Real People, Places, and Events in Transmedia Stories

The interactions and in-game events in well-designed ARG mimic real life and don’t announce themselves as elements in a game (Szulborski, 2005, p. 13). The virtual world is not modeled through a symbolic interface. Rather, the interactions in an alternate reality game can take many forms and are generally designed to imitate the kinds of interactions a player might have in his everyday life.

In the best games, the characters will use real communication methods, such as e-mails or telephone calls to talk to and guide the players in their adventures. Many ARGs also integrate instant messages with in-game characters appearing online to chat with players. Real-time interactions like this go a long way to helping establish the believability of the characters.

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