The Meaning of ARG: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of ARG? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the abbreviation ARG, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

What does the acronym ARG stand for?

According to Urban Dictionary, Cyber Definitions, and TD, ARG most often stands for alternate reality game. This is a type of online game that contains stories and characters that the player character must assist. This often involves different puzzles or challenges, and can also include real-life challenges. These are also sometimes called pervasive games or transmedia storytelling, and are designed to combine real life with the digital world and digital gameplay elements. Therefore, the player is playing the game in the real world while also doing behaviors that are linked to the game. These games are often tracked online, but the gameplay is done in real life. 

This is not to be confused with augmented reality games. Augmented reality games enhance reality, or add something to it, and are often played with smartphone cameras. Such is the case for games like the popular Pokemon Go. Alternate reality games create a different reality in which the game is played, while augmented reality games add additional information to environments that exist in the real world.

ARGs are also powerful instructional or training tools. These games can be used to teach things about technology as well as circumstances in which people are being trained to do a difficult or highly skilled task, such as military operations.

The acronym ARG can stand for much more than just altered reality game. According to The Free Dictionary, the term ARG has many more different definitions. These, however, are far less common than altered reality gaming and should therefore be used sparingly. If you do decide to use one of these alternate definitions for the term ARG, make sure that you provide the reader or listener with proper context so that they can infer the desired meaning.

  • Annuaire de Référencement Gratuit (French: Free Search Engine Optimization Directory)
  • Anti-Replicator Gun (gaming; Stargate Atlantis)
  • Ada Rapporteur Group
  • Argentia (US Navy operated island facility)
  • Applied Research Grant (various organizations)
  • Alcohol Research Group
  • Ancestral Recombination Graph (evolutionary science)
  • Internal Combustion Engine Repair Ship
  • Argument
  • Amateur Radio Group (various locations)
  • Aquifer Remediation Goal
  • Attributed Relational Graph
  • Angle Recession Glaucoma
  • American Refining Group (Bradford, PA)
  • Automotive Replacement Glass
  • America’s Research Group
  • Argentina Gold Peso (national currency since 1875; replaced by Peso Moneda 1899)
  • Autism Research Group (various locations)
  • Academic Resource Guide (various schools)
  • Alternate Reality Games
  • Ateliers de Réalisation Graphique (French: Graphic Design Workshop)
  • Arginine (per Dictionary)
  • Argininemia
  • Anime Resource Group (Fanime)
  • Aerolineas Argentinas (ICAO code)
  • American Resources Group, Ltd
  • Annuaire du Roliste Grenoblois (French: Grenoble Roleplayer Directory; online role-playing)
  • Aragonese (ISO 639 language code)
  • Australian Railroad Group (now Queensland Rail National Limited)
  • Aviation Readiness Group
  • Amphibious Ready Group (US DoD)
  • Application Resource Guide
  • Antigua Recreation Ground
  • Amphibious Readiness Group
  • Accident Response Group
  • Argent
  • Alternate Reality Gaming
  • Alkaline Reflux Gastritis (disorder)
  • Art & Robotics Group
  • American Record Guide
  • Afghanistan Research Group
  • Air Refueling Group (US DoD)
  • Argentina
  • Accident Review Group
  • Air Rescue Group
  • Argentines (FAO fish species code)
  • Applied Resources Group (Brookline, Massachusetts)
  • Annual Real Growth
  • Aerial Refueling Group

What are examples of ARGs?

There are many different examples of popular ARGs. One of the most popular ARGs is I Love Bees, or ILB. According to Halo Fandom, this ARG was developed by 4orty2wo Entertainment as a marketing campaign for Halo 2. This ARG featured a website that was supposed to look like a beekeeper’s personal site that was then taken over by an artificial intelligence robot with thoughts scattered all over the website. The participants first had to locate payphones across the United States. When they answered them, they would hear a recording and had to answer questions about the character correctly. The AI bot continued to ask the players questions until the game was complete. Then, the participants gained access to play Halo 2 before its release. This was an extremely successful marketing campaign for the game Halo 2.

Another popular ARG according to eLearning Industry is Robots Are Eating the Building. In this ARG, a group of robots destroy the academic tower at Harrisburg University. This game was conducted at Learning and Entertainment Evolution Forum (LEEF) in 2010. The participants were shown a video of the destructive robots and had a call-to-action urging the attendees to participate in networking challenges they had to participate in in order to defeat the robots. The players deactivated the bots by answering challenges about the different attendees at the conference. This was a great way to get participants to network while still creating a fun and effective game. This game was played using physical game cards, and had a game master implemented to assist and score the challenges.

Additionally, another conference, the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C) created an ARG called I Love Trees. This ARG sought to engage their conference attendees by providing a digital sapling that would grow as the players answered questions and found clues inside the conference. These clues were found in tweets, signs, session materials, and more.

Overall, the trending acronym ARG is a tending style of video games called an alternate reality game. This slang term is used to refer to such games that are played both online and in real life.  These games physically alter the person’s reality as they are forced to play out the storyline of the game in real life and real time. One of the most famous ARGs is the game I Love Bees, a marketing campaign for Halo 2.