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  ‘World Without Oil’: Alternate Reality Game With a Conscience  
 
 
Posted 2007-05-01 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
World Without Oil asks what would happen if we ran out of oil on April 30, 2007. The month-long alternate reality game, aimed at raising awareness of and promoting discussion about oil dependency, solicits the input of "all web users" in creating content. According to the official press release, the game was funded by PBS, and was produced by Writerguy. The project's "participation architect" was ARG rockstar Jane McGonigal, who says in the press release "Alternate reality gaming is emerging as the way for the world to imagine and engineer a best-case-scenario future... If you want to change the future, play with it first."

It's great to see this tangible example of productive play in motion. There's even an educational hook for teachers, providing suggestions for class activities and assignments--even for those educational environments with limited access to technology. I can see the game being a good way for schools to get involved, but I wonder how many participants outside of a formal education session will have the time and skill to create enough compelling content. As of April 30, about 400 people had signed up to play, so even if a fraction of that player base are good storytellers the game could be a raging success. Good luck to all involved, and congratulations to the teams behind the curtain for contributing to positive social change.
 
     
 
   
 
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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