Main Page > Wiki FAQ
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What is Game Detectives?
Hi there! We are a fun and welcoming community centered around the discovery and solving of ARGs - Alternate Reality Games. Our community was originally called Steam Sale Detectives and existed as a subreddit dedicated to uncovering the mysteries surrounding the Steam 2015 Winter Sale. This investigation proved very popular, and a Discord chat server was created for real-time investigation discussion.
Our community quickly grew to over 14,000 subscribers in a very short time and, shortly after the sale concluded, it was decided that we would change our name to encompass ARGs and mysteries separate from the original Steam sale. To facilitate this, an entirely new subreddit was created.
Since that time, a dedicated community has solidified. Major ARGs we have solved since then include the Eye Sigil ARG, Frog Fractions 2, and the Sombra ARG. Our community encompasses both a subreddit and a Discord server which contains discussion on the latest ARGs, as well as various auxiliary chat topics (including general gaming, programming, science and more).
How can I join the community?
You're very welcome to join us! You don't need anything special to get involved, apart from a little interest:
- Check out our subreddit
- Come chat in Discord
- Follow us on Twitter
- Join our Steam group
- Our home page
What is an ARG?
ARG stands for Alternate Reality Game.
An ARG usually uses real-world clues to take players on a journey outside of any traditional entertainment medium. This often involves a chain of leads which is advanced through based on investigative work by participants. In the majority of cases, anyone with an interest should be able to participate. It is common that an ARG will be stumbled upon accidentally, with no direct confirmation by its organizer (or 'puppet-master'); however, clues along the way should confirm its existence. These clues often include various puzzles and cryptography.
In the context of video games, ARGs often include information surrounding a game or its plot. Sometimes certain clues can only be found in-game, or 'obscure' websites.
Although purists may argue that all ARGs must follow very strict guidelines to be referred to as such, the term is commonly used to describe any cross-media meta game through which players progress based on solving a series of clues.
Can I make my own ARG?
Well, you can, but there's no guarantee it'll be picked up by the users that comprise our community, especially not if it consists entirely of rudimentary ciphers hosted on Pastebin. If you're planning to make an ARG, remember what ARG stands for: Alternate Reality Game. The best way to pull players into your ARG is to convincingly present an alternate reality to the players. If you lack the resources or willpower to do so, puppeteering an on-going ARG might not be for you.
I have information about a new ARG, where should I post it?
You can make a post on our subreddit, or use the #arg-general channel in our Discord server to discuss it with other users. If it attracts significant interest, the moderators will create a Discord channel for it and a corresponding flair on the subreddit.
Note: our community was created for solving and discussion about ARGs, not for hosting them or posting your own trailheads. To that end, please refrain from advertising your own ARGs on the subreddit or in Discord.
What are some examples of previous ARGs?
The purpose of this wiki is actually to organize and document past ARGs - you can find the complete list of documented ARGs here.
I'm totally lost on what all these codes are, but I'm interested in learning!
Check out the cryptography page on our wiki for some basic examples and explanations of ciphers.
How can I contribute to the Wiki?
Our wiki editors are generally people who have shown their initiative during contributions to previous ARGs, either by being exceptional puzzle-solvers or by facilitating others' understandings. The best way to go about becoming an approved wiki editor is to join us on Discord and start contributing to an active ARG, or just start hanging out!
I spotted an error! What should I do?
Leave a note on that page's "Talk" page, and a wiki editor will get around to fixing it. Alternatively, come into our Discord server and message a wiki editor directly - they're friendly and more than willing to help!
How do I get in touch with the mod team?
What do all the coloured names mean?
Here is the list of the roles in the Discord server:
- Bright Green: Admins
- Dark Green: Moderators
- Yellow: Official Bot (bots that assist with moderation)
- Blue: Wiki Editor
- Red: Agent (awarded for substantial contribution to the community)
- Purple: Detective (awarded to regulars of the Discord server)
- White: Member