Sunday, July 13, 2008

World Without Oil…. It was just a game, right?

I have been watching world events unfold. I cannot begin to tell you how creepy I feel when I see news of banks collapsing, the price of oil rising constantly, attacks on the Nigerian oil fields, a possible blockade in the straight of hormuz, just to name a few. Why is this so unsettling to me?

I have already lived it.

I was one of the participants in the World Without Oil simulation.

Before I get to the sites which are “must read” material, allow me to bring you up to speed on the present state of gaming on the Internet.

Usually, people play games for enjoyment. These games take on a variety of forms. One example is the MMPORPG type (Massive-Multi player-Online-Role-Playing-Games). Games run all the way from simple time wasters to heavily financed, very complex ARG’s. New types of games are coming out all the time. Spore has received a lot of press. I would like to focus on Chaotic Fiction. CF is the umbrella heading that WWO falls under.

Chaotic Fiction includes ARG’s, experiences, (such as the Heroes 360 experience), and Serious Gaming. Most of your large CF events are used as viral marketing for major corporations. The Lost Ring has to do with the Olympics. Probably one of the most famous games was I love Bees. I understand that ILB was about two thirds of the way through before the players discovered that it was a viral marketing device for Halo 2.

Serious Gaming grew out of CF. One of the better known ones is Dark Winter. Go now, read and come back appropriately scared. Disclaimer: it is a 44 page pdf but it is worth the read.

Back so soon? OK, that brings us to World Without Oil.

Here is the wiki page for WWO. Its mission was to test a theory that, in a crisis, a community could form on the Internet and help solve the crisis. The solutions would come about from massive research and idea sharing. One interesting thing that came out of WWO was the discovery of what caused the crisis (we were never told). During the process of driving the narrative forward, reasons were discovered. These reasons were so plausible that they were accepted as canon. I can only say that the hive mind was functioning perfectly. As I review how these events unfolded in the alternate reality of WWO, I am feeling an ever increasing anxiety.


Because those events are beginning to happen in this reality.

Next: the reasons and the parallels.

The official World Without Oil site

The official Blog

NOTE: If you are here because of a WWO search, are a former player, or are beginning to blog on the possibility of an upcoming crisis let me know. I will start a separate blog roll just for this topic.


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