The VESSEL Project is an alternate reality game set in a fictionalised version of Elliot Lake. A weekend-long festival where the town of Elliot Lake becomes the setting of a real-world ‘video game’ – where players, as themselves, solve puzzles/gather clues/overcome challenges while experiencing a story created and performed by community participants. Participants would include community groups, individuals, and businesses, all working in tandem to sustain an immersive story experience for players.
This would be the climax and culmination of a year-long community creativity project. Groups made up of citizens, led by professional artists, would come together to develop the fictional version of Elliot Lake which will be superimposed over reality. Creative digital media projects created by community members, supported by artists and an education initiative, would bring this world to life. These artistic endeavours would be used as storytelling material and artefacts in the alternate reality game, but would also become a virtual gallery of media arts celebrating the creativity of the community.
An Alternate Reality Game
• Set in the physical space of Elliot Lake (and area depending on interest)
• The game would incorporate environmental, historical and cultural elements of the town and area into the story.
• The experience would be created by participants in the community, including community groups, businesses and individuals
• Multi-stage operation
• The narrative begins online with clues and media and builds up to a physical game set in EL over a weekend.
• Contribute the media and artefacts that create the fictional version of Elliot Lake
• Examples: create stories, art work, podcasts, video series, blogs, emails, texts, fictional letters, puzzles, costumes, props, etc.
• All contributions archived on a website for players to discover. Contributions that can be presented in print edited for a print-on-demand book.
• ARG clues will be embedded in the media and artefacts
• If funding allows, a location-based app that will contribute to the game and integrate the transmedia. This app will continue to be useful and
downloadable after the game (although will eventually become obsolete due to technology restrictions.)
• Digital media and art classes and workshops to teach community members how to use these media
• Guest artist workshops and talks to inform the community.
• Fellowship opportunities for participants.