The End is a month-long interactive experience that blends immersive theater and alternate reality gaming. Its aim is to help players confront mortality through small daily reflections on the meaning of life and one’s fears about death. At the core of the game is a conversation with a character called The End who helps players navigate a unique deck of cards. Each card symbolizes a “quest” for a player to unlock, each slightly different in the content and form it asks the player to engage in. From writing one’s own obituary to strolling through a cemetery, listening to a guided mediation to researching burial options, the game gives a playful way to tackle a topic that is often easier to avoid.
This webpage serves as a compendium for The End. Aimed at sharing a behind-the-scenes look for those interested in the work, the tabs below offer insights into the game from both creative and academic lenses. We’ve included essays on how the project was philosophically conceived and researched. For those looking for concrete details of gameplay, there is an extended “walkthrough” of the experience as well as documentation of how we’ve talked about the game in the public sphere. There are a number of documents showing how the work was developed and performed in its first run in May of 2017. And, too, we’ve shared some metrics gathered during that run and a bit about how we’ve analyzed and what we’ve concluded about the work as a whole.