I’m currently playing a game referred to as Doktor’s Evolution: Doktor Evolution’s 70 Day Birthday Challenge. Some would call it an “alternate-reality game”, but I think calling it a “bulletin board game” would be a better description. For the most part, the platform is a secret Facebook group-page that is invite only. There is a lot of asyncronous play and a lot of flexibility to what is considered play.
I was invited because I took part in previous events hosted by Doktor Evolution, but there was an invite posted on Glorious Trainwrecks this time. Once you are invited, a player is introduced to a mysterious figure named Doktor Evolution who puts up digital-creepy missives weekly. In each message (which is addressed to the whole group) we receive three experiments, some video-footage, and other flourishes such as a series platitudes accompanied by recurring emoticons.The tone of these messages is an important quality of the game because it has a big effect on how the players respond to the Doktor, the Doktor’s requests, and to other players. A good comparison for the tone would be a mixture between Max Headroom and a numbers-station.
As the week goes on players submit evidence onto the group-page that shows they completed experiments. We tend to comment on each other’s experiments and through this, a bit of role-play can begin to develop. It’s a strange and sometimes unnerving mixture. After Midnight (which is synonymous with a deadline), the Doktor finishes scoring all of our experiments and typically gives a brief hint to why we receive those particular scores. Sometimes it seems that there is a reliable, yet unknown rubric for scoring, other times it feels completely arbitrary. This leads to a development of our relationship with the Doktor both as a group and as individuals.
Experiment 2 for this week is to “Explain this group to someone not in it.” This here post is how I’m going to get mad points from the Doktor. I’m tied with Gus, sour week is coming, and I fully intend to evolve. This is also a contender for my GOTY so I want to establish that it exists for reference once that discussion begins.
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