’s might have high hopes for The Lost Ring, it’s unlikely to get the masses anytime soon in its current form. However, perhaps this game or something in the near future will find a way of operating on two levels; the supergeeky solving clues level and another level with a more acceptable mass form of participation.

Agencies have been playing around with the notion of ARGs for sometime.

Audi, a few years back in 2005 had some PR success with the “Art of the Heist”, but we are still waiting for one to break through and become culturally significant on a mass level.

For the moment, it doesn’t look like The Lost Ring will be the one.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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