Look, I have to be honest here; I’m not sure I get this. But it sounds bloody ambitious and might be the future, so let’s give it a bash shall we?

Launched this week, Alt-Minds is a multi-platform adventure which takes in elements of the ‘alternative reality game’ genre and – oh I musn’t say it but I’m going to – the transmedia phenomenon. Created by French media agency thing Lexis Numerique and supported by Orange, those people what run the phone network, the plot revolves around five researchers who have mysteriously disappeared. Players take part in the search via the Alt-Minds website, using PCs to catch up on the story, mobiles to do the location-based bits and social media for… other things.

This is one of those occasions I’m really pleased the press release has a ‘quote’ from someone on the dev team, namely co-founder and creative director of Lexis Numerique, Eric Viennot:

“Alt-Minds foreshadows what TV series will be like in five to ten years’ time. Extending series into interactivity is inevitable to keep up with new uses and ways of interacting: moving from one screen to another, being able to talk to characters and intervening in the story will become an everyday experience.”

The investigation consists of eight chapters, one per week, and gamers can delve as much as they like into the world the team has constructed. The price is £1.99 per chapter or £11.99 to grab the full season. To be honest, I’ve read up quite a bit on this game, I’ve studied what the developers say about the Facebook interactivity, the web docs and the idea of supporting fictitious researchers online. I just don’t get it. But then, the ARG scene has always been rather arcane, except when you get those break-out hits like I Love Bees, The Beast and that one for Lost.

But I do know that lots of people in broadcasting and telecommunications are looking at interactive narrative media with interest and money signs in their eyes. There are already experiments with interactive TV and we can expect more in the future. Look at the Dutch tech company Ex Machina and all the crazy stuff they’re doing with ‘second screens’. This is the future. Or something like the future. I feel like my granddad when he saw me trying to programme a ZX81. “That’ll never take off,” he laughed into his gin and tonic. Well, look at us now granddad, look at us now! Where in God’s name is this story going?