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The Beast (Browser)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Description

The A.I. Game refers to the viral marketing activities surrounding the release of the Steven Spielberg movie A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. The game is cross platform in combining websites, staged events in American cities and other media such as telephone.

The game initially started with a strange credit sequence at the end of the movie trailer that included "Sentient Machine Therapist: Jeanine Salla". Googling for that information the player is shown a variety of sites dating from the future year 2142. Each site in turn has additional puzzles to solve. Each solved puzzle gives the player a tiny piece of information that helps advance the story. The story revolves around the murder of Evan Chan a fictional character in the game. In line with the film the main themes include robots, AIs, slavery and a struggle for equal rights.

The game's content was updated weekly in line with the advancing story up until the release of the movie several months after the release of the trailer. New sites would go up and old sites would go down or get hacked by opposing factions.

The game is designed in a fashion that it is virtually impossible for a single player to solve the game. It requires the forming of web communities to pool gathered information in order to see the whole picture. Puzzles have players read from literature, decipher enigma codes, translate from a dozen different languages and dig in the source codes of various websites. There were even real-world events in various major American cities where "anti-robot" rallies were held by professional actors hired for the game. Aside from websites there are also telephone numbers to be called for mysterious messages and emails and faxes that can be received.

Screenshots

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Alternate Titles

  • "The A.I. game" -- Informal name

Part of the Following Group

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Trivia

Difficulty

The structure of the game allowed the developers to secretly help the players whenever they had become hopelessly stuck, by providing partial puzzle solutions while posing as a player of the game or by slightly adjusting puzzles.

Related Web Sites

  • Cloudmakers.org (A major community site that sprung to life with the sole purpose of solving the game.)
vedder (20101) added The Beast (Browser) on Jul 04, 2009