A crop circle created for The Roswell Experience, at Graves Farm and Garden. Courtesy Photo
An innovative form of storytelling is coming to Southeastern New Mexico.
The Roswell Experience, the latest example in transmedia, offers a chance for people to participate in a fictional story of alien adventure. In search of an amulet that might just save human-kind from a ruthless alien race of reptilians, participants can visit up to 32 locations in and around Roswell, including restaurants, state parks and museums.
New Mexico State University instructor James Airhart created the game, which begins Saturday and ends June 22. He said that at each location participants will be provided points, and that whoever has the most at the end of the game — thus earning the amulet — will win a Kindle Fire.
Participants will also be given pamphlets that advance the story, and can track their progress on scoreboards at participating locations.
“You’re playing the game, and you’re making the experience,” Airhart said. “You’re learning the story as you go along. … Vrillon, the main character, is coming back either to save the planet or destroy it, depending on how (you) play the game.”
Airhart said The Roswell Experience brings the audience across multiple forms of media, including video, text and the Internet. The game is based on a book Airhart wrote titled The Roswell Amulet, set for release Friday.
“(It’s) a Twitter-based game, so it’s very social,” Airhart said. “They’re going to be meeting new people who are playing the game around the world. People aren’t just playing it in Roswell. …
“How it works is that people who tweet the code get the points, and that goes up on Twitter. And people around the world who can’t go to these locations can tweet to the people, some of these leaders, and ask for the code. So you might meet people from all around the world in this way.”
Airhart recently oversaw the construction of a crop circle at Graves Farm and Garden, one of the game’s 32 locations. Airhart said the crop circle, which is about 400 feet in diameter, is an example of how transmedia brings “real world elements into a story.”
Although fictional, the story does include some real people and events from around Southeastern New Mexico, Airhart said. “We’re trying to tell some historical facts from around the area. … And I hope they actually go to some of these museums and learn a lot about the history. I think a lot of people who live in Roswell don’t always do those things, and they kind of take it for granted. …
“This, for me, is my passion; I love telling stories, and when I got into the whole transmedia thing, I felt like this was the future of storytelling, in a sense. You’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of this in the future. And they’re stories that will last forever.”
For more information about The Roswell Experience and The Roswell Amulet, visit vrillonlives. com.