Alternate Reality Gaming (ARG's) meld digital tools and real-world activity to create a seamlessly immersive gaming environment. Nine Inch Nails Year Zero effort is a particularly kick butt one, and the latest from Jane McGonigal (ex-42entertainment, creators of the infamous "I Love Bees" game for XBox's Halo) is called World Without Oil , and it officially launched today.
What's particularly interesting about this one is that it appears to be less about playing a traditional game. In fact,
"It's not immediately clear as to how the game will take shape, but it seems that player-generated content will be at the heart of the experience, as the game will revolve around "citizen stories in blogs, videos, photos, audio and phone messages posted all over the Internet."
Announced at ARGFest 07 (yes, I know you all were there) the game is a "live interactive month-long alternate reality event" that will explore the idea of a worldwide oil shortage.
According to PR Newswire,
"The self-proclaimed grassroots experience bills itself as "an insight into what happens when a great economy built entirely on cheap oil begins to run short," as it looks at the "impact on people's lives -- work, social, family and personal -- and explores what happens when our thirst for oil begins to exceed supply."
How can you play? Go to the gaspump, OR read the player wiki, official game blog, and the MySpace blog. You can also register at the trailhead site, and check in with developments at the Unfiction forums.