Steve Peters

Experience Design

DaVinci Code ARG!?

Settling into your theater seat, you grab your popcorn and raisinettes (alas, no more Flicks, but that's another story [edit: wait! They ARE back!]) and watch as the trailers for upcoming films begin. Oooh! Another of those films is coming out that's being touted as the blockbuster of the season! What's this? At the end of the trailer, over the credits, some weird stuff seemed to flash up on the screen. Too bad it was so fast that you couldn't make it out, but it looked cool, whatever it was.

But never fear! That's what the internet is for, isn't it? As soon as you get home, you log on, do a search, and find that what you saw leads to a website that doesn't quite make sense. Very mysterious. As you dig deeper, the WTF factor grows. Hidden messages, more websites, puzzles. You've stumbled down the rabbithole of a new Alternate Reality Game! Woohoo!

Today, Sony Pictures released the trailer for the upcoming Tom Hanks film, The DaVinci Code. Viewers are treated to the exact scenario detailed above.....sort of.

At the end of the trailer, certain phrases and letters glow. First, the word "Seek," followed by the letters T, H, S, E, C, D, E, and O.

OMG, Seekthecodes.com!

It's a.....it's a..........fake blog with puzzles, riddles and links back to the movie site, ostensibly by some fan named Lisa S. Nice. Nothing like trying to jump on the bandwagon without knowing what the bandwagon is. Oh, I get it. Let's do everything but actually produce an ARG, just make it look like we did. That way, we get all the same buzz with none of the extra cost! Brilliant!

So, let's add seekthecodes.com to the list which includes my favorites ourcolony.net and origenxbox360.com, sites which promised something and never delivered, and gave Alternate Reality Games a bad name, to boot.

No ARG here, move along, people. But be sure to drink your Ovaltine before you go.