Obey or Dismantle Broken Down

March 25, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | Comments Off on Obey or Dismantle Broken Down
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ObeyI’ve been reading a lot of fan forums. Arenanet doesn’t tend to host it’s own forums, they rely on fansites to do the dirty work. I’m sure it’s cheaper, gets the fans more involved, and they don’t have to deal with nonsense internet trolls. I’m sure there are a lot of advantages to hosting you’re own forums too, staying on message, deleting those pesky forum threads that make you look bad, and releasing game information in the format that you want it to be released in.

Part of the reason I’ve been reading the forums for Guild Wars 2 so much (and stealing all their headlines) is that they hit upon the Obey or Dismantle meme (viral marketing / Alternate Reality Game / propaganda / whatever you want to call it) first.

At the Games Developer Conference and Emerald City Comic Con, Arenanet employees started handing out fliers. One enterprising individual figured out that part of the flier could be run through a barcode scanner and got the URL http://www.guildwars.com/white_mantle, from there, the address for http://www.guildwars.com/shining_blade was quickly found. After more investigation it was noticed that on Regina Buenaobra’s journal page on the Guild Wars Wiki her latest entry had the words obey and dismantle strangely italicized. A meme quickly started up with people taking sides, adding #obey or #dismantle to their posts, comments on blogs, whatever. All obviously patterned after the oldest cultural meme I was ever aware of, Obey Giant.

In the source code, someone discovered a date March 16th (around when this all got started) and then days later a couple of messages in each site. The Obey code read “Go, Discover Contentment. Truth is obedience.” which someone quickly pointed out refers to the GDC. The Dismantle code read “”Mantle has discovered plans. Writing is on wall.” Finally a few days later, wallpaper versions of the obey flier were added to the white mantle site. Finally, the 3rd part of the GDC concept art presentation video had a few seconds of white mantle propaganda at the end. EDIT: Shining Blade wallpapers added to the dismantle site not long after I posted.

Now me, being a logical person, came to a few simple conclusions. If you look at Linsey Murdock’s facebook wall (please forgive me for linking your personal facebook page, but you did talk about work) she says a couple things about, working on new content, having to kill off characters, and getting approval for lore changes. Obviously this points to Guild Wars’ 5th anniversary coming at the end of April.

I would also probably draw a few conclusions about how the clues are going to continue. If the writing is on the wall, then I would say the next clue is either already in the wallpapers added to the obey page, or going to be in the dismantle wallpapers when they are added.

In any case, I enjoy a little marketing that has some imagination. Think about a car commercial. You just saw in your head a car traveling along a winding road. That is unimaginative ad execs at work. This is better.

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