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Showing posts from October, 2013

Fun and Games at " The Institute"'

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By Moira Sullivan


The Institute is a feature-length documentary directed by Spencer McCall featured at the 2012 Mill Valley Film Festival about the Games of Nonchalance, the San Francisco-based alternate reality game known as the The Jejune Institute which existed from 2008 to 2011 and closed due to lack of funds.

The film consists of interviews with the players who wind up following the trail of posters around the city to a downtown office on 580 California Street. Here is the headquarters for Nonchalance, a Situational Design Agency. The game as a whole is actually an emergent new art form where everyday messages in the real world have unforeseen consequences, some of which make absolutely no sense according to some of the participants and others which lead to enlightenment.

At first the recruits feel like the moonie devotees to the Unification Church created by Sun Myung Moon, or the Scientologist devotees to Dianetics and L Ron Hubbard. And there is a bizarre creator with a weir…