Thursday, May 03, 2007

What happens when oil starts to run out?

Over the weekend, a new ARG called World Without Oil launched. Backed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, it is a game that takes a look at oil dependency. One of the designers is my IFTF colleague, Jane McGonigal. It has been getting some good press!

Here are some words from Jane, lifted from BoingBoing (thanks Pesco!):
World Without Oil is a month-long collaborative alternate reality project funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and ITVS. It’s the first alternate reality game to tackle a real-world problem: oil dependency.

World Without Oil imagines we are already living on the other side of the “peak oil” moment. The alternate reality game presents a “reality dashboard” that updates daily with gas prices, fuel shortages, and measures of chaos, suffering and economic impact for different parts of the country. Players are invited to document their own lives in this new reality, through blog posts, videos, photos, web comics, geocaches, audio messages, and any other means necessary!

The goal of the project is to harness the collective intelligence of bloggers and gamers to create a bottom-up map of what it would mean to live through a massive oil shortage in the U.S. The project’s mantra: Play it, before you live it.

The game launched on Monday, and already there are hundreds of player created documents to browse—-not to mention the official “backstory” created by the game’s puppet masters..

The latest game updates include video footage of an underground car vandalism effort, instructions for how to throw fuel-free parties, and an eyebrow-raising transcript of the new secretary of state’s address to the nation.

Sign up to play now; the game runs though the first week of June.

No comments: