Titled “Storytelling in new media: The case of alternate reality games, 2001-2009“, authors Jeffrey Kim, Elan Lee, Timothy Thomas, and Caroline Dombrowski cover and discuss a variety of Alternate Reality Games that took place over the past 8 years, and compare their strengths and shortcomings.
New media allows previously passive consumers to tell and shape stories together. Yet most information is still disseminated in a top–down fashion, without taking advantage of the features enabled by new media. This paper presents five Alternate Reality Game (ARG) case studies which reveal common features and mechanisms used to attract and retain diverse players, to create task–focused communities and to solve problems collectively. Voluntary, collective problem solving is an intriguing phenomenon wherein disparate individuals work together asynchronously to solve problems together. ARGs also take advantage of the unique features of new media to craft stories that could not be told using other media.
You can read the entire paper at UIC.edu.