Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Alternate Reality Society

November 2007 246
Originally uploaded by Avant Game.
Kiyash and I spent Friday night alternate reality gaming in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. Along with our co-conspirators and ad hoc teammates -- Kid Beyond, Kristian, Robin , and Cate -- we dedicated the entire evening to completing a custom-designed itinerary of SF0 missions.

SF0 is my favorite game these days, besides Werewolf. I call it the world's first Alternate Reality Society -- we're talking about a 24/7, 365 real-world MMO that emphasizes face-to-face gameplay, making, crafting and hacking, and creative intervention in public spaces. It also has a really great, functional interface that allows you to submit, organize and annotate all kinds of mobile evidence of your gameplay. Their social network features are really fun and functional, too.

I spent a large part of Chapter Seven ("Powers and Superpowers") of my dissertation This Might Be a Game writing about the SF0 game, in its earliest incarnation. If you're interested, download the full text and do a PDF search for SF0.

These are the three missions we completed Friday night. Clicking on the links above will take you to our mission reports, with stories and photo sets, for each.

Something Very Good

INSTRUCTIONS: Go to a street corner of your choosing and wait for something fantastic to happen.

Seeing Beyond Sight

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Blindfold yourself. 2. Go out in public and make your way in the world. 3. Photograph things you notice - while blindfolded.

Object Annotation

INSTRUCTIONS: Pick a local public object that you enjoy and leave a note on it describing your feelings in great detail.

SF0 is brilliant and I'm so happy it exists. You can play it anywhere in the world, and if you're not playing it yet, I encourage you to sign up -- and make me (I'm "avantgame") a friend! (Or a foe... if you dare...)


Caleb said...

I feel sad that i don't know anyone who'd be interested in joining sf0. far as I know.

Caleb said...

I should perhaps mention that i'm known as TundraRunner in if anyone is out in internetland who wants to become friends or foes with me, feel free!

Yes, foes too. Because, of course, "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer". It's nice to know who my enemies are for once.

Anonymous said...

Dear, would I foe you? :-)

Patrick said...

Now here's a phrase that will become exponentially more revelant.

Oh. It's Kristen Again. *sigh* said...

Also, everyone should know that you don't need to live in the San Francisco area to play!!

I love SF0. I am Nancy Drew! The original ARG girl! If anyone joins - friend me!