Game Designer Andrea Phillips warns of the consequences of going too far with alternate-reality marketing.

The blurring of lines between reality and fantasy can have serious consequences, as transmedia writer and game designer Andrea Phillips warned her audience at SXSW as she regaled with tales of alternate-reality marketing going too far. Phillips herself had been rebuked by NASA for her transmedia campaign for the movie 2012, for which she designed a website for the (however obviously) fictitious Institute for Human Continuity, espousing (again, obviously) fictitious scientific claims of the imminent end of the world. Even actual rocket scientists have a hard time telling hoax from reality. Phillips notes the case of the fictitious rain forest-destroying villain of the Brazilian alternate-reality game Zona Incerta being denounced on the floor of the very-real Brazilian senate floor.

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