Game Design From Outer Space

A tiny Christmas ARG about the war against Santa.

Sleeper Santa

Sleeper Santa

Between 2003 and 2010, a simple ritual spread through Italian bloggers: some weeks before Christmas each one wrote a post and a digital book was created with these writings collected by Sir Squonk. It was called “Un post sotto l’albero” (i.e. “A Post Beneath the Tree“) and it was distributed for free on the Internet as a gift. Federico is our long-time blogger so he wanted to try a little experiment: what if this Christmas post was a rabbit-hole for an alternate reality game? And that’s how Sleeper Santa was born.

Sleeper Santa – Scheme

Here’s the (simple) structure of the game.

The rabbit-hole represents a post written by Santa himself who invites the reader to keep reading his own blog. When you access to his website, you’ll see that it has been hacked by some Christmas-terrorists. During your investigation, though, you’ll get to know that Santa is not the sweet caring man you used to know: he enslaves elves and forces reindeer to be drunk. The hackers are just trying to defeat this horrible figure fighting a battle against evil and consumerism: every teddy bear stuffed itself with trinitrotoluene ready for war. Be prepared!