The Beast

The BeastThe first successful alternate reality game, this project never had an official name or website, but involved writing and work in other media being distributed across the Web on thirty sites; on other Internet servies; via phone, fax, USPS, bathroom walls, and live events; as well as on TV. It never advertised itself as a game and in fact declared “this is not a game.” Microsoft developed this non-game, which centered on the mystery of the death of Evan Chan, to promote the movie A.I. Thousands worked to solve what came to be called “The Beast” — which involved interpreting nearly 4,000 documents (in four languages), constructing a nightmare database, decrypting from the WWII Enigma code, and so on — a feat only possible with many readers cooperating online.