You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 22, 2008.

Amid all the economic doom and gloom, you might have missed the little wire service blurb about the gas station clerk in Nitro, West Virginia (I am not making this up) who was caught selling gasoline to family and friends for 0.1 cents a gallon. We saw a lot of this sort of thing in WWO. It may seem relatively minor (although this clerk apparently pumped $50K worth before being caught) but it has a deeper significance: WWO players pinpointed this sort of fraud as the reason that any gas rationing scheme would likely fail in the U.S. – the lure of the black market would just be irresistible.

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.