Saturday, August 1, 2009

Personal Effects: Dark Art

A comment on my post about "Crime Dossier" series from the 30's piqued my interest in the supernatural thriller/interactive mystery "Personal Effects: Dark Art" by J.C. Hutchins and Jordan Weisman . From the reviews and description on Amazon it looks like a modern take on the technique used by the Dossier's of using props to create a richer, more immersive experience. As this Flickr gallery from Daniel Rodriquez demonstrates, they didn't skimp on the extras:

Clues within the story lead to a number of active telephone numbers and websites, like this one for the Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital, where much of the story takes place. It's all very ARG-like, which isn't surprising considering the involvement of Jordan Weisman. I've enjoyed his work since he was banging out supplements for the Traveller role playing game at FASA, but much of his modern fame came from designing the alternate reality games for big-budget films like "A.I." and "The Dark Knight".

One thing I did find amusing about the reviews on Amazon was the heavy use of "revolutionary" to describe the book's interactive, prop-heavy presentation...just like Dennis Wheatley was doing back in the 1930's. That said, I definitely plan on ordering a copy when I finish up all the Wheatley Dossier's I ordered earlier this week. If anyone is aware of similar books I'd love to hear about them as well.

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