At her Serious Games keynote this morning, Jane McGonigal, ex-lead designer for alternate reality game big shot 42 Entertainment, announced her new ARG, World Without Oil. McGonigal calls the game -- which lets players share their ideas for better life during an international oil shortage -- a way to shift from alternate reality games to games that alter reality.
The idea behind the ARG is something called Collective Intelligence, the idea that together we can come up with better solutions to problems than we could alone. In citing examples of CI, McGonigal mentioned games like I Love Bees, even science-fiction novels, but for a great example, just think of Wikipedia. Who, all on their own, would ever know the population of Argentina and the gestation period of a Humpback whale?