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Each Summer, thousands of people of all ages and interests participate in local variations of the alternate reality game known as "Journey to the End of the Night", a free, non-sponsored, community-supported race through the streets of major metropolitan cities. The rules are simple but the outcome is anything but: Players travel between checkpoints as fast as they can while avoiding being caught by chasers. Those who survive are rewarded while those who are caught become chasers themselves. Based on the successes of SFZero's model of collaborative gaming, Journey to the End of the Night has grown into an international cultural phenomenon and continues to fascinate new players year after year.
This panel brings together game organizers from the EU and both coasts of the United States to discuss the motivation, planning, and concept development behind each Journey, the need for mass-culture events free of mainstream influence, use of mobile gaming technology, stories and unique insights from the field, and what has been learned from more than 20 combined years of planning and executing this unique alternate reality game.
Thanks to the Internet, a new type of narrative is emerging – one that's told through many media at once in a way that's nonlinear, participatory, and above all immersive. Yet every time a new medium has come along in the past—movies, radio, television—it has taken people 20 years or more to figure out what to do with it. Last year was the 20th anniversary of the birth of the Web. So, how are we doing? "Immersion 101" will look at five key examples of immersive entertainment from the past year—apps, ARGs, marketing campaigns, or all three. What made them work? What could they have done better? What can we learn from them? What do they point to next? Moderated by Paul Woolmington of Naked Communications, the panel—Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion; Susan Bonds, CEO of 42 Entertainment; and Ted Hope, producer of such films as 21 Grams and Happiness—will deconstruct each project and engage the audience, and each other, in a debate about the future of entertainment.
9th–13th March 2012