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Reference lookup for ARG-related words

Please see below for descriptions and definitions of various terms used in the ARG world.

See this page for in-game word definitions


  • Alternate Reality Game/Gaming


  • Alternate Reality Gaming Network

Considered the central hub of the ARG genre, at


  • In-Game


  • I Love Bees

A previous ARG from July-November 2004 related to the video game Halo 2


Issues about the genre or a specific game but that are not in-game


  • Out Of Game

Anything labeled OOG means it's not a part of the story, it's not canon, it wasn't created by in-game characters or creators of the ARG itself. Typically it means do not contact the person or company, as they will most likely have absolutely no idea what you are talking about or referring to, and they may also get extremely upset if they are repeatedly contacted by numerous people playing the ARG. It can also end up hurting the innocent bystander/organization by imposing additional costs such as phone bills or bandwidth depending on the situation.



  • Puppet-Master(s)

The person, people, or organization that are running the show. They typically do not converse with or let themselves be known to the ARG-playing public, as much as possible, and will (should) never ever talk about or give away any information or tips about a specific ARG when asked.


A series of events or bits of information that lead a person into the game world. The 'looking glass' that one steps through to become involved with a game.

Though the events in question are partially linked with the in-game world, they are still considered essentially OOG or Meta at least, since they also bridge the gap to the real world.

Red Herring

If a piece of information is incorrect or simply leads to a dead end (it's not helpful in the slightest), it's typically considered a red herring. It's a nicer, polite way of saying 'don't bother' .


  • Short for: Speculation

In the course of an ARG, many puzzle and mysteries come to the forefront. Anyone who makes guesses or extrapolations based on clues or plot elements is typically said to be SPECulating about answers. 'Spec' should never be considered in-game or official, since it's the players' theories that are being discussed.


  • This Is Not A Game


  • The Lost Experience

An ARG taking place during the airing of the TV show Lost


If you are 'trouted', or something you say is called 'trout', it means it's already been known or discovered, and is typically (most often) well known. Trout it often the source of angst or tempers if not treated respectfully:

  • if someone states something that's well known, inform them nicely, and do your best to offer a reference to where it was discovered, whether it be in a forum or wiki, or another location entirely.

The aim of crying 'trout' is simply to help the person and other people who may read someone's message save time, and keep them informed of currently known information. People shouldn't have to research what's already been researched unless they really want to.


  • UnFiction

The community hub for discussion of ARGs and the genre. is a subset of


A public and open source of organized information. Its intent is to allow a community the ability to manage, add and remove data however and whenever they want.

Because of its open, typically insecure nature, it retains historic records of all changes made to any page, so mistakes can be fixed, and on the odd occasion a spammer begins to mess pages up, they can be restored, and banning of users and/or IP addresses can be implemented.

example: Wikipedia, and this site

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