Troy, alternate reality game


One of the shared characteristics of all the types of game is to be closed systems, limited in time and space, as a sort of ‘magic circles’ where the player voluntarily decides to enter. Troy is a small but brilliant example of an ‘alternate reality game’, or a game that uses different media and disregards any formalized rule deliberately trying to wandering off the ludic universe. The game has been created on the occasion of the Experimental Gameplay Competition, themed on ‘violation’, and it has suddenly threw the publishing portal into turmoil. The link recommended by the author pointed to a ‘file not found’ page. Only the most curious users has clicked on the almost standard ‘parent directory’ link. Doing so the user can see the spartan directory tree, typically listing all the files in the remote folders that have no index file. At first glance it seems a hitch, one of the many interface errors that can be seen during the netsurfing practice, but actually it’s the proper game start. The surfer / player can snoop around the Troy’s author personal files, collecting information about him, in order to access restricted areas and to search for the elusive videogame, built for the competition. The player will know about a recent breaking-off of the author’s engagement, that will be the key to get an important password. It’s a proper meta-game that thematizes the privacy violation on the net, stimulating the player digital voyeurism. It’s a tough game, indeed, and it has also a distinct geek taste because of the riddles complexity. Anyway the solution (written by the author, the ‘original’ one) can be finally found here.

Paolo Pedercini