You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2007.

Transbuddha includes World Without Oil in its 2007 game review. Alphamonkey writes that WWO is “a way of getting people thinking about how we can shift the world into being less dependent on oil, and it succeeds on just about every front.” WWO is the only ARG to make TB’s cut, but the thoughtful ‘Buddha honors many serious and educational web games, most notably February’s Climate Change and Against All Odds, November’s game of the month.

“Oil futures rose Thursday after the government reported larger-than-expected declines in crude and heating oil inventories… Inventories of distillates (heating oil, diesel fuel) fell by 3.3 million barrels, more than the .8 million expected… Oil supplies have declined more than expected for several weeks running, exacerbating a perception that supplies may be inadequate to meet winter demand… ‘Stocks are just plunging’…”  Pre-echoes of WWO as reported in today’s San Jose Mercury News.

One minute thirty-one seconds of WWO goodness by WWO videographer Kiyash Monsef. Jane McGonigal and I have been showing this teaser trailer at conferences and it always gets an ovation. To see the whole video, try the (new!) WWO home page.

Another story about Alternate Reality Games in The Escapist – noting among other things the launch of two other serious/educational ARGs following World Without Oil, Never Rest and Help Me Solve A Mystery.

From the Vint Technology update event, via MindBlizzard: “Yesterday’s speaker was Adjiedj Bakas, one of Europe’s Megatrendwatchers who gave us a view into the future. He adressed some 9 megatrends ranging from a ‘world without oil’ to a ‘shift in power’…. Which got me to thinking: if you buy one of these, does that come with any guarantee that you’ll be able to fuel it up if a crisis comes?

Gas Rationing CouponThanks, Tennessee Jed, for blogging this: a Gas Rationing Coupon, printed en masse for the 1979 oil crisis but never deployed. Does the U.S. Gov have coupons ready these days? If so, betcha they don’t have George Washington on them; these days, it’s Andrew Jackson, minimum. (Soon to be Ben Franklin)

Jane at Web 2.0Just found this today: Jane McGonigal’s talk at the Web 2.0 summit in mid-October, on She observes that games these days offer players many joys and satisfactions they can’t get as easily in real life, and predicts that we will see more efforts to make reality more like games. WWO is one of the signs Jane cites that indicate this shift is happening. Check it out…

The oil crisis is on, and the country is in disarray. Parts of the country are unaffected, while others stagger under rationing, long queues, the collapse of public transit, and eruptions of violence at gas stations. More and more gas stations ignore government mandates, and the black market is burgeoning.

Sound like World Without Oil  to you? Me too. But it’s not fiction: it’s happening right now in China, according to this article in The Economist, November 22. Unwilling to curb demand, or even to raise prices at the pump, China is forcing itself to get more oil. Whose?

Today marks the end of the World Without Oil alternate reality –  32 weeks after the start of the oil crisis, April 30, 2007.  You can relive that moment  in (alternate) time by going here. A good time, maybe, to plan your garden for next spring?

Looking for lift: Airlines cut growth targets to deal with rising fuel costs.” The article’s first sentence: “Several major airlines outlined plans Tuesday to slow their growth and cut costs to deal with higher fuel prices and the prospect of an economic slowdown that could hurt air travel.” And: “Huge demand for tiny car” – “Thousands of motorists want to be among the first owners of the fuel-sipping Smart car in the United States, demand that is racing past production capacity, Daimler AG executives said Tuesday.” In the San Jose Mercury News.

A good catch today by Gracesmom (Marie Lamb): Thieves take truck, gallons of oil in the Kennebec, Maine area. Eerily reminiscent of many reports we got in WWO…

It was the world's first serious alternate reality game, a cooperative pre-imagining of a global oil crisis. Over 1900 players collaborated in May 2007 to chronicle the oil crisis with their own personal blog posts, videos, images and voicemails. The game ended after simulating the first 32 weeks of the oil shock, but its effects continue, as game designers analyze its unique gameplay and we all watch the continuing drama with global oil prices and supply.