INSILVA

Urban Game | Łódź, Poland, spring 2015

In the spring of 2015, the Łódź Museum asked us if we would like to create an ARG game for them (a game of the alternate reality), for the creation of which they just received funds from the Orange Academy Foundation. We were very glad to cooperate with the Museum, although somewhere inside ourselves we felt that they did not fully realize what ARG really was and what problems the organization of such a game would entail.

Alternate Reality Game (ARG) is an interactive network storytelling that uses the principle of symbiosis of various media to lead and maintain a story. The environment in which the game unfolds is the real world in the full spectrum (also in a digital one), in which there are elements made by the creators of the game. These can be either physical objects located in space, or some websites created for the game, or social media accounts as well. Game participants have a constant influence on its course and development, so that the game developers must quickly and dynamically respond and interact with the players, too.

The theme of the game was to be Old Polesye (in silva – which literally means “in the woods” in Latin) – a part of the city which was created during the rapid development of Łódź at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. We wanted the game’s plot to combine the current problems of this part of the city with an extraordinary story, taken as if from a new adventurous movie (as it was the case in the Indiana Jones series of adventurous films). The participants discovered a story about a mysterious stone of a great power related to the Aztec mythology, which was brought to the developing Łódź, as well as about the grim fate of all who used its unusual properties. And since the rumours and information about the stone has long been lost, we  entrusted its search to the participants of the game. The axis of the tory was Lucjan Ogromski, a local activist who believes in conspiracy theories, holds his own video blog and website insilva.com. Unrevealed history, secrets, Aztec legends – and a criminal organization operating under the name of the development company Terranova which is greedy and keen on finding this artefact that has been lost so many years ago.

In silva is the second ARG project implemented by the Department of games. Despite multiple difficulties arising from the specifics of this type of games, we managed to attract a large group of Łódź residents to look for the stone and decide the fate of the humanity and … of course, Old Polesye as well. The world was saved once again!

Partners: City of Lodz Museum, Akademia Orange foundation, 

Coordinator: Michał Gruda

Master of the game: Vojislav Radojicić

Game designers: Vojislav Radojicić, Joanna Ufnalska, Piotr Lipski,

Location manager: Joanna Ufnalska

Graphic designer: Mateusz Dziwroski

Video: Adam Musiałowicz (Efekt Imago)

Webmaster: Krzysztof Kupczyński

Actors: Dariusz Postolski, Piotr Lipski

Support: Michał Grelewski, Izabela Walczak, Dariusz Lisowski, Wiktoria Rybka