Category Archives: Alternate Reality Game

Bits N’ Bricks Season 3 Episode 37 – The Surreal History of LEGO Galidor Including Ong’s Hat Segments

The awesome backstory about Galidor with a short history of the Ong’s Hat Project. Link to podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lego-bits-n-bricks/id1542166642 How a LEGO® game console, sci-fi TV show, limb-swapping action figures, and trip to another dimension gave birth to the beloved LEGO toy flop Galidor. 00:00:00 – Prologue 00:00:39 – Bits N’ Bricks: Introduction 00:01:15 – EP37:The Surreal History of the LEGO Galidor TV Show, Game Console, and Action Figures [YouTube only] 00:02:22 – Chapter 1: Project Genesis and Action Figures 00:09:20 – Chapter 2: Kek Powerizer 00:19:17 – Chapter 3: Tom Lynch and the Galidor TV Show 00:27:14 Chapter 4: An Interactive Website and Alternate Reality Games 00:32:49Chapter 5: Ong’s Hat 00:46:55 – Chapter 6: Initial Reception 00:54:24 – Chapter 7: The Video Game 01:02:25 – Chapter 8: Conclusion 01:10:08 – Chapter 9: Season Break Announcement 01:11:37 – Bits N’ Bricks: Credits A written feature and transcript of the entire episode are available at https://www.lego.com/en-us/legogames-25-transcripts Bits N’ Bricks is a regular podcast that dives into the history of the LEGO Group’s decades-long work in digital play, unearthing wonderful stories, conversations with creators, and a wealth of valuable insight. We explore innovation at the LEGO Group through the lens of games and examine the past and the present to learn and better understand possible future scenarios for digital play. ” Welcome to the LEGO Gaming channel! That’s right, a channel dedicated to all things LEGO Games. How awesome is that?! Hold on to your controllers as we take you through a world of exclusive previews, developer walkthroughs, trailers, retro LEGO games, and exciting event coverage! Subscribe to be notified of new videos each week: https://www.youtube.com/LEGOGaming

Mack Maloney’s Military X-Files: ANGELS, DEVILS & THE MYSTERY OF ONG’S HAT

The gang talks to Bishop Ron Feyl-Enright about what’s really happening when people experience visions of the Virgin Mary. Also, a report on a mysterious ghost town in the middle of New Jersey called Ong’s Hat. Plus, ten technical questions for Coco, finding out what’s inside America’s National Quiet Zone, Raven cooks the brain of UFO Mechanic, Al Renaldo and the free MMMX swag giveaway continues. Special Guest: Lois Lane .

Note for the impatient: The Ong’s Hat material comes in about 1 hour 30 minutes in.

https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/download/ciykxu/09-21-21_Vegas839x8.mp3?_=1

https://mackmaloney.podbean.com/

Augmented Reality Games, Interactive Narrative and the Documentary TV Series Hellier

Preview of presentation to be given by David Sweeney (@dktrdm Twitter), The Glasgow School of Art Fri, August 6, 2021 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT https://interactivefilm.blogspot.com/2021/07/augmented-reality-games-interactive.html Interactive Film and Media Conference 2021 Panel 5. Players in Interactive Films and Games About this event This virtual edition of the Interactive Film and Media conference on ‘new narratives, racialization, global crises, and social engagement’ is dedicated to the development, analysis, and research processing of the digital experience that is transforming our contemporary world vision through the immense range of storytelling practices, including visual arts, cinema, digital/graphic/interactive narratives, virtual reality, and games. The purpose of this conference is to bring together researchers and practitioners working in diverse disciplinary areas to establish an interdisciplinary framework for research on contemporary narratives, including case studies of the multimodal narratives across media and cultures. The conference will convene entirely online and will be hosted by several universities. The organizers believe that now is the right moment to evaluate the saturation and fragmentation of media during the pandemic experience of the last year, as well as to discuss new online media interactivities in a virtual environment. FREE ZOOM PRESENTATION, REGISTER HERE

We the Sheeple: Episode 13: Ong’s Hat

Hats are neat. Where would a high-class Kentucky woman be on derby day with out her hat? How many fly ball would outfielders have missed without their trusty baseball caps blocking the sun? How would we have opened a gateway to other dimensions if not for Ong’s Hat? I reiterate, hats are neat.

On this episode we’re talking about Ong’s Hat, one of the early Internet’s oddest legends. Who’d have though all you need to travel to other dimensions are a couple of Ivy League dropouts, a dash of eastern spiritualism and an egg? I’d have guessed you’d need at least an alien or two.

LINK: https://anchor.fm/the-shepard

The Math of Hunting Lions

Bibliography of papers on math & physics methods of hunting lions in the Sahara Desert.

The fascinating history of identity and document spoofing by esteemed mathematicians with a wonderful sense of humor. I cited this in the book, Ong’s Hat: The Beginning.

The material was written up by R. P. Boas and F. Smithies [Smithies 2002, personal communication] and appeared in [Pétard 1938]. Part of JWT’s assistance was in keeping the nonexistence of the nominal author, H. Pétard and of Pondiczery quiet when the Monthly enquired about the paper’s author. The full identification of Pondiczery was Ersatz Stanislas Pondiczery at the Royal Institute of Poldavia. The hope was that someday a document could be signed ESP RIP [Aspray & Tucker 1985]).

…Albert Tucker: Was it that group that used the pseudonym “Pondiczery”?

Tukey: Yes, but with a somewhat broader reference.

Aspray: For what purpose?

Tukey: Well, the hope was that at some point Ersatz Stanislaus Pondiczery at the Royal Institute of Poldavia was going to be able to sign something ESP RIP. Then there’s the wedding invitation done by the Bourbakis. It was for the marriage of Betty Bourbaki and Pondiczery. It was a formal wedding invitation with a long Latin sentence, most of which was mathematical jokes, three quarters of which you could probably decipher. Pondiczery even wrote a paper under a pseudonym, namely “The Mathematical Theory of Big Game Hunting” by H. Pétard, which appeared in the Monthly. There were also a few other papers by Pondiczery.

Tukey: Somebody with a high principle. Pondiczery’s official residence was in Ong’s Hat, New Jersey3⁠, which is a wide place in the road going southeast from Pemberton, but it does appear on some road maps. There is a gas station that has a sign out about Ong’s Hat.

Aspray: But no sign for Pondiczery?

Tukey: No sign for Pondiczery. Spelled c-z-e-r-y, by the way. Not like the area of India, Pondicherry, which is spelled c-h. Anyway, this was a good group, and it enjoyed its existence. I learned a lot from dinner table conversations.

READ MORE HEREhttps://www.gwern.net/notes/Lions

QAnon, Ong’s Hat, and Robert Anton Wilson: Joseph Matheny discusses ARGs and conspiracy theories in the Internet era

When the QAnon movement began garnering more widespread attention a couple of years ago, a number of game designers pointed out the similarities between the ‘Q drops’ – and the associated community puzzle solving in regards to those – and the techniques used in alternate reality games (ARGs) (see here and here, for example). Not necessarily that it was an ARG, but that it (knowingly, or unknowingly) used the methods found in ARGs to hook in new players, and to blur the boundaries between reality and fiction.

So I was fascinated to listen to a recent interview with Joseph Matheny, creator of the now-legendary Ong’s Hat – described by many as the world’s first ARG – in which he discussed QAnon from his own viewpoint (see video embedded below). Matheny notes that he feels obligated to talk publicly about QAnon and Ong’s Hat, because “they’re using my methods and I don’t like that”, and also because people have been comparing the two, which upset him. “I mean…it follows the formula,” Matheny says, “but content-wise, and intention-wise, it’s definitely nothing like it.”

When the QAnon movement began garnering more widespread attention a couple of years ago, a number of game designers pointed out the similarities between the ‘Q drops’ – and the associated community puzzle solving in regards to those – and the techniques used in alternate reality games (ARGs) (see here and here, for example). Not necessarily that it was an ARG, but that it (knowingly, or unknowingly) used the methods found in ARGs to hook in new players, and to blur the boundaries between reality and fiction.

So I was fascinated to listen to a recent interview with Joseph Matheny, creator of the now-legendary Ong’s Hat – described by many as the world’s first ARG – in which he discussed QAnon from his own viewpoint (see video embedded below). Matheny notes that he feels obligated to talk publicly about QAnon and Ong’s Hat, because “they’re using my methods and I don’t like that”, and also because people have been comparing the two, which upset him. “I mean…it follows the formula,” Matheny says, “but content-wise, and intention-wise, it’s definitely nothing like it.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

Ong’s Hat: Is Princeton Opposed to Satire?

On May 31, 2021, Princeton’s elite educational institution, through their journal, TORTOISE: A JOURNAL OF WRITING PEDAGOGY, published an excerpt of a paper by one of their freshman students, Jayaditya Deep. The article is titled, The Fiction of Ong’s Hat: Too Good to be False.

In this paper, Jayaditya Deep, who likes to be called Jojo,” levels criticism regarding two pieces of satire, one written by me about 30 years age and another written by me about 20 years ago. Both articles are in out-of-print publications. “Jojo” uses archive.org links as his reference in this piece. The criticism never once mentions that the articles are satire and treats them as if they are not. These articles are not murky as to their intention as humor, but satire, clearly written and published as such.

Additionally, it looks like our little friend “Jojo” has taken to marking up the Wikipedia pages for Ong’s Hat to share his humorless view of the universe. I’m quite aware that he is obviously a person on some kind of quixotic crusade and desperate for attention, so this will be the last I mention it unless they decide to become stalkerish, as these crusaders sometimes do. Oh, and I did him a favor and made a correction to his “additions” since he erroneously listed the publication of The Incunabula Papers as 1898. 😀

Article on Academia.Edu

PDF of Article

If QAnon Is a Game, How Do You Stop Playing?

This is Part II of our look at QAnon. Click here for Part I. As part of the NYU/StartEd New Media Accelerator, we are joining with faculty from the NYU Carter Journalism Institute to talk about QAnon Friday, Feb. 19 on Clubhouse. Join us!

The U.S. Capitol was just another part of the gameboard. (📷: LA Times)

Ever hear of Ong’s Hat? Not the charming little town in New Jersey that we all know and love, but the internet conspiracy. Actually, Ong’s Hat is most likely the first internet conspiracy, which is interesting because it started well before the internet was even in the hands of the average citizen. Today, many credit the sprawling, transmedia experiment — and its foundational documents known as The Incunabla Papers — as the first Alternative Reality Game (ARG), creating the template for massive experiential mysteries underwritten by sources as unlikely as Brigham Young University, Microsoft, and the rock band Twenty-One Pilots. Ong’s Hat was a much less coordinated affair, beginning as crude Xeroxed pamphlets, then skipping around on zines delivered in the mail, radio, bulletin boards, CD-ROM, and back to the internet. While the ghost town that gave the game its name is real, the science fiction tale that lurched around for years, involving Princeton scientists, quantum theory, multi-dimensional travel, and much more, is a work of collaborative fiction by a small group of outsiders and pranksters. But this long-forgotten experiment has become relevant again because it gives us clues into what’s going on with some of the most politically and socially radicalized people in the world.

The January 6 deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol was energized by many people who follow QAnon to varying degrees. Last month, we wrote that understanding the movement in religious or cultish terms was a seductive mistake, and that it’s best understood as an ARG that has a found purchase with huge swaths of alienated and postmodern Americans. While most games are harmless, Ong’s Hat turned quite dark before its chief storyteller shut it down, and we’d argue that the real-world violence coming from QAnon disciples is following that same arc. Hopefully, there are some lessons in previous experiments like Ong’s Hat that can help us blunt the destructive force of this movement, avoid more violence, and bring people back to a shared reality and basic set of facts. READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE: https://medium.com/caseworx/if-qanon-is-a-game-how-do-you-stop-playing-1489a388de75