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Surviving the Night: An International ARG Tell All

#sxsw #Journey


Each Summer, thousands of people of all ages and interests participate in local variations of the alternate reality game known as "Journey to the End of the Night", a free, non-sponsored, community-supported race through the streets of major metropolitan cities. The rules are simple but the outcome is anything but: Players travel between checkpoints as fast as they can while avoiding being caught by chasers. Those who survive are rewarded while those who are caught become chasers themselves. Based on the successes of SFZero's model of collaborative gaming, Journey to the End of the Night has grown into an international cultural phenomenon and continues to fascinate new players year after year.

This panel brings together game organizers from the EU and both coasts of the United States to discuss the motivation, planning, and concept development behind each Journey, the need for mass-culture events free of mainstream influence, use of mobile gaming technology, stories and unique insights from the field, and what has been learned from more than 20 combined years of planning and executing this unique alternate reality game.


Brandon Schmittling Creative Dir Cluster Media

***Updated - Brandin is leading the panel "Surviving the Night: An International ARG Tell All". For more info, visit

Brandon is a DC resident and works as UX Designer & Engineer for Free Range Studios. He has worked as an interactive and print designer for Verdeo, WebFirst, Hirshorn Zuckerman Design Group, and as a consultant for more than a decade with his company, Cluster Media. When not pursuing his love of experimental cocktails, Brandon teaches at Boston University's Center for Digital Imaging Arts and organizes events like SurviveDC and Park(ing) Day. Brandon finds inspiration in the Happenings of the 1970's, the Ant Farm Collective, the Flaming Lips parking lot experiments, and other unsolicited acts of spontaneous public creativity.

Markus Hametner

CompSci masters student, consultant & developer in all things web, organizer of street games, entrepreneur.
Most recently founder of a online journalism project that rethinks how long-form developing news can be presented:

Will help run Journey to the End of the Night: Austin on March 10:

Sam Lavigne Co-founder Situate

Sam is a game designer from San Francisco. His games focus on blending real-world and game-world interactions, using urban landscapes as playgrounds, and creating opportunities for play in everyday situations.

Sean Mahan Designer / Developer SFZero

Sean W. Mahan is a game designer and software engineer living and working in San Francisco, CA. His games–including SFZero, Journey to the End of the Night, and Pheon–have been played in esteemed museums and back alleys across the world since 2004. Featured in Wired, AdBusters, the Wall Street Journal, and Rhizome, his work engenders a collision of real-world exploration and online community.

He is currently helping to build the future of collaboration in the AEC industry at Knowledge Architecture.

Thomas Lotze Data Analysis Specialist Grockit

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