In so-called live action role-playing games (LARPs), players are encouraged to play a fictional role. To support the credibility of the participant's play, LARPs strive to ensure that the environment and the embedded narrative world are as convincible as possible.
For UNIT3 we aimed to create a similar experience. But unlike LARPs we wanted the game being able to be played everytime and everywhere, without limiting time and place. Hence UNIT3's narrative world needed to be designed in a way that it can live in symbiosis with our reality.
UNIT3 therefore plays in the present and runs parallel to our actual time. From the perspective of the player it only consists of information fragments that are distributed in the world wide web. All the players know is that a (truly existing) big-data company has discovered evidence of an intelligence that lives in the public network (which is of course fictional). The company is calling on people from all over the world to support the research of the artificial intelligence. For this purpose, special devices are sold which enable people to interact with the discovered intelligence in the public network and to investigate it. Through a software, the volunteer researchers can become part of the global investigation progress.
At the same time though, activists publish information about the mysterious disappearance of a scientist, who discovered the intelligence. They suggest that the company plays a false game and has dubious plans with the artificial intelligence. In the underground, the activists publish hacks and self-made copies of the equipment in order to use the intelligence for finding the truth. Thus, a conflict arises between the two groups which extends the story in an unplanned way.