One ARG I found interesting and different happened in 2004 when Halo 2 was coming out. Members of the gaming community began to receive large jars of honey from someone related to the website ilovebees.com. Around this time, the first advertisement for Halo 2 came out. Fans noticed that for a slit second instead of the xbox website coming up at the end, the ilovebee.com website appeared. Fans logged onto the website and at first it appeared to just be a blog of a bee enthusiast. The catch was that it also appeared to be hacked and filled with strange messages, corrupted data and a series of mysterious countdowns.
It was clear that the players needed to decode the messages. The “hacking” was actually the result of a rogue AI named Melissa attempting to collect itself in the website’s server. The blogger was frustrated, as evident to the players by her blog posts, and she tried to erase the artificial intelligence, causing Melissa to lose parts of its memory. Later, ilovebees.com visitors found a series of real GPS coordinates leading to pay phones all over the country. The phones would then ring at a designated time, at which point the nearest player was greeted by a prerecorded message and required to answer a series of questions using codewords related to the game. These phone calls were called axons, and when these axons were completed, a new sound file was unlocked at the website. It revealed a new recovered piece of Melissa’s fragmented memory. Eventually, Melissa managed to return to its own time, but not before inadvertently giving up Earth’s location to an alien empire called the Covenant, thus kicking off the events of Halo 2.
This whole game was made to build excitement over the new Halo 2 game. This ARG was a jumpstart to the Halo 2 game. Thos who played had an advantage over those who didn’t know about this ARG. I thought it was intense that people would be so dedicated to wait by these payphones that some waited there even though a hurricane was no far off the cost. I was surprised to learn how intense people were about these games. From a marketing standpoint, I thought it did a great job about getting people excited about the Halo 2 game. It made them feel accomplished by fixing the blog and it also provided clues done for the Halo 2 game. I’m sure a lot goes into creating an ARG and I give create to the creators. It obviously worked out and was a successful game as evident by the amount of people who played.