Instructables' Alternate Reality Game. Why not? Answered
While I was at work I hit on an idea. The instructable's community if filled with people with broad expertise, talents and interests from all over the world. This is the key element in both creating and solving alternate reality games.
For those who may not know, an ARG is a game that is played by hiding clues around the world for people to find and solve. These clues can be extremely vague or even downright unbelievable. This sounds daunting and like it wouldn't work but it actually works better than you could believe. ARG's have been used to promote movies, products, etc by engaging players in a reality within our own and attracting press attention.
Some better known examples are:
A.I.(The Beast) - This site also includes some other examples
Star Trek - this one is unbelievably complicated but with thousands of dedicated fans it was pretty much solved.
The thought is we, the community here at instructables.com, could run an ARG to draw in people and the media to promote a topic of our choice using the people and talents found here. If we work together we might be able to succeed at something amazing and promote instructables or even environmentally friendly lifestyles and technology. I don't know if I personally have the time to fully dedicate myself to something as big as this and I have never had the chance to participate in one but with the right group of instructable members this could become a reality.
Story example: Messages from a future where the world is coming to an end due to widespread global disasters begin to appear all over the planet warning and guiding its players through efforts that might be able to prevent such a future.
It might even be possible to run the game over several years/decades and never let people know if it is real, just a game, or even who is doing it. If done right, this might even cause people to affect evironmental change in their area.
This would work kind of like the biggest, longest stealth flash mob ever created : ) The benefit is the costs would be significantly lower than traditional ARG's since we are all over the world and know how to do/build amazing things and love doing so in our free time.
I would suggest that specific details should be kept out of public forums like this one to prevent an information leak if this becomes a reality.
UPDATE: I have setup a webpage(http://arg.42dotservegame.org) to help manage the different aspects of a multi-user project like this. The page is restricted to only those that have been invited to join. To get an invite, please PM me and I will get you setup with an account. The username will be the same as your instructable username to prevent confusion. This is to limit access initially until everything gets rolling. Later, active users will be given rights to invite others they think will be good resources. As of right now there are still some things that need to be worked on within the page but I think it is functional enough to be used.
Features that are provided are:
-Limited/restricted file uploads and downloads