Well my hopes about having the new ARG be a big one came true. Later in the day, on Monday, the game started rolling. Unfortunately, in today’s legal-wrangled world, the 4th wall had to be broken slightly by a “Terms and Conditions” link on the bottom of a website which outlined all the legal issues, and in fact mentioned who the sponsor was. I actually found this information out myself, because I was hoping for something big, but here’s a better quote from ARGNet, which not only mentions the primary sponsor but in fact confirms the identity of the lead designer.. who prior to the announcement was also suspected but not yet confirmed:
The Lost Ring is a global alternate reality adventure created in partnership between McDonald’s, AKQA and Jane McGonigal. Designed in collaboration with the IOC, The Lost Ring invites players from across the globe to join forces online and in the real world, as they investigate forgotten mysteries and urban legends of the ancient games. The Lost Ring recognizes McDonald’s historic sponsorship of the Olympic Games, and brings the spirit of the Games to people around the world.
This really is big news. You’ve got a major sponsor, a fabulous designer and the backing of the IOC. In fact, one of the trails yesterday led us to information that was posted *on the Olympic website*.
One of the themes of the ARG so far has been the international collaboration. The primary characters we’ve found so far are each from different countries and they are communicating with us in their native languages. This means alot of cross translations and tracking down actual speakers of the language rather than relying on software based translations.
Jane goes on to say:
… that she is “so thrilled to be collaborating with these organizations to create what we hope will be the most global ARG, ever. This is really a dream project for me – we are bringing together the two kinds of games, ARGs and the Olympics, that have the power to engage and unite people all over the world.” So far, the game is succeeding admirably, with characters interacting with players in English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese, and Esperanto.
I dragged my wife into the game last night and had her watch the opening videos and the storyline so far. I think maybe she’ll be along for the whole ride with me this time.