Sometimes You Go to a Dead Drop…

…and sometimes the dead drop comes to you.

Forgive the departure from only talking about game events. I promise I won’t make a habit of writing long rambling META posts, but this does relate to dead drops and live events. And you might even learn something of value if you mange to read through this whole thing.

One statement that I’ve seen almost every ARGer make at some point in time is the complaint of “I wish that there would be an ARG in my town/city/general local area.” I’ve even been guilty of this thought once or twice – usually as I’m driving far too long of a distance to attend an event. It’s an understandable wish. Most people don’t really like traveling hours to participate in an event that may only take a fraction of the time it took to get there. And if you’re going out to a dead drop, there’s always the very real chance that it may be found before you even get there, making your long distance trip a complete waste.

What frustrates me, however, is when people seem to refuse to play a game simply because it appears to have a specific geographical tilt. “What if I do start playing and I put all this time into it and then it ends with a live event I can not possibly get to. It would feel like a bit of an anti-climax.”1 To me, ARGs are more than just the live events that can occur during play. Live events may be the frosting on the cake, but I don’t eat cake just for the frosting, and I don’t play ARGs just to participate in live events. I play for the story that is being unfolded over days, weeks and months and for my chance to impact that story through character interaction or puzzle solving or even just observation. Anything beyond that, from receiving swag or meeting a character, is just a bonus – like finding a $5 bill in the gutter when you’re going out for a walk.