Archive for March, 2009

24
Mar'09

Resist or be Terminated

   Posted by: thebruce

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Skynet Research

SkynetResearch appears to be having some technical difficulties. From an email sent earlier today:

ATTENTION: ALL VISITORS TO SKYNETRESEARCH.COM

Skynet Research is experiencing technical difficulties on our corporate website. A networking error has generated interference in the audio presentation. Do not be alarmed. Skynet Research is doing everything in our power to resolve this technical issue as quickly as possible and resume normal operation.

Visitors to the SkynetResearch.com website should ignore this interference entirely.
Do not attempt to discern, repair, or otherwise tamper with the audio signal broadcasting during this time. Failure to follow this command can lead to further corrupting of the impacted data and cause further difficulty.

Skynet Research is also aware of rumors circulating that there is another explanation for this interference on the website www.ResistOrBeTerminated.com. This is false information. Skynet Research has no affiliation with this particular URL, and Skynet Research suggests all Internet users avoid www.ResistOrBeTerminated.com altogether.

Thank you for your patience, and you can be rest assured that Skynet Research will soon return to providing services that improve life for all human beings!

We are committed to making your life different,
Skynet Research

Visit SkynetResearch.com and you’ll find a strange distorted sound in the background.

Some quick audio manipulation to slow the sound down to a fraction its speed reveals a radio transmission from what sounds like a resistance ground assult team.

Listen
(1.2MB)

An attempted transcript of the audio reads:

This is recon team (—- three) to base. Base, do you read? Requesting extraction. (pause) I say again – we’re overdue by three days. We’re (—–) and we’re ready to debrief. Say (again) – we’ve completed reconnaissance. We’re prepared to (set) all tech comm units on (skynet attack). Current coordinates: (Romeo 2#####). Repeat. Immediate extraction for four man team. One (injured). We’ll attempt next contact at 0900 hours. (——) *cut*

Update: Full transcript revealed and added below.

This update has revealed a new website, ResistOrBeTerminated.com, which looks to be updating with news about Skynet Research.

Things are starting to heat up, it seems!

And now, more ‘behind the scenes’ information 

Some clever users at Unfiction have uncovered some preview content from ROBT.com, that wasn’t yet supposed to be available for the public.

…Content that indicates this ARG may very well be tied to the upcoming video game Terminator: Salvation (Wikipedia), scheduled for release May 29, 2009 on all major consoles and PC – as well as the Terminator: Salvation movie opening May 22, 2009.

Nevertheless, while the video game is looking very nice, and the movie even moreso, there’s certainly something going on with Skynet Research here and now!  So go check it out!

UPDATE:

Here is a leaked video clip from the Terminator: Salvation movie…

UPDATE x2:

Unfortunately, the leaked video clip has been removed from Youtube by request. In other words – expect to see it again soon!

UPDATE x3:

ResistOrBeTerminated.com has been updated with an image containing single frames from the leaked video:

As well as a new video from Bre Pettis

UPDATE x4:

ResistOrBeTerminated has posted an analysis of the reduced audio, filling in the holes:

This is recon team Strider Three to base. Base, do you read? Requesting extraction.   I say again – we’re overdue by three days. We’re (garbled) and we’re ready to debrief. Say again – we’ve completed reconnaissance. We’re prepared to set all Tech Comm Units on Skynet Attack. Current coordinates:  Romeo (garbled). Repeat. Immediate extraction for four man team. One injured. We’ll attempt next contact at 0900 hours.

Tags:

Categories: ARGs General, Movies, Video games

22
Mar'09

What’s in the box?

   Posted by: thebruce

My mama always told me life was like a box of mystery

The latest viral video to hit the ‘tubes has caused quite a bit commotion!  Take a look below, and come to your own conclusion… Links are added below to other sites and articles discussing this very well done video and viral mystery.

It’s not official, it doesn’t seem sanctioned, but there is more to come…

Articles:

More info to come…

Tags:

Categories: Grassroots, Viral General

20
Mar'09

A Writer’s Therapy: The Charlotte Sessions

   Posted by: thebruce

As if ARGs blurring the line between fantasy and reality weren’t enough, a new mystery is being uncovered, blurring the line between fantasy and reality about a writer whose line between fantasy and reality is blurred!

Wednesday, march 18th: Wikibruce received a package with a bulge in the mail from one “P. Martin” on Mission Blvd. in San Diego.  It was mailed March 13th.  Inside - a riddle wrapped in an enigma…well, a newspaper at least; the San Diego Union Tribune, of March 10th, pages A3-4,9-10.  If that’s important at all.

Contained within the neatly folded newspaper was an old, rattled audio recorder.  Taped to its front was a sticky note (redundancy for the win) with the phrase “Play me” teasingly scrawled across its face.

Some clarification on the instructions would have been nice, but I went with the easy answer and pressed play on the recorder. Success! For once, batteries were included.  Immediately, a recorded interview began playing betwen a man and woman.  The nature of the conversation appeared to be one of a doctor / patient relation.

Based on the discussion ensuing at Unfiction, it’s been determined that this is an ex-novelist, discussing her problems with her therapist. Put on your crazy pants!  Characters in her stories come to life. Most recently, a character Charlotte, whose story the writer chose to leave incomplete, appeared to her – on the street, supposedly as the cause of a large multi-car collision.

The writer’s first episode, however, starring one of her other characters – Julia – would have been enough to traumatize most people. But I’ll leave you to discover that story.

This doctor / patient interview has been getting pieced together segment by segment by people who’ve received similar packages in the mail.  At the time of this writing, 5 segments have been reported, spanning (what is believed to be) two and a half sessions.  This tape was labeled “2/2″ (2nd session, part 2). You can hear below.

Download (1.3MB)

What’s known so far? The story is very reminiscent (well, undoubtedly related) to the novel Therapy, by Sebastian Fitzek, released March 17th. From the website:

A twelve year old girl, Josy, has an inexplicable illness and vanishes without a trace from the doctor’s office during treatment. Her father, Viktor Larenz, a well-known psychiatrist, withdraws years later to an isolated North Sea island in order to deal with the tragedy. Here he receives a dangerous visit from a beautiful stranger. Anna Spiegel is a novelist and she suffers from an unusual form of schizophrenia: all the characters she creates for her books become real. And in her last novel she has written about a young girl with an unknown illness who vanishes one day without a trace. …
Is the inconceivable possible? Do Anna’s delusions describe Josy’s last days? Viktor Larenz begins the therapy in an attempt to uncover the horrible truth.

Below is the full compiled audio from the currently reported session segments: 1/1, 1/2, 2/1, 2/2, and 3/1. Take a peek…

  • Join in the discussion at Unfiction, where people are actually trying to determine where the recordings took place and where the locations mentioned are!
  • Transcripts are listed at Wonderweasels.org

Tags: ,

Categories: ARGs General, Books, Rabbit Hole, Viral General

17
Mar'09

Personal Effects followup – JC Hutchins on ARG Netcast 81

   Posted by: thebruce

ARG NetcastAs a followup to my previous article covering JC Hutchins’ Personal Effects: Dark Art novel / ARG hybrid, I’d like to direct you to the ARG Netcast, episode 81.  JC Hutchins graced the panel with his presence. It was he, Jonathan Waite (ARGN), Sean C. Stacey (Unfiction/Despoiler) and I, shooting the breeze, discussing all things Hutchins.

You can download the Netcast directly via this link (29MB), or listen to it below.

Download

If you were watching the live video stream of the netcast, we were also privileged to have the first stunning PE:DA video trailer air Live!

Don’t forget to visit JCHutchins.net to get the skinny on Personal Effects first hand.

Tags: , ,

Categories: ARGs General, Books

16
Mar'09

JC Hutchins Endorses Art Therapy at The Brink – Commit Yourself

   Posted by: thebruce

Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital LogoHorror thriller novelist JC Hutchins is at it again. This time, he’s taking his dark art cross-media. Coming in June, a hybrid Book/ARG supernatural thriller called Personal Effects: Dark Art. I was introduced recently to JC when he blogged his experience at the mobile FEAR lab for the video game F.E.A.R. 2, being the recipient of a mysterious silver briefcase. Since then, he’s been tirelessly promoting his upcoming novel Personal Effects: Dark Art, and the immersive online experience coupled with it. Published under St. Martin’s Press, and co-created with Jordan Weisman of Smith & Tinker (who also created Book/ARG experiences in Cathy’s Book and Cathy’s Key), Personal Effects: Dark Art is scheduled for public release on June 9th, 2009.

JC has been forging his way into cross-media storytelling recently with his previous, and very popular podcast thriller trilogy 7th Son, which paved the way for the fan-powered community The Ministry of Propaganda Online. He also maintains a series of additional podcasts to boot. JC’s been busy!

J.C. Hutchins’ new horror thriller novel, Personal Effects: Dark Art, chronicles the story of Zach Taylor, a young art therapist. Taylor works at Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital, a facility with a dark, bloody history. Locals call it “The Brink.”

And now, J.C. Hutchins and Personal Effects creator Jordan Weisman are opening the doors of their bloody creation, and allowing you to step inside. You’re not getting a guided tour of The Brink. You’re … being committed.

Welcome to a first-ever in publishing called Commit Yourself To The Brink. Here, you’ll find ways to inject yourself into the Personal Effects universe and become a patient of art therapist Zach Taylor. Create a patient profile (complete with backstory), receive your admittance papers, contribute artwork, video and more … and earn the horrifically cool privilege to appear on Brinkvale’s official website.

Get creative. Get crazy. Get committed.

From the book:

Brinkvale Psychiatric was not built over the [brownstone] quarry, but in it. Nine stories of howling, brain-boiling madness, stacked two hundred feet into the bedrock. If you’re at The Brink, you’re at the end of the line. Only dead-enders need apply.

The physical Personal Effects novel includes a number of ‘personal effects’ such as photos, business cards, and other eerily realistic items that will help you, the reader, truly enter the world of Zach Taylor and Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital. Explore the mystery and immerse yourself in the thrilling fiction created by these masters of the storytelling experience. The book is now available for pre-order via Amazon, and they’re promoting frantically to keep it rising in the Amazon best-sellers list, even before the book’s release!

To keep the promo train rolling, JC is also planning a podcast-exclusive prequel novella, for release in May titled Personal Effects: Sword of Blood.

Back in November, ARGNet sat down with JC Hutchins for an interview about Personal Effects, which can be viewed here, but others in the industry also have many good things to say about his work:

“So compelling is the journey, … readers may scarcely recognize their own transformation from passive to active, as they pick up where the text subsides and become the protagonist.”
–Gore Verbinski, director

“This is the future of storytelling, and it’s a thrilling ride.”
–Anthony E. Zuiker, Creator/Executive Producer of the CSI: franchise

“[A] rocking genre-mash that mixes mystery with psychodrama and serves it up in a high-bandwidth torrent of terror.”
–Scott Sigler, author of Infected and Contagious

Get Committed!

Have a listen to the audio promotion for Personal Effects

Download
(3.2MB mp3)

The online experience for Personal Effects has already begun, but it’s certainly not too late to join and get committed at The Brink. You can begin by visiting JC’s site The Brink and reading up, or by directly visiting Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital. Take a look at the “flagship alternative therapy program is the art therapy program headed by Zachary Taylor. Check out some of what’s already happened by visiting Zach’s girlfriend (GameSetWatch has a good overview as well). Read up on past news at the New York Journal Ledger. Visit Back From the Brink and chat with ex-patients in the process of healing. Or jump right in and commit yourself to the Brink and complete the first art assignment:

Are you a visual artist, graphic designer or photographer? Want to show Brinkvale’s staff (and the world) the madness in your head? Perfect. Grab your paintbrushes, colored pencils, Wacom tablet … however you best express yourself … and get cooking on a piece of art worthy of The Brink’s patient gallery.

You’re welcome to use artwork you’ve already created, or whip up something brand-new for this assignment. Create your patient profile by filling out the form, upload your artwork, and become a patient at The Brink!

Get creative. Get crazy. Get committed.

Links:

Brinkvale Psychiatric Institute Invitation

Tags: ,

Categories: ARGs General, Books