Uproar is an ARG created by the Outsiders who are bringing awareness to the low-income community who are being impacted by climate change. The ARG took place on the University of Washington Bothell campus on May 31th, 2018. There were over 50 players joined the game over the spans of two hours.
The Outsiders is a group of eleven students who wanted to bring people together and to have an allied voice to be heard.
"We are the unifier of the under representatives"
The Uproar project had a few restrictions to began with:
1. This was a quarter-long class project, with three preset factions: the Establishment, the Anti-Establishment, and the Outsiders. Students were randomly placed in one of the three factions.
2. Each faction had to come up with their own identities.
3. At the end of the quarter, each group had to come up with an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) that is interconnected.
4. The game had to relate to climate change.
We want to create an experience that brings up the awareness of the issue that the lower income populations are often facing the threat of gentrification, and we wanted to recreate the story with the wetlands on UW Bothell campus to bring a more relatable and emotional experience.
We identified the properties that make people feel emotionally invested. We decided to build the identity of the Outsiders as an underdog in a bigger society with the other two factions.
Players took on the role as The Outsiders’ agents to help us fight against the Midnight Industries, owned by the Establishment, from bulldozing the North Creek Wetlands into a shopping mall. The Outsiders are looking for people who are brave to step up and save our wetlands.
As an Outsiders, we didn't have as many resources as the Establishment. All we have was the connections with the marginalized group of people (in this case are the students on the campus), and a future that we wanted to protect.
The 4 nodes
The Protest Node
The first node: Protest Node is where we explained to the students about the Midnight Industries plans to bulldoze and develop the wetland, and we the Outsiders are fighting and protesting against them to stop their plan to build their luxury apartments and high-end shopping center along the wetlands. This is also where one of the Outsiders will recruit the students and explain "We are running a game to engage the campus in joining the resistance to environmental destruction for the sake of profit. If you’d like to play, come make a sign for us and help spread the word. From here you’ll be a member of the outsider faction."
This is the video introduction for the Protest Node.
The Mother Base
The second node: Mother Base is where the player come to learn more about the faction. They will be introduced to their next mission at the Espionage Node by showing the introduction video; while the faction leader hands them their fake ID. There is also a meter to measure the collective progress of the players.
We designed this fake ID using the same dimensions as the student ID,
so when we hand the students their fake ID, the photo will be showing from the blue box on the fake ID card.
This is the video introduction to the Espionage Node.
The Espionage Node
The third node: Espionage Node is where the players need to take the fake ID and sneak past the goons, into the Midnight Industries office to look for a binder with the sensitive documents and a code to a lockbox. The players will then find three different types of seeds in the lockbox that Midnight Industries are using for future research and modification. After the players collected the evidence they will return to the mother base.
The Planting Node
The fourth node: Planting Node is where the players will be prompted to plant the seeds they got from the Espionage Node. The message for the players is that no matter the outcome of the fight against the Midnight Industries, the seeds are their first step in their personal journey of resistance.
"Thank you for playing our game, the plant is a little present from the Outsiders. We hope to send out the message that it is everyone's responsibility to harness towards a sustainable future. A little plant might not do much, but it is a symbol that hopefully, people will be willing to stand out and make a difference to the society"
Our message to the players.
The Campus game map
In order to get people to know come to ARG, we had a media campaign. We created social media, made websites, designed posters/ fliers and made a trailer for the game. We decided to create two websites for the ARG, one for The Outsiders and one for the Midnight Industries to create some tension between the two parties and get people interested in the game.
This links to the Outsiders website.
This flyers for the media campaign.