…isn’t Googlezon at all.
It’s ARGs with a point and open blogging events.
I am totally serious.
I don't think the broader world is as into ARGs as television shows. Passive entertainment: still the future.
I was pleasantly surprised by the ARG though. People's responses were alot more reasonable than I expected.
Maybe in the short-term future, but longer-term, I don't know.
One interesting thing is that the superfans of so-called 'passive entertainment' have long been super-active: organizing themselves, assembling compendiums of trivia, writing fan-fiction, etc. This is as true for mainstream-ish shows like 'Lost' as it is for nerd favorites.
Also, I think there are probably formulations of ARGs that could be more mainstream (or at least accomodate the mainstream) by offering a fuller scale of engagement options: Super-complicated puzzle-solving on one end, clicking around and exploring in the middle, and sitting back and watching episodes on the other end.
I don't see the spectrum of ARG engagement options you propose as being economically viable; it's like creating (and paying for) three separate games. Unless there's a way to leverage costs, that won't fly for most commercial clients.
Tapping into participatory culture, however - now that is leverage. I think experiments like WORLD WITHOUT OIL have shown that, if the table is set right, there's plenty of hunger to participate.
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