Posted by: Montola | October 1, 2009

Italy Chips In

I was tipped about LOG607, an Italian company creating pervasive games. Instead of pretending to have a clue about what they are doing in Italian, I’ll just quote some of their texts. From what I read on their website, their stuff looks quite interesting — but it’s of course impossible to really know from reading only their self-written descriptions. They seem to have two or three ongoing projects; Whaiwhai, Frammenti and Live Novel.

whaiwhai_gallery_people2

Whaiwhai

Whaiwhai looks like a treasure hunt tourist game with a hint of urban adventure game in it. With a lot of REXplorer and Visby Under under the hood perhaps.

Whaiwhai is a game that helps people explore places. Playing whaiwhai means going on an adventure: you have to look for clues to uncover mysteries, by solving one enigma at a time, one at each location on your itinerary. So the game is a pretext to learn about the original aspects of each place you visit and about all the stories surrounding it. Any place, city or museum can become a playing field for a treasure hunt. The whaiwhai stories, which map out various cities, have become a book collection.

It would seem that you play whaiwhai in combination with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and they also have a blog on it. Apparently, the President of Italy awarded them a national prize on tourism innovation, and you can play the game in Rome, Venice, Florence and Verona.

Frammenti

A sort of lonelygirl15 meets Dollplay meets The Beast meets The Lost Experience, Frammenti is an ARG-like web series with puzzles.

Fragments shows how serial fiction can coexist with the alternate reality game concept to produce an original experience, where the line between fiction and reality disappears. Watching Fragments is like watching an episode of “24”, only to find out that Jack Bauer needs your help to accomplish his mission. Anything around you – your neighbors, your favorite web site, anything – could be part of the answer or part of the conspiracy. Each episode of Fragments (there are 12 in all) is packed with clues, hints and unsolved mysteries that lead players into a storybook universe that spans both inside and outside the web. Blogs, Internet sites, phone numbers, books, bios and addresses: think about it, the world is full of little bits and pieces. These bits and pieces suddenly become mysteries and enigmas when you play Fragments.

Again, Frammenti has at least a presence in both Facebook and Twitter.

frammenti

Live Novel

Judging by the lack of links, Live Novel doesn’t quite exist yet. But their vision description is an interesting read:

The narrative and the plot are the raw materials that players use to craft their own story-games. LiveNovel is the rough sketch of a story, providing a canvas of possibilities that players draw on in order to create a full novel. Players become the real authors of the story because what they do and what they look for (and what they decide not to do or look for) determines how the novel fleshes out. The LiveNovel stories are layered, providing different levels of depth to the reading.

The narrative context involves many different forms: objects, findings, places on a map, notes players have jotted down about their experiences, Internet searches, etc. This is why LiveNovel doesn’t look like a conventional novel. Instead, players find something more like a kit that contains an incomplete story, the tools needed to do searches, and blank spaces to piece all the fragments back together as they experience LiveNovel.

Talk about tiered participation, ambient gaming, distributed narrative and so forth. Perhaps it’s like an ARG with a more stuff in the physical world.

If you dig deeper into the work of LOG607, especially if you find interesting stories or know Italian, please post your findings in comments!


Responses

  1. thank you Montola, your post is a great honour for us!

  2. Thanks Giulia!

    Mm — if there are other companies with people reading this blog, please feel free to tip us about yourselves. I mean, we intend no favouritism towards the companies we mosyly speak of (like Fourth Wall Studios, The Company P). We just discuss the stuff that we know of!

    – Markus


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