The Lost Ring

The Lost Ring is an alternative reality game (ARG) based on the Beijing Olympics which is a fascinating concept in itself, but it was the guerrilla marketing behind the game that makes it even more intriguing.

To kick off the project, select gamers received parcels in the mail containing balls of string which, when unraveled by the recipients, revealed a hidden piece of paper with a URL to a a web address for The Lost Ring. Quickly, word spread, and now 15,000 people in China alone are playing the game.

The Lost Ring brings people into an alternative reality which beijingolympicsblog describes as "Lord of the Rings meets ancient Greece." Collaboration is key to winning, as The Lost Ring revolves around international characters, each in possession of a magical power and mysterious background who can only get to the next level by working together. The characters have an important mission and its the gamer's job to find out what it is

Each of the eight characters represents their country, with one each from the US, Brazil, the UK, Germany, Spain, France, China and Japan. The game is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese, but as previously mentioned, gamers must find a way to bridge the language gap to correspond in order to progress in the game.