Reality dating games online
In 1997, a year prior to the release of the Douglas Adams' computer game Starship Titanic, The Digital Village launched a web site purporting to be that of an intergalactic travel agency called Starlight Travel, which in the game is the Starship Titanic's parent company.
The site combined copious amounts of Monty Python-esque writing (by Michael Bywater) with ARG-type interactivity.
Dreadnot was a (non-commercial) ARG produced with a grant from the San Francisco Chronicle and published on in 1996.
In 1996, Wizards of the Coast launched a proto-alternate reality game called Webrunner: The Hidden Agenda to promote their game Netrunner.
It cast players as hackers through seven puzzle-themed "gates" to get the secret data ("agenda").
An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive networked narrative that uses the real world as a platform and employs transmedia storytelling to deliver a story that may be altered by players' ideas or actions.
The form is defined by intense player involvement with a story that takes place in real time and evolves according to players' responses.