A couple of days later than the promised 1st October—I’ve been busy with funerals and the like—I can finally break the second part of my ARG-related news. Adrian Hon, my colleague at Six to Start, has been working with Cancer Research UK, and has launched a competition to design and run an ARG (‘alternate-reality game‘ for the slow kids at the back) that will help to raise money for the charity and publicise the fight against cancer in a new, unprecedented way. It’s called Let’s Change the Game, and anyone can enter.
What makes Let’s Change the Game particularly exciting is that Cancer Research UK is prepared to throw its considerable weight behind the winning entry. Designers can make use of the charity’s marketing and PR skills, its network of over 600 shops, its live events including the massive Race for Life, and much more. This will certainly be the highest-profile ARG ever run in the UK, possibly the highest-profile ARG anywhere. And you could be behind it. Which is, we reckon, a cool proposition for anyone who fancies themselves a games designer.
Adrian’s tapped some very cool people to help administer and judge Let’s Change the Game, including Sean Stewart, Rhianna Pratchett and Jonathan Waite… and also me. Partly because I know a bit about games, admin and charity fundraising, and partly because last week cancer killed my father. So this is personal. Cancer, you fucker, you’re going down.
Have a look at www.letschangethegame.org and give ten minutes to thinking about how you’d structure an entirely new kind of ARG. You don’t have to be in the UK to enter, and at this stage we only need a 500-word description of your idea—that’s less than a side of A4. Form a team, kick some ideas around, see what surfaces… or simply spread the word about the competition. All the best games, not just ARGs, are about community. So is beating cancer. We’ve been saying for years that games can change the world. Now let’s prove it.