The Oberlin Review
<< Front page News March 18, 2005

Searching campus for treasure in ObieGame

The second season of ObieGame, the College’s homegrown treasure hunt, will commence as students return from Spring Break. Organized this year by alumni Aaron Mucciolo (OC ’02) and Jason McConaghie (OC ’03), and senior Tony Forbes, ObieGame is an exciting adventure in sleuthing and searching that Mucciolo, the executive director of the Oberlin fund, initially developed last year.

In many ways, ObieGame can trace its pedigree back to what Mucciolo calls “weird advertising campaigns” surrounding the movie AI and other products targeted at tech savvy audiences. Designers create “alternative reality games,” said Mucciolo. “They create characters that people relate to and use immersive storytelling [to sell a product],” he stated.

A participant in an alternative reality game may find themselves searching for diffuse, seemingly unrelated internet clues and using them to uncover a hidden story. ObieGame follows a similar suit; however it will not be marketing a product or idea.

Last year, ObieGame participants were seen running through Mudd, feverishly assembling clues to advance a treasure hunt. Clues were both online and offline, such as cryptic e-mail messages and papers taped into library books. Participants had the option of playing by themselves or in groups of unrestricted size.

Mucciolo claims that this year’s hunt will be an improvement over the project’s inauguration. Responding to complaints made last year regarding game-end prizes for both winners and participants, Mucciolo asserted that this time, “We’re guaranteeing no screw-up with the prizes.”

The 2005 ObieGame will be substantially different than last year’s version. The organizers claim that the key to the game will be in weaving the plot together and that character and plot context will be bigger and better. Participation will require about as much effort as any “light extracurricular,” Mucciolo said. As with last year’s efforts, the upcoming ObieGame will include limited controls on its pace, designed to modulate the speed of play.

Interested students should keep an eye out for notices announcing the beginning of ObieGame upon returning from Spring Break.


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