On Viral Marketing

Apple posted a trailer this week for an upcoming, yet-unnamed movie, which has created quite a buzz. Part of the buzz has to do with its creator, JJ Abrams, also the creator of the TV show Lost. And part of it is that the trailer is pretty awesome in and of itself.

Also appearing were some related sites which seem to offer clues about this mystery movie. It’s all very interesting, and about as viral as it gets, and others have analyzed this much more than me.

However, these things remind me of something I wanted to do about a decade ago. Back then, I was working for a company in Santa Cruz called “Osiris Studios” that developed computer games. I only lasted there about nine months, but at one point we were talking a great deal about computer game ideas. One of my ideas hinged on our ownership of the domain coincidence.net (now owned by the former principal of Osiris Studios, Quinn), and a “viral” game I wanted to base around the Internet.

My idea was that the game would actually take place over the course of a year or two, in real time, and involve a large number of websites around the then-young Internet. Finding and correlating these “coincidences” is how you advanced in the game. The ideas were very inspired by the writings of Robert Anton Wilson, to whom we actually pitched some of these ideas.

Alas, it was not to be, and Osiris decided to pursue more traditional games – a bicycle racing game, at the time. I don’t blame them, since none of us could really figure out how to monetize these ideas. But since then, I’ve seen many of the ideas we had back then come to life, and I love it.


Raymond Brigleb

Creative Director, dreamer, partner, father, musician, photographer. Has been known to ride the rails. Pulls one heck of a shot.