What is an A.R.G.?

An introduction to alternate reality games.

Chris Weber
6 min readFeb 11


Photo by Galina Nelyubova on Unsplash

If you have never heard of an alternate reality game (ARG), this article will be useful for you.

If you are familiar with ARGs, please let me know what you think of my definition here. I am still learning all the ins and outs.

What is an ARG?

In my dynamic definition, an ARG is essentially a fictional multimedia puzzle that hides in plain sight. It is a narrative that lives in the shadows. They are hiding everywhere and waiting to pounce on unsuspecting victims…

Read on for a slightly less dramatic definition.

“An alternate reality game is a type of multimedia game for multiple players that takes place in real-time and evolves according to decisions taken by the players rather than by a programmer” — Collins Dictionary

I asked chat GPT for a more detailed definition.

“An alternate reality game is a type of interactive digital media that blends elements of gaming, storytelling, and online communities. It typically involves a narrative that is spread across multiple platforms, such as websites, social media, and real-world events and is designed to be played by a large number of players collectively. The players are tasked with solving puzzles, completing challenges, and uncovering hidden elements of the story, which is usually fictional and set in an alternate reality. ARGs often blur the lines between the virtual and real worlds, challenging players to look for clues and solve puzzles in both places. The ultimate goal of an ARG is to provide a unique, immersive experience for the players, where they can actively engage with the story and each other.” — Chat GPT

Where did these games come from?

The ARG idea is fairly new and relatively unknown among normal people. It is a good thing I am a weirdo. Pink Floyd is known for creating one of the first alternate-reality games. As a huge fan of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the video game Starship Titanic was promoted with an alternate reality game too.



Chris Weber

I am a curious communication scholar. I write about the things that I learn and attempt to understand. Poetry, fiction, and everything else.