Henrik Örnebring on the Alias ARGs

Henrik Örnebring, who is at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and is an ARG researcher that I covered in the 2006 IGDA ARG SIG Whitepaper (see this pub page), has published his essay on the ARGs created for the US TV show Alias. The essay, ‘Alternate Reality Gaming and Convergence Culture’ is in vol 10, no 4 of the International Journal of Cultural Studies. Here is the abstract:

Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) are a form of internet-based mystery game in which participants are immersed in a fictional world and engage in collective problem-solving. This article studies three ARGs connected to the TV series Alias (ABC, 2001—6), two of them launched by the network ABC as part of the marketing of the TV series, the third produced by fans. Previous research on ARGs has not sufficiently problematized the fact that many ARGs are marketing tools. While ARGs can be analysed as part of a wider context of convergence culture and fan culture, such an analysis must take into account the underlying commercial logic of popular culture production. Despite the differences found between industry-produced and fan-produced ARGs, they still share a framework of consumption that conforms to corporate goals of marketing and brand-building as well as fan audiences’ goals of pleasurable interaction with fictional worlds.

Congrats Henrik. 🙂

Check it out [and hurry, because if you don’t have institutional access to Sage, you can currently download for free until 30th Nov]

Fictional Interfaces


Mark Coleran creates fictional interfaces for film and TV. He has a great showreel online. Adverlab also linked to Michael Schmitz’s academic paper on Human Computer Interaction in Science Fiction Movies, and Jakob Nielson’s Usability in Movies Bloopers.

[image from Mark Coleran’s website]

New Website: Critical Code Studies

CCS header

Mark Marino, my lovely colleague at WriterResponseTheory.org, has started a website championing ‘Critical Code Studies’. It is a ‘forum for resources, discussion, and demonstrations of the interpretation of computer code’. This may be a surprise to some, but for many years artists, programmers and researchers of both stripes, have been researching (among other things) the poetics of code, the ideology of code and the impact of code on digital artworks. Mark has now brought many ideas together on this new site.


Check out www.CriticalCodeStudies.com