Patrick Jagoda

The Project

alternate reality game


Directed and created with: Sha Xin Wei
Project Manager:Philip Ehrenberg
Design Leads: Peter McDonald, Chris Russell, Bea Malsky, and Alessio Franko
Key Partner: Topological Media Lab
Support: Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry

The Project was a Chicago-based alternate reality game. This project was a collaboration with new media artist Sha Xin Wei, the Montreal-based Topological Media Lab, and students at the University of Chicago. This game, which took place between April 1 and April 25, 2013, conveyed a single transmedia story through social media, performative role-playing, responsive media environments, and a series of live games. Over the game’s three and a half weeks, players explored three conspiracy groups that were involved in a shared yet mysterious enterprise. Each group fetishized a different element of the eponymous “project” — sound (Sonos), objects (Ortgeist), and movement (Ilinx) — and offered a divergent perspective on the central science-fiction mystery of the game that involved a strange portal into another world. This game explored the possibilities and limits of play in an early twenty-first century media ecology that is characterized by screen-based entertainments, social media networks, and a blurring of work and play.

The game was covered in Grey City magazine.

A video trailer of The Project.