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Catching the Wish

For Catching the Wish, the sequel to Dave Szulborski’s indie ARG hit Chasing the Wish, I created six masks that represented powers gathering in the fictional town of Aglaura, New Jersey. The masks were delivered to players around the nation at dead drops, live events, and through mysterious mailings.

The Mask of Knowledge was the first piece to be delivered. It tied into a game phase centered on the concept of knowledge, as the players worked to stop the demolition of Aglaura’s public library. 

The mask’s current owner is player Pixiestix.

I delivered the Mask of Technology myself on a hot summer day in Austin, Texas. It is a collage of different technological elements, with wires, gears, springs, keyboard keys, and a camera lens with a working shutter. A few days before the event, a video went out of the mask’s shutter opening and closing in morse code. The code revealed the time and location of the drop.

Unfictioneer RedHatty took the Mask of Technology home, while her conspirator CK came away with reproductions of the nine stones that served a key purpose in the first Chasing the Wish. The stones were given out as rewards for winning a code word game we played with many of the artists at the 23rd Street Artists Market.

You can read a detailed account of the event here.

This piece is the Mask of The Sacred, the fifth one in our series. It is wearing a veil of iridescent treated fabric and polymer “slats” bearing the names of powerful ideas, such as “the dream,” “the idea”, and “the memory”. The name of a key character, “The Wish,” had been scratched out, almost beyond recognition. Her eyes are covered with coins bearing nine important symbols from the first Chasing the Wish.

Sylvia, the player who received this mask, chronicled her find on Unfiction as well.

The Mask of Nature was delivered to shad0, a Chasing the Wish player, by Joe Matheny at a live event in Los Angeles. You can read more about their encounter on Unfiction, courtesy of the Wayback Machine.

The Mask of Man was the final mask in our series. It is the simplest of the masks, with a papier mache base and a thin covering of polymer clay covering the inside of the mask to create a shallow “bowl.” If worn, the mask’s features would press up against one’s own. It also creates a weak “hollow face” illusion.

The Mask of Man was never recovered by the players – it was taken by the game’s villain and remains “at large” – on my workshop wall.



Catching the Wish: Large and In Charge

IGDA Alternate Reality Games SIG

2006 Alternate Reality Games White Paper


Chasing the Wish Comic

Free Ebook Download From Modern Mythology

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