In this fragment of SCHISM we interview the creator of ‘Ong’s Hat’, the first Alternate Reality Game, and ask what his experiences can teach us about the rise of QAnon. Is it possible that the ability to co-create and distribute our own narratives about reality could be altering its basic fabric? And has Noam Chomsky’s concept of ‘manufactured consent’ produced by centralized authority and corporate media now been outmoded by a new era of ‘manufactured dissent’, powered by networks, meme culture and supercharged shitposting?
Published by Joseph Matheny
Joseph Wayne Matheny (born December 24, 1961, in Chicago, Illinois) is an American storyteller and artist who has created works using alternate reality gaming and transmedia storytelling methods, dealing with subjects of liminality and modern myth. He holds patents for prediction, recommendation, and behavioral analysis algorithms and software design. He is a published author of screenplays, white papers, technology, sci-fi, marketing, and gaming books. He currently resides in the Pacific Northwest. He is probably best known for the avant-garde work, Ong's Hat, which has been called the proto-Alternate Reality Game by academia, the mainstream, and alternative media. Ong's Hat is often cited as the first ARG on many List of alternate reality games. View all posts by Joseph Matheny