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ARG Designer Skarped: Games Can Learn From Theatre

At the Dutch Festival of Games in Utrecht, The Netherlands, alternate reality game designer Adriana Skarped gave a lecture discussing her work on the Emmy Award-winning alternate reality game The Truth About Marika, which was commissioned by Swedish television, and produced by The company P.

Skarped talked about not only being the game master, but truly becoming a living character in the game. As the starring actress, there was even a moment when players were supposed to rescue Skarped from a van where she was actually bound and gagged.

The designer spoke on the nature of ARGs, their ethos of questioning society, and changes in perspective, saying, "If you want to, you can look at this game as a spell."

Afterwards, Gamasutra sat down with Skarped for an exclusive chat in which she talked about living the game, business models for the ARG, why the genre is shunned by the game industry, and why games are like theater.

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