Google ARG

Google ARG

It’s time for some Nerd Porn, and this one is going to really mess me up inside. I am a child of ILoveBeesI went nuts over the Valve ARG. And yes, I have design documents of my own in the mix. And now Google has begun its own ARG (Alternate Reality Game.) You might not see me again.

It’s called the Niantic Project. The foundation had been laid in earlier this year at Comic-Con, when YouTube videos were released of a long-haired comic book artist called Tycho. (It’s odd that they chose that name; one half of the Penny Arcade duo has used the nickname “Tycho” for over twelve years, but he’s the writer and has no hair.)

Supposedly people were coming to Comic-Con to see him. Big businesses loved him, as essentially the fixer of any property. Something goes wrong, you bring in Tycho and he saves it. He was found in videos throughout Comic-Con, passing out posters and muttering things about Portals and Shapers.

Which, if you’ve ever been to Comic-Con? It’s… uh… standard operating procedure, really.

(BTW: “What’s an ARG?” you might ask. I don’t have the time. Just go here.)

Anyway, new videos started popping up, showing people utilizing their Android devices to see weird things through them. It seems to revolve around Google’s Field Trip app, which is an Augmented Reality application. Meaning, it has a layer of information over the world around you, using your camera to do so.

On the Wiki that players are using to consolidate their information, they found a new video today that’s pretty creepy.

Note the UFO (and I’m using the term properly; I’m not saying it’s an alien) over his shoulder at the end.

Anyway, if you want to skip over the Wiki and just start off totally confused — as most intrepid early-adopters of ARGs tend to do — just hit the Niantic Project and jump into the Google ARG straight away.

Question: If you’ve played an ARG, what was the moment that made you dive in fully?