Visitors Get to Play Games at American Art

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The long-awaited finale to our ARG saga is online! For those who don't know, ARG's are "alternate reality games"—a hybrid of mystery stories and online gaming—popular with new media marketers and online communities.

A few months ago the Smithsonian American Art Museum became the nation's first major museum to sponsor an ARG (always on the edge of the envelope, the Smithsonian). Curators scattered a trail of clues for players to piece together. In addition to their online clue-gathering, gamers gleaned hints through top-secret tours of cemeteries and underground laboratories.

I got to play along. Read the resulting story, which has more information about ARGs and about how I helped save the Smithsonian from a ghostly invasion. See pictures of skeletons, chapels and other clues, here. Or go here to test your wits by trying to solve the mystery yourself.

Georgina Goodlander, curator and clue-master, guest blogged about the ARG over at Museum 2.0. She said it was a success and sponsored "engagement" with the Museum. How else can a Museum become web-savvy?

(Photo courtesy of Georgina Goodlander)

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