Supporter Looks Back at the Success of Obama’s ARG

Gene Koo of TechPresident describes his experience with the reality game play of campaign site/ARG

It featured minimal graphics, no sound effects, and deeply flawed gameplay. Yet one of the most important game titles of 2008 was played by thousands and helped change the face of American politics…

MyBO awarded Obama supporters with points for taking real-world actions that would likely help the candidate win the primaries and the general election: making phone calls to voters, hosting gatherings, and donating money… MyBO was the first serious ARG deployed by a political campaign…


For most supporters, the points likely functioned as a curiosity. Still, the point system helped signal what kinds of activities really mattered, and it probably had something to do with the over 200,000 events hosted and 27,000 groups created on MyBO – an impressive number even after you discount some set of bogus ones put on to game the system…

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  1. 0
    Ambiguous says:

    I’ve always heard it as "augmented" reality game.  Never heard it as alternate.  Makes more sense that way anyway, in that its like an add-on to reality, as opposed to be another one entirely.

  2. 0
    Herrvillain says:

    Is there a meaning for, "ARG", that I’m not aware of?  The only meaning I know for it is, "Alternate Reality Game", and there’s nothing "alternate reality" about this, unless you’re really stretching the term.  It’s more like Folding@Home meets viral marketing meets cold-call fundraising.

    By the definition of ARG used here, several training supplement companies have been running ARGs for years by allowing amateur athletes to earn credits and products as rewards for attracting customers.  Conversely, by my definition, an ARG is a set of unfolding, dramatic circumstances that people can participate in, but that has no bearing on actual reality.

    Edit:  OK, so the author of the article is altering it to "augmented reality game" because he’s apparently a bit of a kook.  That term doesn’t even make any sense.

  3. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    I’d be surprised if he wasn’t.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  4. 0
    Zevorick says:

    That’s actually quite impressive. See, this is the future of campaigning folks. I’d love to see republicans and even independents get this sort of thing going too.

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