Atlanta Streets Alive!

While we know many of you are from out of town, those of you in Atlanta this Sunday (May 23) will definitely want to head to Downtown & the Old Fourth Ward between 1 & 6pm for the first-ever Atlanta ciclovia.

“What’s a ciclovia?” you ask. Well, it literally means “bike path” but it is oh so much more. The streets are closed and people are invited to come out and reclaim them for walking and riding bikes and skating and just plain ol’ people watching. It also means a load of fun activities like jumping rope and yoga and all sorts of dancing and music. Oh, sure, it’s not so much on the street games & urban play (that’s where ARGFest comes in!), but it’s still a heck of a lot of fun and a great way to get out there and do something while you’re waiting for July’s ARGFest fun!

For more information, check out the Atlanta Streets Alive! website or just take a look at this handy dandy interactive map to get a good look at the route.

All powerful! All mighty! Speakers quake at the very sight!

All Hail the Grand Inquisitor!

The Grand Inquisitor haunts the conference floor and gets in the minds of all ARGFest attendees to make sure that the tough questions are being asked… and no speaker is safe from his inquisition. For this reason, and this reason not alone, it was vital that we announce who has been bequeathed the power of the ’stache. Speakers, you have been warned! Your time to prepare is short! Do you have what it takes to stand up against….

The Grand Inquisitor

…this?

That’s right! This year, Steve Peters has stepped up to lead the charge. I can hear the sighs of relief already, but don’t be fooled dear speakers! He may be charming. He may be nice. But he’s been around. He knows the players. He knows the industry. He’s designed games. He’s worked with the best of the best. And he’s smart. Those that came before him have taught him well. Inquisitor the First, a Mr. Elan Lee, established the tone for all Inquisitors to follow and, to this day, the speakers of ‘08 fear his inquiring mind. Inquisitor the Second, one Brian Clark, learned well and let no question go unasked. But one question must be asked of the Inquisitor, himself:  What will he do with his ’stache?


Steve Peters is a Partner and Chief Experience Architect at No Mimes Media. A pioneering force in the Alternate Reality Game/Cross-Media Entertainment genre, Steve has worked on some of the biggest and most successful interactive experiences to date, including Why So Serious (for the feature film The Dark Knight), Year Zero (for the Nine Inch Nail album of the same name), The Vanishing Point, and Dead Man’s Tale (for Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man’s Chest).

He founded the Alternate Reality Gaming Network in 2002, has contributed to books and articles on the subject, and has been interviewed by everyone from G4-TV to WIRED to the Los Angeles Times. Past projects have won multiple awards, including a Cannes Lions Grand Prix Award, One Show Entertainment Awards, and Webby Awards.

Prior to co-founding No Mimes Media, Steve was Director of Experience Design at 42 Entertainment and founder of Vital Interactive Media, a multimedia production company that developed music and audio content for television, theater, and computer games/applications.

ARGFest’s Swagtacular Swagfest… now with more Swag!

Flynn Lives Poster

Flynn Lives Poster

The team behind ARGFest managed to sneak into Unfiction HQ and walk away with a big pile ‘o swag from Flynn Lives (the alternate reality game revolving around TRON Legacy). Now, we could keep this stuff for ourselves and, believe you me, we’re tempted! But after all the bickering over who gets the blue posters and who gets the black, we realized there was only one thing we could do… give all this stuff to you!

So, here’s the deal. We’ve got 9 Flynn Lives swag packages that include a t-shirt & a poster. We will be giving out three a week for each of the next three weeks, drawing randomly from anyone who has registered for a Complete Pass, a Conference Pass, or an Events Pass. For our purposes, weeks start on Monday and go until Sunday and winners will be announced on Monday (with the first winners being announced on May 10). That means that if you register before this Sunday, you will have three chances to win! So what are you waiting for?  Register today!

Registration is… open!

Woohoo! Registration is open! You can find out all of the details on the ARGFest Registration page, but here’s a bit of an overview…

New this year are Registration Packages. We did this for a number of reasons, but mostly because we want to keep the Fest free in order to encourage locals to come and participate in the games. However, free just will not cover our costs. So we’ve sweetened the deal and are offering a Fest Pass with priority access to games & events for any that may have participation limits. The Fest Pass, like all package deals, also comes with the Official ARGFest T-Shirt, a Bag o’ Swag, and access to the ARGFest Suite where you can hang out with your fellow ARGFesters. Other packages include an Events Pass (all of the events), the Conference Pass (the conference and none of the events) and, of course, the Complete Pass which gives you the Fest Pass, the Events Pass, and the Conference Pass all in one big bundle. We strongly recommend the Complete Pass as it will give you access to all of the events, two incredible days of conference sessions, and two full days of fun location-based games and urban play. When it’s all added up it is, by far, the best bang for the buck. If this sounds confusing, there’s a handy image at the bottom of the registration page showing a grid of all the packages and what they offer. If none of the packages meet your needs, you can mix and match and register for specific events.

Just like last year, there are 4 different registration periods and the earlier you register the better the deal. Early Bird Registration is open from now until May 23. Late registration begins on June 28 and goes until July 14. Then, of course, you can pay at the door. But, really, you don’t want to wait. No matter when you register, you’ll get a great deal for all that ARGFest has to offer, but who wants to pay more than they have to?

In order to make things easier on us and on you, we’ve set up registration through Eventbrite. This is our first time using the service and any feedback you have will help us figure out if we made the right decision. So feel free to let us know about your experience.

Hotel information will be coming shortly. At the last minute, a new hotel came to our attention and it looks like we might be able to get y’all a better deal (at a nicer hotel to boot!). We know that you’re eager to book your rooms (we are too!), but if we can save everyone a few bucks by waiting just a couple more days, we think it’s worth it. We’ll let you know as soon as we can!

If you know what you want and don’t care to look over the registration page, you can skip it and…

Register for ARGFest 2010 in Atlanta, GA  on Eventbrite

Updates, Deadlines, and Sponsors… oh my!

We’ve been crazy busy here behind the scenes of ARGFest and lots of things are beginning to fall in place, which is making us all very happy. Venues have been selected and they’re awesome which makes it’s so hard to just tease you and not let you in on the secret – we’re still crossing the eyes and dotting the tees, but soon! We promise! We’re also *this close* to solving the various registration issues. Boy did things get complex with all the Thinking, Playing, and Doing going on this year! So, expect some really fun announcements in the next week or so. To be among the first to know… follow us on twitter!

Our other exciting news, especially for all of you with ideas out there, is that our submissions deadlines for both the festival and conference have been extended! Panel & Session submissions are now being accepted until May 15 and Game & Event submissions are being accepted until June 15! We’re giving you some extra time, but you might not want to take it. Submissions are reviewed on a weekly basis. The earlier that you get your idea in, the better chance you have of it making the schedule. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.

And, saving our favorite news for last… We’ve secured our very first sponsor! Stitch Media! We couldn’t be more excited that our first sponsor announcement went to them – we’re huge fans, not because they’re friends and supporters, but because they’re really good at what they do. So, if you know Evan & co… thank them for their support! If you don’t know them, yet… get to know them! They’re smart and creative people that do great work and “get” transmedia as well as anyone we know.

For more exciting news… stay tuned, become a fan on facebook, and/or follow us on twitter!

Now accepting Panel & Presentation ideas!

If you have a great idea for a panel or presentation at ARGFest 2010 (and we know you do!), then we want to hear from you. We’ve even set up a handy dandy panel submission form for you to use. It’s easy! Just tell us a bit about who you are and what you’d like to talk about or hear others talk about. Sure, it’s called a panel submission form, but you can use it for presentations or round tables or whatever else you might have in mind. So put your thinking caps on and then head on over to the Panel Submission page. The more ideas we get from you, the better ARGFest will be!

Submissions will accepted until May 1st and reviewed on a rolling basis. So, the sooner you get your ideas in, the better chance you’ll have of seeing it happen. If you have any questions, check out our Panel Submission FAQ and, if that doesn’t help, contact us. We’re glad to help!

Volunteers wanted!

We’re looking for two volunteers to take the lead on two of our most important tasks: Sponsorship & Volunteer Coordination.

As our Sponsorship Chair, you will be responsible for reaching out to potential sponsors as well as managing sponsor relations up to and including ARGFest in July. It’s a big and important job, but you will be able to count on support from the team – a couple of us are eager to help as much as possible but are just unable to take the lead.

And this year, with the Games Festival, we are in need of more volunteers than we’ve ever had before. As Volunteer Coordinator, it will be your responsibility to determine the actual need and make sure that we have the volunteers to cover it. Again, you will have support and as a great bonus you will be working closely with Daniel who is heading up the scheduling and logistics.

Keep in mind, ARGFest is put together by a team of volunteers. These are not paid positions. If that doesn’t scare you away and you are interested & committed, get in touch with Brooke (aka @imbri) as soon as soon as possible.Using the contact form will work.

If neither of these are up your alley, we’re going to need more volunteers as we pull this thing together and we’ll need loads of volunteers on the ground in July. If you’d like to help out, fill out the volunteer form and if you have any specific skills that you think we’d find useful, let us know.

Be an ARGFest Booster!

Want to help support ARGFest but aren’t quite at the level of sponsorship? We’re looking for some quick funds to help us cover the initial expenses – like reserving our fantastic venues & vendors. The sooner we can reserve, the sooner we can get our registration up, the sooner people can say “wheee! I’m going to ARGFest!!!”

(this chicken or egg conundrum is, perhaps, the most annoying part of ARGFest planning)

Becoming a booster is easy! On the right (and in the sidebar of most pages), you’ll notice a Boost Us! section. We’re using PayPal for this, so just let us know how much and how you want to be acknowledged. Clicking the “Buy Now” button will send you off to PayPal to make it happen.

As a booster you will get:

  • that warm fuzzy feeling you get when making dozens of people very happy
  • the appreciation of all ARGFest Attendees… especially those that are eager for registration info!
  • the sincere gratitude of the ARGFest Committee who are terrified these costs are going to fall on them.
  • and, of course, recognition on the site & in the program as a Booster

note: The PayPal account you are going to is Brooke’s. It’s the best way for us to get the funds in & out as quickly as possible. We trust her with this – she is the ARGFest 2010 Chair and on the ground in Atlanta dealing with our various venues & vendors. If you would prefer to give through Unfiction, feel free, but be sure contact us so that we can make sure that the funds are properly accounted for and you get the acknowledgment & appreciation you deserve.

ARGFest hits the streets! And needs your games!

We are so excited to announce that this year the Fest in ARGFest is a two day game festival showcasing the best in public play & games. Location based games, street games, scavenger hunts, big urban games… you name it and more. They will all be happening July 17 & 18 in Midtown Atlanta. That’s a full weekend of exploring the city through play while making tons of new friends and having some good clean (and oh so crazy) fun.

The thing is… we need games! So all of you game designers out there, show us your stuff. We’re looking for games that are fun and get people outside to interact with and explore the city in ways they never would have before. We want games that are innovative – whether they’re high tech or have no tech at all. Game submissions will be accepted until May 15 and reviewed on a rolling basis (so don’t wait until the last minute!).

ARGFest 2010 will be centered in Midtown Atlanta. The four day event, July 15-18, includes two days of conference sessions & social events followed by two days of city-wide play.

Game Submission Form
Submission Deadline: May 15, 2010

Getting Excited for ARGFest

The announcement has been made… ARGFest 2010 will be in Atlanta, GA! So book your tickets and mark your calendars for July 15-18. It’s going to be a blast and you aren’t going to want to miss it.

This year is the first year that we are, officially, spreading beyond the weekend. Its been harder and harder to fit everything we want to do into two days and, well, we gave up trying. Based on feedback & suggestions from last year, we’re doing more to make it friendly for both the thinkers & the players… a full-fledged conference combined with a full-fledged games festival into one big blast.

The schedule & logistics are still be worked out (expect details shortly!), but it’s going to look something like this:

Thursday & Friday will be dedicated to the thinking. Saturday & Sunday will be dedicated to the playing. There will, of course, be a bit of cross-over, with fun things happening on Thursday & Friday and space available for unconference style sessions on Saturday. But, one way to think about it is that we’re going to start off all serious (or, well, as serious as we can be) and have more and more fun as the days go on until Sunday when we’re all play (and food! and friends!). There’s going to be so much going on and we’re sure that you’re not going to want to miss a second of it!

We can hardly wait!

So, what does this mean? It means that there’s time for more of everything and we’re going to need your help to make that happen! We need speakers and sessions and games and sponsors. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see a flurry of activity as we announce key bits of information and get up our panel & game submission forms. In the mean time, think about what you’d like to see or what you’d like to play. If you’re a game designer, definitely think about games you can showcase (the festival will be similar to Come Out and Play or igfest – location based games, big scavenger hunts, fun field games and the like). If your company would like to help us out by being a sponsor – please get in touch! We’re in immediate need of funds to secure venues & vendors. And, if you want to host one of the networking events or parties, better to get on that sooner rather than later.

More soon!

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