This year ARGFest took place July 15-18, in downtown Atlanta. It was high summer, but once again ARGFest came together for a great conference, even in Hotlanta!

My brief recap of ARGFest events has been posted to ARGNet, so please check that out. No words, though, can truly express what a joy it was to meet up with friends once again, and to make new friends and acquaintances, social and professional, in this growing and evolving community. I certainly came away inspired, and with lots of ideas for the future.

The ARG Museum was in full swing again this year as well, which was great to see. The hope for the museum is that the creativity poured into some of these ARG/Transmedia artifacts would provide inspiration for such creativity in others.

This year, some of the best parts of ARGFest for me included:

  • Andrea Phillips‘ session Beyond the Brunette, and subsequent opportunities I had to chat with her about creating projects
  • Benham Karbassi‘s Jeopardy-like videochat session on Transmedia Production
  • Maureen McHugh‘s provocative, yet touching, and overall awesome keynote speech (lightning and all)
  • Being able to chat with Steve Martin Aggett of Remix Fiction, who’s doing a wonderful job with his photography and TV videocasts.
  • Playing Munchkin again with great friends
  • Witnessing the birth of ARG Fluxx!
  • Being inspired to buy Rock Band and practice some drummering
  • Finally being able to meet some more people in the face!
  • Being the 2nd to solve Stitch Media‘s pamphlet puzzle and earning a great sling bag, and a $50 food voucher for some local Atlanta restaurants (which was never used…)
  • Locating one geocache in the heart of the Atlanta airport near Delta’s HQ with SynthBio. Then running around in the heat visiting a few geocaches in Piedmont Park, but logging none.
  • An unbeatable evening with Tongo Hiti at Trader Vic’s tiki bar, and their serene-turned-metal cover of My Heart Will Go On. Whether it was the tiki bar environment or pure unadulterated amazingness, that night will go down in infamy.
  • Okay, one thing beats Trader Vic’s — being able to connect again and spend time with some of the best friends people can have. Mingling with professionals and players alike, getting a taste of and being inspired by the high-end production and creative process while seeing all that can be possible by even grassroots lay-people with no budget, and the value of community – all of it is what makes ARGFest so great.

I can’t stress enough how wonderful an opportunity ARGFest is to dig right in at ground zero and associate with creators and players, veterans and lurkers, both professional and grassroots.  If you’re in the Transmedia or ARG or whatever-you-happen-to-name-it-today industry, or you’ve played ARGs or experienced a transmedia story or game, or just want to come and hang out with great folk, it’s for you. It’s educational and entertaining, and it’s an event that we look forward to every year, bringing together a community of people from across the nation, continent, even the world.

Stay tuned to ARGFest.com for news and updates about 2011′s date and location.

Where would you like to see ARGFest in 2011?  Voice your thoughts at Unfiction, and we’ll see who’s willing to step up to the plate and present a feasible plan and location. Next year, it may be near you! Hope to see you there, wherever it goes.

More? Here are a few memorable quotes and comments overheard during ARGFest:

“Success for any of us is success for all of us”
– On competition in the creative community vs in ad agencies

“Strangely this year we have an unusual number of B’s”
“I love B’s!”
- On ARGFest registration

“What is the best transmedia technology a producer can’t live without?”
“His team’s brains!”
~ Benham Karbassi

“F* you, I went to see it in theatres and couldn’t sleep for 3 days.”
- On The Blair Witch Project

“Transmedia isn’t telling us something we should know already… I think it’s making something more true than it’s ever been before”
~ Maureen McHugh

“ARGs are dead. But transmedia is lightning in a jar.”
~ Maureen McHugh

“I love your tongue, it’s cute!”
- Sockpuppet workshop

“So there I am, asking transvestites in a cafe, ‘are you a student of Spelman?’”
- Jonathan Waite, on the city game Unobtrusive Measures

UPDATE 8/13/10: The original article on ARGN has been syndicated to Wired’s Decode online magazine – check it out!