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The Truth about Marika is a participation drama, produced by The company P and Swedish Television (SVT) and  broadcasted in autumn 2007. It was consisting of five 45-minutes episodes.  The full broadcast was made of two different parts making each show. One part was a traditional drama episode (45 minutes) featuring the disappearance of Marika few days before her wedding; the second part was a television debate.  The debate was justified thanks to the claim of Adrijanna, a blogger friend of Marika, accusing SVT to have copied a real event from her blog, Conspirare.se, and made it into a TV series. She claimed that every year 20000 people disappear in Sweden and that an organization named Ordo Serpentis could be behind it. SVT first deniesd the accusation then decided to admit that part of  what Adrijanna was claiming to be true and gave her the opportunity to appear on national television to tell her side of the story. During the debate the audience was invited to participate in the search by following SVT dedicated web page, and as a consequence, Adrijanna’s page.

Screenshot of Conspirare.se (source The company P)

Web users were then encourage to participate in the search for Maria (the ‘real’ person behind the fictional character of Marika) by engaging in internet forums, in the virtual reality of Entropia Universe and by participating in real life events.

Was then The truth about Marika a fictional experience or was it partially fictional and partially real?

The answer in Pretend that is real

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The big question is always how can we engage the audience? A proper answer would make a case study or something deeper by itself so I keep simple and tell you

Lay down the basis for a great perversive experience!

In an interview with DaHerminator, one of the Consipirare.se forum’s moderators, when asked what he liked about the experience, he answered ‟ The borderland between game and reality, and the feeling of adventure was really exciting. The best parts were the things you did in real life” and when asked if he had any regrets about the experience, he answered ‟ The best IRL parts took place in the two major cities of Sweden (Stockholm and Göteborg) and I weren’t able to attend. That was a bit of a disappointment”.

What do people want? An experience that will be remember as the coolest things one has ever experienced. (Da Herminator words)

In Jenkins terms immersion is a possibility for the participants to enter the storyworld and take part in the story

Can a transmedia project that bases its core elements on alternate reality games be any other thing then an immersion experience?

Martin Ericsson speaking at Nordic Larp Talks 2010 explains the need of immersion as ‟ the quest for the perfect manifestation of a dream”. For Ericsson immersion is a 24/7 experience that takes over ‘reality’ and that can become so intrusive that participants can start dreaming in characters.