Alternate Reality Experiences / Games: An experience based around the idea of an alternate reality that audience members pretend is ‘real’ within the context of the experience.
ARX experiences tell a narrative story and allow audience members to play along as though the story was actually happening. Most ARX experiences use a website or forum as their main narrative home, where the audience can join in the alternate ‘world’ and interact with the story. Some ARX experiences also have major narrative moments that happen either in the digital world or in actual physical space. Many have characters that live within the alternate world that can and do interact directly with the audience via email, phone calls, Skype sessions, live meet-ups or any other modern form of communication. ARX experiences can have tremendous agency as many of them allow audience interaction to determine almost every aspect of the narrative. At the same time, ARX experiences can require a much higher level of investment on the part of both audience and creator in order for them to function effectively. The Experiences (Tension and Lust) both had rich ARXs as well as major in-person group events.
Browse the posts below to find ARX articles that might interest you.
ARXs are usually emotionally heavy due to large investments of time and effort. However, there are lower intensity ones, such as Candle House Collective, that are contained to remote, yet powerful phone calls – which keep the same emotion but reduce time investment needed and allow for remote playing. Most ARXs are precursors to immersive experiences and begin on Instagram. So, keep an eye out for mysterious Instagram accounts – because you never know which new ARX might start following you.