Rabbit Holes and Social Media

Debatably the best form of a rabbit hole is the use of social media. This is true for many reasons that I will get into on this blog post. I will then compare how the different forms of social media offer different advantages and disadvantages. First, I will react on the in-class exercise of deploying these rabbit holes on other class members. I thought that this exercise was one of the most important that we have done in the class thus far. It is very important for an ARG to have a good rabbit hole; without the rabbit hole, players would have no way to step into the game world. Because of this, the rabbit hole needs to be seamless and fairly universal. This exercise helped my group decide how our own rabbit hole would be achieved. It also let us see how the strengths and weaknesses of the different forms of social media could be put to good use.

              In the previous paragraph, I mentioned that a rabbit hole must be fairly universal in order to draw in a wide and diverse player group. That is why social media is such a good rabbit hole. If we were to do something within the university for an ARG, the player group would be small (only a possible of around 6,000 undergrads at the university) and not very diverse especially in terms of thinking. Social media on the other hand can pull from millions and millions of possible players. These potential players are all extremely different and represent the general population well. Social Media is also a good rabbit hole because it is not expensive. When trying to reach out to a broad group of people hoping that some will respond, you do not want this to be expensive. For example even something as simple as using a physical object for the rabbit hole that only costs around $1, would result in extreme costs before the game has even started. Social media on the other hand does not cost a single dollar. Social Media is also a good rabbit hole because it can tell a full story. Social media profiles are supposed to give a glimpse into the entire life of the person. Because of this, social media can tell a full story and be riddled with clues.

              Now that I have explained why social media is in general a good rabbit hole, I will break down the individual forms of social media. In my opinion, I believe that twitter is the best form of social media for a rabbit hole. This is for a plethora of reasons: 1) twitter allows for all forms of media including pictures, videos, link, that could lead to the next step, 2) twitter profiles can be built and established a long time before the game in order to establish credibility, 3) people are more likely to interact with a tweet than a link in an email because of less fear of security. I believe that LinkedIn is also a very good form for a rabbit hole this is because LinkedIn is fairly official and people are much less likely to scam you on this platform. On the other side, people are not often looking for play on LinkedIn and might be deterred from entering into the rabbit hole. Thirdly, I believe that Facebook is a fairly good platform based alone on how much you can build up and hide within a page. However, people are generally pretty wary of Facebook scams and that might deter participants as well.

One thought on “Rabbit Holes and Social Media

  1. I enjoyed your analysis of social media in use of a rabbit whole. I wanted to mention an interesting case of an ARG that used a rabbit hole specifically disguised as spam, however. https://max2019info.tumblr.com/post/175279726791/max2019-arg-full-summary
    It’s not necessary to read the whole summary, but what started this ARG was a rabbit hole on Tumblr: a blog that appeared to just be a ‘porn bot’ (aka a blog not run by a person, but rather an algorithm that fishes for people to click less-than-safe links) was sending out a strange, yet still spam-like message to various other blogs on Tumblr. The message was strange enough that someone eventually clicked the link with the message, and instead of being transported to the expected unsafe site, it lead to a series of strange websites, blogs, and images that helped unravel the story of the ARG.
    In the end, I think this helps show that even if your social media rabbit hole reads as spam, or a scam, or something similar, as long as it is sufficiently interesting, someone will eventually look into it.


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