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.

CREEPYGAMING & THE NARRATIVE: A THEORY-BASED POP CULTURE OF ‘PLAYABLE’ LORE

Dominique Angela M. Juntado, M.A. Doctoral Candidate in Social & Cultural Anthropology University of the Philippines Diliman Email: dmjuntado@gmail.com International Journal of Social Sciences Abstract Having been written for fellow … Continue reading CREEPYGAMING & THE NARRATIVE: A THEORY-BASED POP CULTURE OF ‘PLAYABLE’ LORE

Lions and Tigers and Chinese Freemasons in San Francisco, oh no!

A batch of emails has alerted me to another strange synchronicity re: the Ong’s Hat material.  This time it involves the infamous scene in the Ong’s Hat graphic novel (included … Continue reading Lions and Tigers and Chinese Freemasons in San Francisco, oh no!

In Beautiful Dreams – Nurturing narratives and the forgotten potentials of digital culture

“Might we contrive one of those opportune falsehoods … so as by one noble lie to persuade if possible the rulers themselves, but failing that the rest of the city.” … Continue reading In Beautiful Dreams – Nurturing narratives and the forgotten potentials of digital culture

English 3700: American Folklore: Legend, Rumor, and Conspiracy Theory

Sec. 1: MW 2-3:15 & T 6:30-9 (film screening) / Sec. 2:  MW 4-5:15 & T 6:30-9 (film screening) This course examines three major folklore genres – legend, rumor, and … Continue reading English 3700: American Folklore: Legend, Rumor, and Conspiracy Theory

Chapter on Ong’s Hat included in Mack Maloney’s Beyond Area 51 (Chapter 9: The Mystery of Ong’s Hat)

You may view some excerpts here or buy the book. Few have ventured into the many heavily guarded, top-secret locations scattered across the earth. Even fewer have emerged with stories … Continue reading Chapter on Ong’s Hat included in Mack Maloney’s Beyond Area 51 (Chapter 9: The Mystery of Ong’s Hat)

The Rise Of The ARG: Games™ investigates alternate reality games and what the future has in store for the curious experiment.

Matheny himself was there at the beginning of the ARG, when the increasing prominence of online media got him thinking about new forms of storytelling. “I’ve been a tech person since the Eighties,” he reminisces. “I was an IT expert and moved up into software, and I used to play the Steve Jackson games a lot. I also played the Flying Buffalo play-by-mail games, which were kind of like a LARP but done through mail, phone and faxes. You would send your mailing address and your phone number and you would start getting stuff in the mail.

A Hat, a Hut, or a Tavern: The Tale of Ong’s Hat

Ultimately, the strangest tale about Ong’s Hat has to be about the Incunabula Papers. In the papers, it’s claimed, Wali Fard, an American expatriate and follower of tantric and shamanistic magic, returned to America after the fall of Afghanistan to the Soviets. He laundered his savings by buying 200 acres of land near Ong’s Hat, including the former Ong’s Hat Rod and Gun Club. There, with several other people who had followed him from New York, he founded the Moorish Science Ashram.[16]

Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat

On the Internet, seekers investigate anonymous manifestos that focus on the findings of brilliant scientists said to have discovered pathways into alternate realities. Gathering on web forums, researchers not only share their observations, but also report having anomalous experiences, which they believe come from their online involvement with these veiled documents. Seeming logic combines with wild twists of lost Moorish science and pseudo-string theory. Enthusiasts insist any obstacle to revelation is a sure sign of great and wide-reaching efforts by consensus powers wishing to suppress all the liberating truths in the Incunabula Papers (included here in complete form).