When Columbia Pictures decided to retool Spider Man for a younger, edgier audience, apparently they had more in mind than putting Spidey back in high school and handing the reins over to a filmmaker older pop culture nerds mostly remember from the Evil Dead. Wired reports that the latest trailer has a subtle hint for how to access the much larger world of a new alternate reality game:
On February 10th, the @MarkofSpiderman Twitter account started posting lost and found notices, broadcasting GPS coordinates to eleven different locations in six cities: Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, and Seattle. Fleet-footed fans found Peter Parker’s backpack, containing everything you’d expect the film’s nerdy protagonist to have: Physics and Chemistry textbooks, safety goggles, keys and a MetroCard, and a notebook loaded with class notes. Parker’s photography gear also found its way into the backpack, with the occasional film canister, photograph, or film negative scattered throughout. Parker even left his running shoes in the bag, leaving the recipients of each backpack with the singular opportunity to step inside Parker’s size 11 shoes.
As a cynical movie-goer who’s too poor and bitter about New York City’s atrocious prices for movie tickets, I have a hard time separating out the truly game-y experiences here from the continued demand to gamify promotional marketing stunts for young and tech-savvy audiences. Is the Amazing Spider Man ARG really that different than, say, the ”games” that formed around Lost, Cloverfield, or even Trent Reznor’s experiment in dystopian political fiction, Year Zero? Then again, I may just not be a big enough fan. After repeated views, I still can’t see the hidden “MARK OF THE SPIDER MAN” message in the original trailer.