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Archive for June, 2008

27
Jun'08

Aladygma an Enigma

   Posted by: thebruce

What is Aladygma.com?
What is the significance of 00 | 11 | 22 | 88?
The site has been active for a number of months, offering strange, cryptic webpages. It began with people thinking it might be related to a Cloverfield movie sequel, but over time, the web pages became less and less related to JJ Abrams’ work. Now the pages are appearing quite random.

The homepage of Alagyma currently shows the instructions: “follow the whitespaces“. If you hit CTRL-A, you’ll notice a number of ‘spaces’ scattered around the page. Clicking on them takes you to the hidden webpages.

As of this writing, the available cryptic pages linked by the whitespace are:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Categories: ARGs General, Viral General

27
Jun'08

An icy Blizzard revelation (updated!)

   Posted by: thebruce

All week, the splash page to Blizzard’s homepage has been graced with a slowly deteriorating icy fortificaton.  While it’s doubtful this is or will be an ARG, it’s certainly raised quite a viral stir.

Friday, the splash image updated to clearly show two ominously glowing eyes in the center, along with the 5th (and final?) symbol or rune, each now glowing and much more visible.  The runes have been appearing one by one throughout the week, each believed related to various Blizzard franchises or games.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Categories: Video games, Viral General

27
Jun'08

How do you like your dénouement?

   Posted by: thebruce

A recent bout of chaotic fiction named “Notes to Mary” has come to a close.  Well, as a game at least.  The creator came forward revealing everything about his original plan, and how he decided to take it a step further… even to the point of ending it in potentially one of the most entertaining ARGish conclusions to date – The Rickroll.  And people liked it!  In a time when ARG imposions and unsatisfactory conclusions seem just around every corner, somehow this one snuck by unscathed.

You can read all about the PARG: Prank Alternate Reality Game here - by “Robert Valdemar”.

The creator does intend to continue his fiction series, but not as an ARG.
Check out the discussion trail over at Unfiction.

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Categories: ARGs General, Viral General

25
Jun'08

Always good for a laugh

   Posted by: thebruce

The Joker’s just released his HaHaHa Times volume 3.  Once again making light of serious Gotham news, and yanking Batman’s chains.  Check it out

Wednesday morning, on hovering the mouse over the upper left corner of the most recent Gotham Times, the paper slowly smolders to reveal the link to the Joker’s spoof.

Throughout the paper, in typical Joker fashion, are circle words and letters.  The letters spell:

Herrings are red
Corpses are blue
You’re on the right track
But you don’t have the clue

And the words: party, chaos, level, aren’t, twice, world, level, Dent’s, Dent’s, faced, urban

Where’s the Joker taking us now?

UPDATE:
Shortly after, people began receiving text messages from the Joker, containing image attachments labelled 1A.jpg through 6F.jpg.

After aligning all these image attachments in a grid once they were reported in, it was noticed that each image was made up of four smaller patterns.  Replacing each of these patterns in the 12×12 grid with a letter produced a substitution cipher!  The solution to that puzzle was another clue:

color me impressed just use the second letter of the fourth word to the right of each circled five letter word to find out where to go from here

That takes us back to the new HaHaHaTimes from the Joker.  Looking for each five letter word, then the fourth word after each, and the 2nd letter of each of those words results in the Joker’s next game – Red Balloons.

Now, while it’s a fun game in and of itself (YMMV), it’s similar to the Joker’s previous game – LaughTilItHurts - there’s a ticket slot.  The game requires pushing the clowns’ noses to blow up the balloons to exploding within the allotted time.  But if you look closer, the clowns’ eyes turn blue at a certain ‘pressure’.  Try getting each clowns’ eyes blue simultaneously!  If you’re successful, you’ll be given a ticket, and a pass to Inept Lackeys, where the Joker left us a new message:

Hired goons are so unreliable these days. That’s why I only employ the ones who graduated at the top of their class from Clown College (and being opera-lovers didn’t hurt, either). But Maroni’s got his hands full with inept lackeys like little Stevie and Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?  I’ll tell you where they are: sittin’ pretty with a smile on their face. They tried to reschedule their pick up service at Pasquale’s, but things didn’t go according to plan.

HAHAHAHA.

Analyzing this message, and the number of subtle opera-related hints, composer Giuseppe Verdi seemed to be fairly important.  Calling Pasquale’s business number, 1-877-678-7277, forwards you to voicemail, where you have the option of providing a 5-digit administrative PIN.  Guess what?  “verdi” is 5 letters.  Entering 83734 gets you into the voicemail.  The first and only voicemail says:

Hey, Frenchie – me and, uh, Rosolio ain’t gonna to make it to, uh, Sunday Night Crepefest. Something came up – in the Gotham River. I think his name was…Fred. Anyways, we’ll be there Monday night for our ‘box of pastries.’ Baker’s dozen this time, capiche?

This eerily seem to explain what may have happened in regards to to this security feed at the end of LaughTilItHurts

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

19
Jun'08

The Joker say: Laugh till it hurts

   Posted by: thebruce

It certainly hurts, playing the new and frustratingly unending game that’s shown up at Whysoserious.com, care of the Joker.

Earlier today, holders of the Joker’s cell phones received a new text message, though a few variations were reported.  One read:

Welcome to Short-Attention-Span Theater: Align This Tutu Hurl (-un)

The letters of the strange phrase form an anagram which leads to whysoserious.com/laughtilithurts - a typical fairground race game where you spin a wheel, and move ahead a number of spots, trying to beat out 3 other cars.  There’s a ‘skill shot’ spot, however, which if hit, doubles the spinner value and moves your car ahead faster.  So you play.  And play… and play… and scream at the universe… then play some more.

Until you realize that hitting the skillshot spot continuously in a row leads to a colour pattern on the spinner - make note of the colour pattern (of Blue/Yellow/Green/Reds): “bgygbrgbyrygbgybbrbyg”, and manually click that same pattern on the spinner itself (any number works).  The machine spits out a ticket!  Clicking eventually leads to a new location – whysoserious.com/laughtilithurts/static.htm

Security footage of Acme Security Systems – CAM 4131 Dock 138.  Watch carefully.  Before the video ends, you’ll see a familiar face.

The trail continues… watch for updates!

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

19
Jun'08

Familiar faces in the Cannes Lions winners list

   Posted by: thebruce

The 2008 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival began Monday in France, and awards have already been announced in many categories. Yesterday, the Cyber Lions category was addressed, and some familiar faces were rewarded with some hefty recognition!

For last year’s Halo 3 Believe website website, AKQA (www.akqa.comreceived silver for “Websites & Microsites”.

Synopsis:
The Halo 3 “Believe” site is the interactive companion to the global advertising campaign which positioned Master Chief as the greatest of Earth’s heroes. Utilizing sophisticated motion control cameras and digital compositing, the 1200 square foot diorama was transformed into a fully immersive experience, giving users the ability to interact with and explore the elaborate monument to humanity’s greatest battle as well as a wealth of other content.
(Halo 3: Believe – view the site)

Secondly, 42 Entertainment (www.42entertainment.com) received two awards for their Year Zero Alternate Reality Game with Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails: the Grand Prix for “Viral Advertising” and a Silver for “Interactive Campaigns”

Synopsis:
The ambitious Year Zero alternate reality game (ARG), a work of cross-media art involving websites, emails, phone calls, album packaging, tour t-shirts, thumb drives, music videos, murals, and live concert events with the new music of Nine Inch Nails at its core. Playing out over 10 weeks, the Year Zero ARG engaged over 2.5M participants. It started with a message hidden in the back of a concert t-shirt that lead to online websites – ultimately over 29 websites discovered over several months, 7.5M page views, 7M forum postings, 2M phone calls and thousands of original art submissions.
(NIN: Year Zero – see the overview)

Congratulations 42 Entertainment and AKQA!

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Categories: Puppetmasters

16
Jun'08

Dark Knight sightings on the rise

   Posted by: thebruce

What kind of stunt is Gotham City Pizzeria trying to pull?  Sponsored by Dominoes Pizza, reports are they’re selling their pizzas in new boxes that have cut-out Batman custumes for people to run around in.  And this, just on the heels of Gotham Cable News‘ report of Batman sightings, and asking the public to send in their pictures and videos?  This is just asking for chaos!

Also, Gotham Tonight’s first episode, originally airing only on Comcast On Demand, is now available on GCN.

UPDATE: Free pizzas are to be delivered as part of Gotham City Pizzeria’s one-day-only promotion – today!  Go to their availability map to find out where the free pizzas are available!  Get ordering!  Only 245 will be available across the country!

Check back for updates…

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

13
Jun'08

Gotham Tonight: the votes are in!

   Posted by: thebruce

Gotham Cable News is now airing the first Gotham Tonight episode via Comcast on demand.

Someone has already captured it on video and posted it to Youtube for easy viewing…


Original Video- More videos at TinyPic

Update: Comcast also has a new, exclusive trailer for Batman: The Dark Knight.  (available for now on Youtube)

Update: Additional website updates…

Owners of the Joker’s cell phones are also receiving messages, with attached pictures.

Update: The SMS picture puzzle has been solved. (spoilers below)

The three groups of cellphone owners received from three sets of 6 related images.  Group 1 received images representing names of Dominoes games; Group 2 received words anagrammed from Commercial; Group 3 received fractions all multiples of 3/8, multiplied by 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 – the missing fraction in the pattern is for 2, or 6/16.  Together, the clues seem to indicate a Dominoes Commercial 6/16.

Gotham Cable News is reporting that Gotham Tonight will be airing online at noon on Monday (June 16th).  Will we see a Dominoes commercial on the air?  What does the Joker have up his sleave?

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

10
Jun'08

No more Holomystery

   Posted by: thebruce

The veil’s been lifted – the creators of the Holomove company, technology and, well, drama have been discovered. Speculation of its connections ranged from Microsoft’s Surface, to Fox’s upcoming TV series Fringe, to a very, very high quality grassroots ARG. But the following news was discovered posted on Microsoft’s MSDN Tech-ed blog:

Holomove
In collaboration with Visual Studio, Microsoft has created the ultimate challenge that tells the story of Nathan Bozeman who gets the chance to change the world, but at an extraordinary price. Since the immersive game began in May 2008, it has captivated players around the world. Find out what’s happened so far and join the adventure—there’s still time to get involved.

Watch the experimental technology being developed at Holomove.

To join in, catch up on the trailhead at Unfiction.
Or check out all the current websites and media.

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Categories: ARGs General, Puppetmasters

9
Jun'08

Gotham City requires your vote!

   Posted by: thebruce

The Gotham City Election Board is asking for your vote!  Polls are now open, and voting is available through June 12th.   Be sure to register first.

Update: Text messages were received on the TDK cell phones – “Clowns, are you ready for some laughs? (y/n)”.  Answering “y” prompted this reply – “You put a smile on my face. Hope you’re not superstitious.”

Other sites have also been updated:

SHH reports from Hutch:

I discovered @ Verizon Wireless a new phone coming out from Nokia (the 6205 is the model) entitled The Dark Knight edition. It features the Dark Knight logo on the back, as well as exclusive content inside the phone (including quotes like the Jokers laugh as a TXT Alert, wallpapers, screen savers and the trailer all preloaded in the phone). It launches June 15 online only and as a limited edition.
(Engadget link)

Follow along at the wiki: batman.wikibruce.com!
Join the hype at Superoherohype

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Categories: ARGs General, Movies

4
Jun'08

Party time at the White Island

   Posted by: thebruce

02 June, 2008 – ALTERNATE REALITY TAKES OVER IBIZA

Something is happening in Ibiza.

On 1 June 2008, TheWhiteisland.com adventure began. Taking in hundreds of club nights and parties around Europe, thousands of clubbers and players, ancient mystical forces and a thrilling mystery, the White Island is set to be the talk of this year’s summer of dance music.

The White Island is the most ambitious ARG, or Alternate Reality Game, ever attempted. Based around the biggest dance music events and the hottest clubs and DJs of summer 2008, the game asks players from across the world to help solve the mystery behind a series of events that could threaten the very soul of Ibiza.

From the terrace of Space and the dance floor of Wonderland to the Summer’s biggest festivals, a cast of thousands of dance music fans will follow clues, solve puzzles and have the biggest summer of their life as they follow the story online and through a variety of multimedia.

An ARG (Alternate Reality Game) is an online game that uses the real world as a platform to tell a story with an interactive narrative (see below for more details). Players often join forces to solve puzzles and collect clues to ultimately solve the mystery and the game.

Game partners Pioneer Pro DJ will supply huge prizes along the way, and clubland’s biggest names and DJs are on board to guarantee the ultimate adventure – and party!

Already being dubbed the ‘Rave Version of Lost’ – The White Island is an interactive adventure that features huge global stars from the world of clubbing and a mystery that deepens with every passing week.

Previous ARGs have been followed by tens of thousands of players from around the world. Publications seeking to boost readership and online hits, or just to join the adventure that will have everyone in Ibiza and beyond talking, are encouraged to get in touch to receive updates and the opportunity to get involved in the Summer’s greatest adventure.

The White Island is the brainchild of London’s Black Swan Media (www.blackswanarts.com) and is a joint venture with Pioneer ProDJ.

Quotes:

“The White Island brings together Ibiza’s top clubs and DJs and the clubbing experience across Europe’s and wraps them in an innovative new format. Wonderland, our new night at Eden in Ibiza, is all about bringing new ideas and experiences to clubland. The White Island has that same appeal … that’s why we’re excited to be part of it – its taking clubbing to a whole new level.”
- Pete Tong

“This the most ambitious ARG ever attempted. The Black Swan Arts team are all huge dance music fans. We’re sure that The White Island will add extra mystery and fun to what’s already set to be a fantastic summer of parties. Put it this way: buckle up for the summer of your life!”
- Dr Charles Kriel, Creator and Director of Black Swan Media

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Categories: Uncategorized

3
Jun'08

Wikibruce Goes Blog!

   Posted by: thebruce

Welcome to the renovated Wikibruce home. I’ve decided to upgrade the plain list of wikis to a news/blogger for ARG news and happenings.  See the sidebar for active wikis and outdated wikis, and various community links.

Catch ye on the flipside.

Categories: Uncategorized