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Disney Launches Alternate Reality Game About Founder

on Tuesday, Jul. 9th

The mad scientists at Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development are up to their tricks again. This time the Imagineers are taking pieces of Disney history to create a story–The Optimist–that will culminate at the yearly Disney fan expo D23 in August.

Alternate Reality Games blur the line between the real world and fantasy, it's right there in the name: alternate reality. Part of the fun is figuring out what's in-game and what is real, which means that using historical facts as the backbone of an experience helps keep the illusion of reality in place, but can also lead to players learning a thing or two.

If they can suss out what's really real, that is.

The game is plays out both online and in Southern California, where Walt Disney lived and worked.

"In this alternate reality experience, one of our characters has discovered some previously unknown facts that could change what we think we know about Walt Disney, Imagineering and Disneyland park," said Scott Trowbridge, head of Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development. "Players can participate at different levels of engagement over the six-week story – from leveraging social media and mobile devices to visiting unique physical sites from the story in and around Los Angeles."

The Optimist has a six-week life span, and will reach it's end during D23, August 9-11th. Given the caliber of the talent involved in the game, fans of the ARG genre, Disneyana fans and those who are just curious about how these things work should check this one out.

Follow Noah Nelson on Twitter (@noahjnelson)

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