Flatland ARG!!! is an Augmented Reality Game (ARG) based on Edward Abbot’s 1884 novella Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimensions. The novella parodies rigid Victorian class distinctions by describing a society structured around the number of sides of its polygonal citizens. The more sides a polygon has, the more noble his standing. The citizens of this society perceive the world in only two dimensions until the protagonist transcends the limitations of his reality.
Players in Flatland ARG!!! begin as triangles and have the chance to add more sides to become squares, pentagons, and hexagons. The more sides players have, the more effectively they can collect resources for their team.
Each player carries a scepter containing a mobile phone that communicates with the game server. These scepters have a twofold purpose. First, they can be used to perform gestures that allow players to gather resources, upgrade team members, scan for hidden information, build structures, and attack opponents and structures. Second, the scepters’ screens and speakers allow players to understand what is happening in the game. Just like citizens of Flatland have a limited perception of their world, players can see only other people in the arena, but not their true state in the game world. Only by using the scepter screens can players see the additional information that makes up the game world.
Each player wears a costume in the colors of their team. The position of the players in space is tracked by two overhead cameras that map their physical positions in the arena to their positions in the game world.
Spectators see the whole world: they can go back and forth between watching the costumed players run around the arena and watching the display screens that show everything happening in the world of the game.