Firstly, there are ARG community sites that announce forthcoming and current ARGs:
- Alternate Reality Gaming Network: announcements & articles about ARGs
- UnFiction UnForums: where just about all ARGs are announced, played & discussed
- ARGNetcast: ARG community podcast featuring announcements, discussions & interviews
- ARG Reporter: ARG announcements & wiki for Germany
- ARG Fan: ARG site in Japan
- Brazilian Alternate Reality Game community in Orkut
- ARG Brasil: Brazilian Alternate Reality Game community wiki
There are also a few guides that players and designers have created to explain the basics of how to play an ARG. For instance, read Brooke Thompson’s ‘Alternate Reality Gaming: A Quickstart Guide’ and the ‘Tutorial for Playing Alternate Reality Games’ by the ‘Collective Tutor’ at Unfiction.
There are many ARG-specific terms that you’ll need to know to read, or join in with, forum discussions. Check out the Unfiction Glossary and the UnForum Glossary. Now, test yourself with Brian Enigma’s ARG Buzzword Bingo (click on ‘generate card’ button).
Most of the sample ARG/walkthroughs created have been puzzle-heavy, so while they’re not indicative of all the aspects of ARG gameplay they are nevertheless helpful.
- Dave Szulborski’s ‘Errant Memories’ is a specially-created 19 step sample ARG/puzzle trail with a downloadable annotated guide. Check out ‘Errant Memories’ on this page.
- Sapagoo and Jamesi’s puzzle walkthroughs: Decipher Walkthrough and Puzzle Deconstruction.
- John W. Gosney’s ‘Route 66′. Like Szulborski, Gosney guides you through the steps in his specially-created ARG. It is in his book Beyond Reality: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming, 2005, pp: 105-180.
- TJ Jackson’s ‘Troy’ was created for the Experimental Gameplay Project. You can play it and read the post-mortem which explains the gameplay process and how it was created [DOC]
- Andres M. Quijano’s ‘Greg‘ is another sample ARG, with a walkthrough [PDF].
- You can also read through the ‘Guide‘ created by Adrian Hon for the first ARG, The Beast. The Guide is a player’s documentation of their experience of the game and may be helpful in understanding what it is like to play an ARG.
ARG designer Dave Szulborski’s Through the Rabbit Hole: A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Alternate Reality Games is a clear and thorough introduction to playing ARGs. Here is the blurb for the book at Lulu:
Through the Rabbit Hole: A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Alternate Reality Games by Dave Szulborski is the perfect introduction for newcomers to the exciting genre of alternate reality gaming, or ARGs for short. Written in the style of the rulebook that should come along with every ARG, Through the Rabbit Hole lays out the common parts, pieces, playing fields, and rules for playing alternate reality games in a simple and concise manner.
There is also a book published by players that details the experience of playing an ARG. Specifically, it is a book about playing the highly-successful independent ARG set in the fictional world The Matrix: Metacortechs (various, 2003). It is described at Lulu.com as follows:
This book chronicles the Project Mu alternate reality game experience from the perspective of seven players, with supplementary comments from the puppetmasters of the game. It is a trip down memory lane for those of you who played the game, or a great account for those who may have missed it. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of the players and puppetmasters alike, and was a labor of love to compile.