Joined: 15 Sep 2004
Location: London, UK
[The ARG we missed?] Andrew WK
A rather strange sequence of events, here. I had a dream featuring the words "Andrew WK = Not Andrew WK" and posted it to my blog, which also happens to contain the phrase "alternate reality gaming" quite a lot.
Then I got an email. The conversation here is transcribed fully because I'm too confused to synopsify it...
|, let me explain why I'm writing to you. I'm a huge fan of musician Andrew Wilkes-Krier (Andrew WK). As you may or may not know, this past December there was a big web-based event in which apparently andrew went crazy or was kidnapped by his evil nemesis or alter-ego Steev Mike, or it was revealed that Steev wrote all his music and the Louise Harland Corporation controls and "produces" the Andrew WK persona...anyway it's complicated, but it involved the appearance of numerous cryptic websites, voicemail announcements, etc much like an ARG. also much like an ARG it incorporated a real-world event (an awk concert). being rather blindsided by the whole thing, the fan community dealing with all this got into it but most were unsure what the goal was we were working toward in sorting through all this information and plotline (some of which seemed to stretch back long before the websites appeared). the present situation is, the whole event is still a bit of a mystery, only traces (though significant ones to be sure) remain of the websites and such, and most fans like myself kind of have the thing on a backburner, unsure what to do next or if we're supposed to do anything.
ok, sorry to babble on, it's late here; the reason I'm writing is that I've only very recently been reading and learning about the whole ARG concept, and of course realized its connection to the so-called "Steev Mike incident". I googled "arg andrew wk" and came up with your blog. in the may 3 entry you ended by saying something about a dream and the statement "Andrew WK=Not Andrew WK". I was just unclear as to what you were talking about: did you dream this? is it something involved in another ARG? are you familiar with the steev mike stuff? I apologize for not being more concise, but I simply wanted to make contact and see if you knew anything about the Steev Mike/LHC lore that is now undeniably a part of Andrew WK's whole image, and what insights you might have on it as someone involved in ARGs and such.
thanks a bunch!
|Bizzarely the whole "Andrew WK = Not Andrew WK" thing actually *was* from a dream, which is weird if I'm starting to learn about new ARGs in my sleep through some kind of collective consciousness or something! So unfortunately, I don't know anything about the whole Steev Mike thing, although you're right - it certainly does sound like a typical ARG to me. Maybe I'll have a look into it later tonight... are there any particulary forums or sites I should check out to find out more?
|Hey Guy, thanks for responding.
Unfortunately one of the problems with trying to figure out the nature of Steev Mike etc is that there is no single reliable resource for objective information. most of the websites that comprised the initial phase of the mystery have been taken down (some, but not all, are viewable at awk.dudeguy.com). other elements, such as live chats, the December concert, and messages that appeared on andrewwk.com were not recorded as far as I know. the awkworld.com forum has been a center of discussion at times but the folks there aren't really a unified group, and many aren't interested in or are even opposed to discussing Steev Mike. the main problem is that there is great disagreement over what all of this meant/means. when the original websites were up (and "steev" appeared to be controlling awkworld.com) many fans treated it as a game or puzzle. yet when we came to the apparent end of it--a note from steev mike threatening to reveal himself and his relationship to AWK (as well as andrew's romance with nicole kidman, one of the loonier elements of the whole thing)--all the sites disappeared, messages telling us it was the work of a super-sophisticated hacker showed up, "Kristine Williams" started answering questions on awkworld.com, and things got really weird. after that point it became much less clear whether this was all a game, whether there really was some secret behind AWK that was being covered up, or whether Andrew (who has always been prone to elaborate, obsessive creative projects) had simply gone nuts.
whatever the case may be, it seems that there has been conflict on both sides of the curtain, as none of the questions raised have ever been resolved, though whoever orchestrated it (Andrew, I believe) wants the entire Andrew WK enterprise to retain the mystery and unstable reality Steev Mike has given it, as evidenced by a couple presumably fake websites, andrew's dress and behavior at concerts so far this year and the exceptional secrecy around the present recording of his third album. it is also unclear whether or not he has been dropped from his record label, and whether all this had something to do with that. SO, that's an idea of the whole thing, I'm afraid there isn't any solid community consistently working on this, but if you want to learn more for better or worse the best place for consolidated information is awilkeskrier.homestead.com. I have to warn you though, much of that page is utter silliness (the nicole kidman stuff was pretty clearly a joke, and I know the "superfan" guy, he's just as clueless as the rest of us) and some parts are completely inaccurate, for instance the "ransom note" displayed there has been fairly significantly altered from its original form, which means "Ward" may be part of the whole thing too (he disappeared from the awkworld boards after his site went up). www.louiseharland.com is the single strongest thing still out there on the web continuing the storyline or whatever it is. I should also add that the names Steev Mike, K. Williams and others have long been understood to be pseudonyms andrew uses in album credits. it would appear that these names and the roles they were credited with in the I Get Wet liner were the basis for the alternate universe that began unfolding six months ago.
wow, I'm really sorry to take up your time over a dream you happened to have! I could have sworn the phrase Andrew WK=Not Andrew WK showed up somewhere in all this, but it certainly sounds like something that would have anyway. if you ever have any questions or insights about any of this stuff feel free to contact me. the authors of fansites www.awkshare.com and www.dontstopthenoise.com might also be able to help you and give you more info and probably clearer summaries if you desire such things. being someone who presumably enjoys poring over apparent trivialities to find significance, I hope you will forgive my inability to censor many details I'm sure you didn't need.
So there you have it. Bizzare, non? And are puppetmasters really allowed to beam ARGs into my dreams like that? Incidentally, http://awilkeskrier.homestead.com ran a WHOIS on all the sites, revealed that they were nearly all registered to Andrew WK Inc, but still rejects the possibility they were created by him/his people. If you fancy having a dig around, then... have a dig around, I guess.
Disclaimer: I think Andrew WK is a bit rubbish.