Bleed and the ARG

 When watching Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, I became fascinated with concept of bleeding in and bleeding out. I immediately went and reread the Bowman article “Bleed: The Spillover Between Player and Character” after Tuesday’s discussion. After this I started to look at different examples of bleed in and out in pop culture as well as in ARGs.

              Even though a very elementary example quite literally, I think the show Hannah Montana does a very good job of depicting bleed. As a student who even quoted Hannah Montana in my college essays, I have long been a fan of the show. I was always intrigued with how Hannah Montana/ Miley Cyrus managed her changing role. One of the interesting aspects of the show is that early on, her friends do not even know that she is Hannah Montana. This is done in order to try to allow her to have a normal teenage life without the added attention from the media. I feel like this disguise actually influences Miley in a negative way. In the show, certain aspects of her character Hannah Montana start to bleed out into her everyday life as Miley Cyrus. This can be seen as the show goes on because Miley starts talking like Hannah Montana which is not true to herself. At certain points before her friends find out, she also acts like a prima donna as part of the star of Hannah Montana starts to bleed into her everyday personality. If this were a real life examples, Miley Cyrus would have been much better off if she had just performed herself instead of in costume. This would have prevented the bleed between two characters that was difficult to maintain.

              Bleeding out is much less likely to have permanent effects within the world of ARGs. This is because normally ARGs do not last all that long to have effects on the personality of the player. Bleeding in is very real in terms of ARGs. This is because a lot of times players get to choose  their characters personality and will similarly mirror similar aspects of their own personality. This allows the player to feel more comfortable in their role. Although bleed is not inherently good or bad, I believe that bleed in is very beneficial within the ARG community. This allows games to flow much more naturally because characters are less likely to try personalities extremely different from their own. When participating in ARGs, bleed is good as long as the player can recognize this bleed and correct it if it becomes overpowering.

One thought on “Bleed and the ARG

  1. Very interesting post! I did not put the connection between Hannah Montana and bleed together until reading this post, but I agree that the show certainly does incorporate it heavily in its narrative. Many of the comedic and farcical situations arise from this bleed, as she attempts to maintain a double-identity but runs into issues in doing so. Primary to these are, as you note, the different ways in which she acts in different situations. The bleed can also take a physical manifestation as well, as there are numerous gags surrounding her wig and the symbolism of the second identity which lies therein. If Miley forgets to take it off, it is a conveyer of her status as Hannah Montana and, hence, also represents the different mental states of the two personalities and the bleed which can occur between them. Bleed can certainly be incorporated into the narrative in interesting ways, where the character is experiencing it within the diegesis of the film, but the actor themselves are not actually experiencing bleed in their day-to-day lives.


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