Ian Bogost, evil mastermind behind this whole damn cowpie, has let little slip regarding the alternate reality game for his massively popular satire of massively popular Facebook games, Cow Clicker: Some months ago, evil bovine lords broke into Cow Clicker and started making demands. Their mysterious clues became the Cow ClickARG, which, Inception-like, sent up Alternate Reality Games from within the send-up of a Facebook game. Clues were scattered by the ‘bovine gods’ around the globe, where ‘cowllective intelligence’ helped solve the mystery.”
Somewhat like FarmVille’s recent expansion into the English Countryside (which was nowhere near as subtle), the Cow ClickARG has led followers along a bread crumb trail, sparked by the message “Six cows bear the revelation”. The first of the six was revealed along with the original clue; a cow called Bovolva bearing the brand “AR” soon appeared in the Premium Cow Showroom. The remaining five cows were spread across the globe, and discovered based on clues that Bogost himself posted to the Cow Click facebook page. “Cowllective Intelligence” Has since found all five – in Notting Hill, San Francisco, the pages of EDGE magazine, Brooklyn, and Australia. Each of these clues included two more letters somewhere within them.
The threat of a methane time bomb, set to go off on July 21 (conveniently also the first birthday of the original Cow Clicker app), was revealed today as the meaning of the ominous and omnipresent countdown clock on the Cow Clicker and Cow ClickARG Facebook pages.
There is a possibility of staving off the evil bovine lords with cold hard mooney, but possibility is the key word here. “…now the fate of Cow Clicker is in the hands of its players. Either the timer will elapse and it will meet its doom, or they will choose to supplicate to the bovinity, staying enough clicks ahead of themselves to keep the game running, perhaps perpetually. Or, perhaps yet another possible fate still awaits Cow Clicker…”
Somehow, a game that began as an impossibly simple satire of the point and click games that populate Facebook’s app pages has become a most intricate and interesting game of espionage. From around the world, you can hear moos of approval.
The Clickness Unto Death: The Fate of Cow Clicker [Ian Bogost]