Graphic from Back To Earth ARG

Back to Earth is really placing itself at the bleeding edge of gaming, combining the fascinating concept of an ‘alternate reality’ game with a cryptocurrency powered in-game economy. The project launches a crowdfunding campaign today (26 April, at 6pm GMT) with a modest 750 bitcoin maximum cap on total contributions. In the same spirit of fun and innovation behind the game itself, participation in the crowdfund is only open to people who have been able to find a special invite code which grants access to the web page. Once you register to take part, you will also be given one of these codes which you can use to invite other people and get a little reward for your efforts.

WTF is ‘Alternate Reality’ anyway?

I must admit, I’d never heard of alternate reality games before coming across Back to Earth, but apparently it is a thing, albeit a very new one with few prior examples to go on.

According to Wikipedia, it is:

An interactive networked narrative that uses the real world as a platform and employs transmedia storytelling to deliver a story that may be altered by players’ ideas or actions.

That doesn’t really do the idea justice, but it at least sums it up much more succinctly than I could.

The idea is that both the story and the game itself are spread across a wide range of different places, both on the internet and even in the real world. The result of this, is that the lines between game and reality become blurred, creating a much more engaging and absorbing experience than simply sitting at your PC playing a regular video game.

The story of Back to Earth will unfold across various media releases, including ‘blogs, online communities, short stories, videos and social media’. Many of these will appear as independent media productions which the uninitiated can enjoy as a stand-alone piece of entertainment, but they will also draw people in to a broader story which weaves them all together.

Fans who take this deeper dive into the ‘transmedia’ narrative are introduced to a kind of puzzle game, leading you to various different apps, websites, social media pages, phone numbers, and physical locations to hunt down clues and progress through the story – a story which itself may in some ways be influence by the actions of the game players themselves.

By engaging in the game, players will also win rewards and gain access to additional content.

The Post-Apocalyptic Story

Not much of the story has been revealed so far, as it will unfold as we play the game itself. But there is a short description on the website:

“A new technology has turned the human race into aggressive and brain dead animals. A few survivors must brave this new world in order to rediscover humanity and save themselves. “

StarCredits, Golden Tickets, and the ‘Most Elusive’ Crowdfund in the World

Participants in the crowdfund will receive a cryptocurrency token called ‘StarCredits’ (SRC) in return for their support.

These StarCredits form the basis for the game economy, and will be used in a variety of ways including:

  • Sway real-time story outcomes
  • Earn in-game content
  • Unlock special features
  • Discover hidden puzzles
  • Purchase specific storylines

StarCredits are issued in a fixed supply of 20 million, and whenever they are spent by players they will be destroyed, making them become gradually rarer and therefore more valuable over time.

To kick things off, 4,000,000 SRC tokens will be sold in this initial crowdfund at the rate of .0001875 BTC per SRC. An additional 500,000 SRC will be distributed through referral rewards.

Once you register you will get a referral link that you can use to invite other people and earn 50 SRC for anybody you invite who donates 0.05BTC or more.

In addition to this, anybody who contributes 0.75BTC or more will receive a ‘Golden Ticket’. This special crypto token only available during the first crowdfund will entitle its owner to get additional free tokens during a planned second crowdfund, or alternatively can be used to gain access to special content or events.

To join in you need to use a referral link which includes an ‘invite code’. Click this link to join in and support Back to Earth ARG!