iPerG “crossmedia game” YOU can be a part of, NOW!

On July 6, 2006 by Christy
 

This is very cool. iPerG (Intergrated Project on Pervasive Gaming) have put out a secret invite to watch a test cross-media game over the web.  Epidemic Menace is the first prototype by the IPerG Crossmedia group. Wohoo!

On July 6th and 7th there is a game event on campus Birlinghoven in Sankt Augustin where we will test the Pervasive Crossmedia Game Epidemic Menace II. We would like to invite you to watch the course of the game via live video streams on our website http://www.epidemic-menace.de/ or in person on our campus. You can find directions on how to get to campus Birlinghoven at http://www.fit.fraunhofer.de/profil/anfahrt_en.html.

Epidemic Menace is part of the IPerG project (Integrated Project on Pervasive Gaming) and has been developed by Fraunhofer FIT, Sony NetServices, University of Nottingham and Blast Theory. IPerG is partially funded by the European Commission within the 6th framework. You can find more information on IPerG at http://www.pervasive-gaming.org/.

The story seems strangely familiar but nevertheless exciting. Here is the storyline:

Prof. Mathiessen, who is working for a secret medical research laboratory at Schloss Birlinghoven at the Fraunhofer FIT research laboratory, has found a dangerous new medical virus that could have the potential to extinguish human life on the planet. He finds several lethal mutations of the virus, which are transmitted via organic material and is very close too finding an anti-virus. Somehow someone found a way of stealing Prof. Mathiessen’s work and managed to contaminate Schloss Birlinghoven. Two competing squats of medical detectives EEPA-X and EEPA-Y are brought in to resolve the case and clear the area. They have 48 hours to safe the campus by cleaning the contaminated area, find an anti-virus to safe Professor Miller who has fallen into a coma and find out what really happened on the night in question. As the story unfolds they will receive clues Â… Register for the game to find out what really happened.

It is great that players can join in actually at the site of the story. I’d go if I was nearby, definately. The device of an impeding time-frame is good (48 hours), a good motivating force. There are two motivation killers, however, at the end:

They have 48 hours to safe the campus by cleaning the contaminated area, find an anti-virus to safe Professor Miller who has fallen into a coma and find out what really happened on the night in question.

They don’t just have 48 hours to “find out what really happened”. They have 48 hours to save the planet! What is motivating about finding out something? The finding out needs to be a method to achieve a goal.

As the story unfolds they will receive clues Â…

Hmm, who will receive clues? Me or them? I think a direct address would go well there.

Register for the game to find out what really happened.

So I register just to “find out what really happened”? That doesn’t sound very exciting. It sounds like it has all past and that the game is me accessing the story in bits, posthumously. How about this instead:

We’ve got 48 hours to save the campus and maybe the world. First off we’ve got to find an anti-virus to pull Professor Miller out of his coma and also clean the contimated area so more of us aren’t affected. If we get Professor Miller back he can tell us what happened and then we can stop this from spreading. Register to get immediate notification everytime we discover something, and so you can take action if you need to… 

I think that sounds a bit more exciting, and it provides the three elements I talk about in call-to-actions (CTAs): primer (the reason to act), referral (the where, what and how of how to act) and intimates a reward. But back to this game. They have a link, also, to a special sound game, that is created by Malleable Mobile Music. Interesting. I’ve registered (through the livecam link, once you’ve got the special plugin). I’ve checked the webcams…I can see bits but not much. Hmm, I think I have to come back in a few hours. Geez, time-zones. But anyway, have fun! This looks good. 🙂