The ambitious Year Zero alternate reality game (ARG), a work of cross-media art involving websites, emails, phone calls, album packaging, tour t-shirts, thumb drives, music videos, murals, and live concert events with the new music of Nine Inch Nails at its core. Playing out over 10 weeks, the Year Zero ARG engaged over 2.5M participants. It started with a message hidden in the back of a concert t-shirt that lead to online websites - ultimately over 29 websites discovered over several months, 7.5M page views, 7M forum postings, 2M phone calls and thousands of original art submissions.
维基百科上对alternate reality game (ARG) 的翻译是：
An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions.
The form is typified by intense player involvement with a story that takes place in real-time and evolves according to participants' responses, and characters that are actively controlled by the game's designers, as opposed to being controlled by artificial intelligence as in a computer or console video game. Players interact directly with characters in the game, solve plot-based challenges and puzzles, and often work together with a community to analyze the story and coordinate real-life and online activities. ARGs generally use multimedia, such as telephones, email and mail but rely on the Internet as the central binding medium.
ARGs are growing in popularity, with new games appearing regularly and an increasing amount of experimentation with new models and subgenres. They tend to be free to play, with costs absorbed either through supporting products (e.g. collectible puzzle cards fund Perplex City) or through promotional relationships with existing products (e.g. I love bees was a promotion for Halo 2, and the Lost Experience promoted the television show Lost). However, pay-to-play models are not unheard of.
ARGs are now being recognized by the mainstream entertainment world: The Fallen Alternate Reality game was recently awarded a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for an Interactive Television Program.