Are There No *Real* Bad Guys?
“Greed is bad,” says Conspiracy for Good, a curious blend of ARG and multimedia participatory storytelling from Tim Kring and Co. And they have the fictional proof!
It’s been interesting for the Baxters to compare Conspiracy for Good with our previous effort, Evoke, because on many levels they are, well, the same dang thing. Evoke was surely not the first social innovation game (nor clearly will it be the last), but as the category sees more and more entries we’re able to better understand where the true innovations lie, how the mechanics of interaction enhance the experience, and the role of storytelling (and suspended disbelief) as a super-engagement gravity well.
To that last point, Conspiracy for Good places itself on an interesting point of the fiction / non-fiction spectinuum. Its central storyline — that greedmongering megaglobalcorp Blackwell Briggs is soon to “enslave” the citizenry of the UK by appropriating CCTV systems for nefarious means — is just close enough to headline fodder to be believable-ish. And though its very format (and a few overt disclaimers) make clear that the experience is a work of fiction, that doesn’t prevent a few whistleblowers from “exposing” the Conspiracy as such. For better or for worse, Evoke sacrificed that suspended disbelief by telling the story through a graphic novel (viva la Jacob Glaser!) set in 2020.
But at least we didn’t didn’t have folks pointing to our cell-shading and crying “fake.”