Are you familiar with Alternate Reality Games? I'm not really either. But, they seem like, if I had the time, they'd be right up my alley. Without reading the Wikipedia entry, it's hard to explain in brief. But I'll try - They're like modern day scavenger hunts. It's like the movie Midnight Madness. You find clues that lead you new "places". Then you unravel new clues. But, in this world of computers, you can get emails, phone calls, faxes and other players can interact with you. Put it this way - It's like a modern day Da Vinci Code.
The latest Nine Inch Nails album, Year Zero, was its own ARG. I've been told that, after you play the CD, some cryptic numbers (letters?) appear on the CD. After the CD cooled, they disappeared. These, along with notes in the book would lead you to websites. And, from what I remember, one of the clues led to a crazy remote location at a specific time and date where NIN played a free show. Talk about a great way to add value to selling a CD, huh? The entire timeline of the campaign is here.
What's this ARG talk leading to? First, I'm intrigued. I'm so confused by these that I don't even know where to begin. Second, I found one. And, I thought that maybe, someone could help me/us understand how an ARG works from the beginning. I learned that Aporia Agathon Project is an ARG. (I have no idea what the means - it's just something I found while searching around). They've released the following YouTube video as a starting point (I believe). Ok... uh... what now? Has it begun yet? Or is this really just a promo for the game to come?
Now, you can own your own copy of Seth's notebook.