ARG,  Immersive Fiction,  Interactive Novel,  PersonalEffects: Dark Art

Blogging the Dark Art ARG: Reading in the next Dimension


Picture this, an outdoor cafe on a sunny Saturday in June, friends meeting for coffee, burgers, and the taste of another reality. The WiFi connection provides our portal to another world. We’re deep in the story now, and it feels like going to a movie and being able to step through the screen to interact with characters and the set. We’re reading the new interactive novel, Personal Effects: Dark Art,by J.C. Hutchins.

We pass props around, make notes on legal pads or the backs of envelopes or on napkins. This is like no book we’ve ever read. And while we read the book itself the way we’ve always read stories, alone, taking the journey individually, the props included with the story pave a path that brings us all to the same place: a story that we can experience together in another dimension. Some readers might stop at the last page of the book, and  some, like my friends and I, will keep going past the back cover, through our computer screens and into virtuality.

We’ve got a good mix of talent to serve us on our adventure: two romance writers, a couple of computer geeks, a retired detective, a lawyer, a friend fluent in Russian, a friend fluent in finance, and a Voodoo expert. Some come to our meeting of minds in person and some participate via Internet from other states and countries.

Word is that if you follow the clues yourself, you’ll discover things the hero missed, arrive at a different conclusions. It’s a chance to become co-protagonists. Well, we’re about to find out. I’ll be blogging this second phase of the story as we make our way through the clues.

Stay tuned for updates. And, feel free to join in.

Find out more about the Novel at Hutchins’ site or the character blog written by the hero’s girlfriend.