To players of alternate reality games (ARGs) like I Love Bees, Tombstone Hold 'em, A World without Oil and others, Jane McGonigal is a household name.
If the people at the International Olympics Committee, McDonald's, and worldwide brand experience firm AKQA have anything to say about it, the list of people who know McGonigal and her work will soon expand geometrically.
That's because she's the lead designer on The Lost Ring, a new ARG that launched earlier this month that is tied to this summer's Beijing Olympics and which McDonald's, AKQA and the IOC are partnering on with McGonigal.
The game is built around the fictional concept that more than 2,000 years ago an Olympic sport was lost to history and that now, five Olympic-caliber athletes have turned up in corn fields around the world, amnesiac but sure they've been tasked with some great mission.
Players of The Lost Ring, then, are similarly tasked with helping these five people figure out their identities, and in the process, rediscovering this lost Olympic sport.