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Order of Good Cheer Case Study

The Order of Good Cheer brings Canadian history into the present with a tongue-in-cheek quest for international conference attendees to play together and tour the city. The Alternate Reality Gaming Festival is hosted in a new city each year and brings together many of the most experienced interactive narrative designers in North America. When it was Toronto’s turn to host the event, the organizers asked Stitch Media to create an entertaining story that would challenge attendees to work together and culminate in a tour of the city. We resurrected the Order of Good Cheer, a 400 year-old organization founded to fight the deadly scourge of scurvy through celebration. Sufferers of scurvy were often tired and lazy, so therefore dancing and drink was the only cure. In our story, The Order of Good Cheer exists today as a secret society and the Knights of the Order must protect everyone by keeping spirits high. The Order is under a new threat from a mad scientist who claims that drinking Ascorbic Acid will let everyone be lazy for the first time in 400 years. Over four days, conference guests discovered the Order of Good Cheer and vowed to protect it against laziness by taking part in the initiation ceremony to become Knights of the Order. Clues and puzzle games were spread across websites, email, social media and the conference venue itself. Together attendees split into 6 teams and traveled around the city to prove themselves worthy of Good Cheer. The project achieved its goal of bringing strangers together to save the world and learn more about the surrounding city by bringing them inside the humour and letting them role-play along with the actors. Over a year later delegates still invoke the Order’s motto when talking about ARGFest Toronto: Fellowship and Good Cheer!