Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Lost Ring - the alternate reality game for the 2008 Olympics

The Lost Ring
Originally uploaded by Avant Game.

I'm thrilled to officially announce my newest game: The Lost Ring, an alternate reality adventure created for for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

As of this week, the game is live and you can play!

Here's my recommendation for quick and easy immersion into The Lost Ring:

1) First, watch The Lost Ring trailer at
2) Next, learn the legends of the ancient games, including The Lost Olypmic Sport, by watching the video podcasts at
3) Then, meet the global cast of characters -- they're blogging in eight different languages! -- at
4) Finally, if you're hooked, visit the players' wiki to catch up on the story and puzzles so far -- it's at

Before you all disappear down the rabbit hole and I step back behind the curtain, I just wanted to say that this has truly been a dream project for me, a chance to try alternate reality gaming at a truly global scale, and to create an alternate reality mythology for one of the world's oldest and greatest traditions. Plus, the idea of bringing together gamers and the Games and seeing what happens -- seriously, that is too much fun. I honestly never imagined as a game designer that I would have an opportunity as exciting as this.

(If you're curious how the opportunity came to me, and if you want to "peek behind the curtain" to learn more about my collaborators on the project -- AKQA, McDonalds, and the International Olympic Committee -- you can read Daniel Terdiman's Q & A with me here.)

But more importantly than what an adventure it has been for me, I really hope and believe that The Lost Ring will be the adventure of a lifetime for its players. Every aspect of the project has been designed so that at the end of the day, players will have gone on a journey together that they will never forget. It's something we want them to remember and talk about for the rest of their lives. That was our explicit mission statement!

In fact, what the heck, here's a sneak peak at some of the mission statement notes we drafted last summer when we first started developing the game:

" a game that changes people’s lives and brings the world together"
"an epic story that the whole world discovers and brings to life... a months-long adventure players will remember for the rest of their lives"
"the chance to be a part of something huge... a truly epic scale... to get to know people in 100 countries and make lifelong friends with them...."
"be a global force for fun, turnplayers into real-world superheroes... "
"fill the real world with magic... the whole world, every corner of it..."

So, yes, this has been an extremely ambitious project! But we've spent a year building an adventure we believe in, and I'm so proud of what we've created.

And now, happily, excitedly, we have six months now to watch it unfold...

And I won't say any more, because I want you to experience it for yourself.


James Calentino said...

As soon as characters started spilling story in multiple languages, I really felt like this was going to be somethings special and exciting. I'm very enthusiastic about this one, and I can't wait to see where it goes :)

Elizabeth Lawley said...

Jane, this looks so amazing! I'm afraid to start on it, because I fear for my productivity :)

Sean said...

G'day Jane,

I took part in the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and it was a fantastic experience. I love the personal aspect of this game that you're trying to get players to have 'their' Olympic experience, and to feel part of something.

I'm really looking forward to seeing where it goes and how big it gets.


Anonymous said...

you are one sick puppy, you know that? think of all the people, the hundreds, thousands of people you have/will have duped by this. have you looked on ariadne's blog? look at the comments. all those people believe in the game with their whole hearts, are worried and concerned for her, want to help her out in any way they can. think of how let down, how crushed, how STUPID they'll feel when they find out its just a game, something someone made up FOR FUN?? can you imagine being that person? congradulations, honey, you've managed to dupe not just one continent, but the WHOLE WORLD! i am lucky that i realized soon enough not to be taken in and crushed later on.
and even if you do think i'm crazy, if you think that all those people on the site know its a game, you know there's a few. at least a hundred people who believe in it with their whole hearts. can you stand being the person who let them down? how the hell do you sleep at night?

Der Merzmensch said...

Dear Jane!

I'd say, it's really great alternate reality you build there. Its internationality is also unique (honestly, I've waited for it for years). Not only hyper-entertaining, but also hyper informative.

And - your project will bring ARG to masses, I'm very sure. If till now ARG was only the idee fix of some freaks at Unfiction forums (like me), I prophesy you to make ARG popular like McDonalds. And also I predict you to climb game Olympus.

You are real alternative Demiurg.

Best regards
(leaving meta-level again),
your Vlad aka kosmopol aka Merzmensch

Anca said...

Congratulations on releasing this new game! I'm looking forward to participating.

Ouroboros said...

It's a lovely game so far: the scope, the execution, the vision. Also I think we can see your mind at work in at the landscape-level of the game. It is beautiful. Thank you for this one, in advance even.

Unknown said...

it looks really good, but it will be a challenge to get non-ARG people like myself into this. i'm also wondering how mcdonalds is involved. i guess we'll have to wait and see.

Anonymous said...

But what IS it about? What do you DO in this game? Vagueness does not sell everyone on a concept.

Anonymous said...

Do you think a similar approach could be used to promote interest in abstract strategy and mindsport games (pure strategy) such as chess or checkers? The World Mind Sport Games is going on in China after the Olympics (same facilities actually) and they could use more interest. I am also working on the IAGO World Tour, which is like the World Mind Sport Games, but has more games and is nearly year round.

I would love to get a chance to chat with you a few minutes regarding this.

Anonymous said...

You know, this has the potential to become addictive.

Anonymous said...

Wow, i actually thought it was real for a sec but then thought that if it was real the situation would be on the news. Basically, this game is very addicting and has taught me atleast 4 different languages. I LOVE this game and told my friends about it.

<3333 kudos to you

Anonymous said...

I stumbled onto your blog from a search regarding your game title wanting to see what it is.

I admire what you are doing no matter what "crazies" may say about people believing too much into this alternate reality you have created.

Movies such as the Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield and many PC games using live-action actors have created realistic settings and characters that surely confused some into believing they were real but that is no fault of their creator. It is the gullibility and blindness of the individual who chooses to believe so without searching into the credibility of the subject. I am a man of faith yet nothing I do is in ignorance.

Anyways, I wish you well and I hope you achieve your dream of a game designer winning a Noble Prize someday.

Tonyo said...

Interesting game. I have posted about it in my blog:

I think you had a great idea about using Esperanto, if you want to stress the international character of the Olympic movement.

By the way, a group of esperantists has been set up in case someone needs help with the texts in Esperanto:

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

This will be my first exposure to ARG, and I must say I'm looking forward to it! I never even knew such games existed. This is going to be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Already found many things....This is tough...Im 14 years old -.- Idk why I'm typing this
hehe....type that into your go to address bars...then find what agonothetai is
This is really hard....(Crying)

Anonymous said...

Thank for being so good at what you do!

fdsfds said...

By the way, i'll study New Media at college. I've got such a passion for all this universe that i can't imagine myself doing other kinds of things, and people like you inspire me more and more, everyday of my life.

Anonymous said...

What is this "game"? How do you play? What is alternate reality gaming? Why is everything about this game seem like its a trailer for some horror movie? How do you play. Is it physical interaction - or off the computer?

I have no idea what the heck this all is.

Jane said...

Hello anonymous! ARGs are different than typical computer or video games -- you can learn how to play ARGs in general and The Lost Ring in particular on the players' wiki!

Anonymous said...

TVO interview

Loved your input


realities are reality, we can work with this

Anonymous said...

You know, this has the potential to become addictive and that's a good think