A long long time ago… well OK a couple of years ago… a few of us from the eightbar crowd / tribe / collective / [insert group adjective of your choice here] were quite into Perplex City, an Alternate Reality Game from Mind Candy where you had to solve puzzles on game cards related to a parallel world. At the time I was particularly fascinated by the intersection of gaming, virtual and real worlds, and physical / tangible objects and the web.
I was listening to a podcast the other day and heard about a new ARG – in this case they brand themselves a Social Reality Game – called Akoha. It is also card-based, and has a technology / web tie-in.
Akoha is the world’s first social reality game where you can earn points by playing real-world missions with your friends. Missions might include giving someone your favorite book, inviting a friend for drinks, or buying a friend some chocolate.
The idea here is that players will perform good deeds or “missions” on the cards in the real world, and then pass the cards on to others who can then join the game by entering the card code on the website. It’s a fascinating idea. There’s a social network element. There’s a physical element (the cards, and the personal / direct social interaction). There’s an online element. Plus, the whole idea is around improving the way we all interact with each other and our environment (I’m thinking Smarter Planet).
I love the idea and I’m definitely going to be following Akoha’s development. It’s in closed beta at the moment but anyone can join by getting some cards… I wonder how widespread it is beyond the US at the moment.