1st Edition

Alternate Reality Games Promotion and Participatory Culture

By Stephanie Janes Copyright 2020
    144 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    144 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Using textual analysis, interviews with game designers, audience surveys, and close analysis of player forum discussion, this book examines the unique nature of the producer/consumer relationship within promotional Alternate Reality Games (ARGs).

    Historically, ARGs are rooted in advertising as much as they are in narrative storytelling. As designers often have to respond to player actions as the game progresses, players can have an impact on the storyline, on character behaviour, and potentially on the final resolution of the narrative. This book explores how both media consumers and producers are responding to this new reconfiguration of the producer/consumer/prosumer dynamic in order to better understand the diverse advertising experiences available to media audiences today.

    With a focus on participatory culture and the political economy of promotional communications, this in-depth analysis of ARGs will appeal to academics and researchers in the fields of games, film, advertising, and media and cultural studies.

    List of Figures



    1. Promotional ARGs in Context

    2. ARGs as Marketing

    3. The Promise of Participation

    4. Promotional ARGs and Digital Labour

    5. Conclusion




    Stephanie Janes is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at King’s College, London. She has previously lectured in Media & Communications at the University of East London, and Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she also completed her PhD. Her research interests are in film and media promotion, and media convergence with an emphasis on film and gaming. She has previously published on promotional ARGs for films in Arts and the Market and edited collections including The Politics of Ephemeral Digital Media: Permanence and Obsolescence in Paratexts, eds. Sara Pesce and Paolo Noto, and Alternate Reality Games and the Cusp of Digital Gameplay, eds. Antero Garcia and Greg Niemeyer.