Dateline Oct. 24, 2002: Search4e.org Combines Real World Interaction and web-based Fiction

April 29th, 2009

deaddrop is pleased to bring you this breaking press release.

NEW YORK “A unique new entertainment vehicle ‘Search4e.org’– will go live on the Internet on November 1, 2002, it was announced today by noted entrepreneur Steve Massarsky, now president of S E C O N D S T A T E, which owns the property. The launch of the game will be supported by an extensive cross-promotion with Lycos, the online media company.

Search4e.org is an interactive, real-time, parallel reality that breaks down the barriers between the ‘real’ world and the constructed world. The constructed world is built around the mysterious disappearance of the plot’s main character, Ed Sobian, which the audience/participants actively investigate, uncovering clues and prizes along the way.

Transcending traditional entertainment genre categories such as gaming or television shows, Search4e.org moves beyond these traditional definitions in several notable ways:

1. Main characters are played by real actors, who then play out their roles in scenes scripted for the ‘real’ world. These scenes are then filmed and incorporated into the story line on the Search4e.org site. For example, a participant might win tickets to a ‘real’ Broadway show, and find that they are seated next to one of the characters from the Search4e.org storyline.

2 The main characters are active in the real world. For example, several of the characters have opened accounts and are actively selling items on E-Bay, and one character has a profile posted on Matchmaker.com.

3 The entertainment experience has a truly unique prize and promotions structure. As the audience/participants investigate, they periodically uncover objects in the course of investigating that are woven into the storyline, such as rare coins, collectible antiques, and other consumer products such as an automobile. The individual who comes across these objects actually wins that item in the real world, and when they claim it, they encounter a ‘real world’ merchant who has been scripted to interact with the prize winner in accordance with the storyline.

4 Audience/participants are actively involved in creating and influencing future plot twists and turns. Numerous official and unofficial supporting web sites and discussion boards exist where back-stories, side stories, and new story elements are ‘discovered’ and posted. See, for example, dotconnectors.com/forum and oysterlassjunkyard.com/forum.

5 Multiple entertainment mediums are incorporated, including Internet gaming, video, publishing, and live ’street theater’.

6 The highly cognitive Search4e.org has strong appeal to both genders, with the beta group showing strong participation by both men and women.

“I’ve searched for the past five years for an entertainment property as compelling as Search4e.org, which is absolutely unique in today’s entertainment marketplace,” commented Massarsky. “It’s like falling into a John Grisham novel. Participants are simultaneously investigating the mystery, and influencing the future direction of the storyline. In an added twist, the fictional and real worlds intersect through our unique prize and promotions structure, our staged ’street theater’ events, and by making the characters appear to have lives in the real world.”

The Lycos cross promotion, slated to launch in conjunction with the Search4e.org November 1 kick-off, will include banners, live chats with characters from the storyline, dedicated discussion boards and key word referrals. Additionally, Lycos will be incorporated into the storyline as a location where various clues might be found, and actual clues and prizes will be planted throughout the Lycos site for Search4e.org participants to uncover.

Steve Massarsky is a successful entrepreneur who has received extensive press coverage. In 1989, he helped found and then built the third largest comic book company in the U.S. at the time, Valiant Comics, which he sold in 1994 for $65 million dollars. Massarsky got his start in politics, as director of entertainment in the McGovern presidential campaign. Massarsky then segued into the rock and roll arena, were he gained prominence as manager of the Allman Brothers Band, and discovered rock artist/actress Cyndi Lauper. Massarsky earned a law degree in 1975, and practiced entertainment law for several years, representing Nintendo, Aerosmith, Leonard Cohen, Psychedelic Furs, Cabbage Patch and Willie Mays, before launching Valiant Comics.

About S E C O N D S T A T E

Headquartered in New York, privately held S E C O N D S T A T E is a multi-media company creating web-based entertainment products. The company was founded in early 2002 by Massarsky in association with other partners, including filmmaker Waldemar Korzeniowsky.

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