About this ARG

“Play it before you live it.”

What would you do if you were not able to graduate because of cuts to SUNY Oswego’s budget?

Stop panicking…. start discussing!

‘Save SUNY Oswego!’ is an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) developed as a class project. It could be called an experiment in collective storytelling, a radical new media project, or an internet ‘hoax’ with a social message! Anyone can play, and the whole Internet is the playground (participants interact with the narrative in real-time using a variety of communication technologies such as email, blogs, SMS, video and audio podcasts, etc.). By framing the experience as an ARG, this project seeks to involve various members of the Oswego community in analyzing a real-life problem, collectively articulating a multitude of realistic and possible responses to it, and examining the ethical question of what form action should take after the game.

This project is not officially affiliated with any SUNY organization, and the content does not reflect the views or opinions of anyone other than the authors. You can play the game from April 7 to April 16, 2009. You can also join us for a wrap-up discussion during Quest on April 22 at 4:00 PM.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to conduct an engaging and interactive Alternate Reality Game to help the SUNY Oswego community address the challenges of possible near-future budget cuts in the context of a state, national and global economic crisis. We seek to involve the community in a constructive dialogue about what we can do, individually and collectively, to prepare our school to meet these challenges. Our focus is on raising awareness, facilitating the generation of solutions, and eliciting action and involvement from members of the college community as well as the city of Oswego and beyond. Additionally, we want to research how new media can be used as a platform for simulation, collective problem solving, and social organizing.


What is an ARG/sARG?

Check out this wikipedia article for a full definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_reality_game

What is the purpose of this ARG?

The purpose of an ARG is to live out a scenario before it actually happens whether it could actually occur or not depends on the situation. The purpose of this ARG is to get student, faculty, staff, friends, and family of Oswego State to take our current economic situation and apply it to Oswego in the context that we no longer have enough funding to Graduate and to make players think what their lives would be like without Oswego State. What will you do? Where will you go? How does it make you feel? This game will be used for players to express themselves through blog, vlog, and other media.

Why should I care?

This is your school, your money, your education! Speak up and express yourself!

Why are you bothering? Hasn’t the SUNY crisis been solved already?

Sure, the recently passed state budget provides $75 million from SUNY’s unallocated reserves  to preserve access to student programs and to protect faculty and staff positions. And yes, the Legislature voted to restore some of the previous cuts to financial aid, and approved a $620 increase in SUNY tuition for 2009-2010 (with only 20 percent of it retained for SUNY, BTW). But the economic outlook still looks pretty grim, and Governor Paterson is already talking about contingency plans for the new budget due to a potential further erosion of tax revenues. Further spending cuts are possible in the months ahead, which might again impact SUNY. This ARG is a way to simulate and ‘play’ with this reality before we have to live it–and before it is too late to do anything about it.

What can I do to help?

Participate in this game, spread the word, attend our Quest panel and don’t stop caring once this game has ended. Talk to our Student Association, your Government officials, be active in your community!

Who created this game?

This game is a class assignment. It is being created and facilitated by Professor Ulises Mejias and class members from two of his Spring 2009 courses: Social Networks and the Web and Videogame Theory and Analysis.


6 responses

7 04 2009
Dahl Todd

I would be pretty upset if I was not able to graduate due to our terrible state budget plan. I am know that most everyone is right there with me when I say that Gov. Patterson should be gone from office. He is making life a lot harder on not only the students at SUNY Colleges but also the parents. Honestly I am going to stand up and take action if this gets any worse. Who’s with me?

12 04 2009

I hear you, Dahl. Things are bad and will probably get worse before they get better.
But you say that you’re going to stand up and take action if it gets worse. Why wait for it to happen? Why not do something now to prevent what we fear from occurring?

13 04 2009

I’m with you guys. Remember the whole tuition going up thing where the money is going to the state? And now the school’s closing… the best part is I don’t even live in this state so all that I get out of it is increased tuition, and now, no school. something’s gotta be done now.

15 04 2009

It’s been said a thousand times but I’ll say it again. When there are cuts that need to be made the government always sacrifices education. It doesn’t make any sense. They screwed up so then they screw us over.

16 04 2009
Robert Waloven

Posted in my article today I made a reference to “taxation without representation.” Sure, we know it’s not exactly the same thing, but it seems like more and more the government can make decision and people just blindly accept. Even the politicians blindly make decisions. “Hello! Patriot Act!?!?” In a way, the blame has to eventually be on the people. We are notorious for not acting until it’s too late. This is how revolutions star in the first place, it’s because people allowed things to get out of hand in the first place.

20 06 2009

Students should investigate and collect information about wasteful programs and expenses that can be cut to close budget gaps intead of this stupid game

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