Dared My Best Friend to Ruin My Life is the film adaptation of the popular NoSleep story. It tells the story of two friends, Zander Jones and David King, who dare one another to ruin each other’s life, and how the dare spirals wildly out of control. The film directly engages with the subject of misinformation online, the nature of reality in a digital era, and tribalism and division within American society. The film was released in ten episodes during October 2020 in real-time as the events of the story unfolded: for every day that passed in the real world, a day passed in the film as well.
For this project I designed an alternate reality game that ran both ahead of and alongside the release of the film and allowed players to feel as if they were helping Zander fight back against David King by completing missions, interacting with actors playing characters in real-time, and developing real-world internet safety skills. I provided both the design framework for the game and helped develop promotional material during preproduction, as well as supervised the game’s implementation and execution, coordinating between the design team and the film production to make sure that both sides of the project were able to mutually reinforce the intended messages and themes without compromising each other. Additionally, I oversaw hiring and budgeting for this aspect of the film project, and I coordinated with approximately a dozen affiliated projects that were commissioned by the production company to promote the film, weaving their narratives into the game world to make a cohesive tapestry of stories that took place in our fictional setting.
Following the conclusion of the film production, I also oversaw the archiving team that preserved the vast majority of the experience’s online component, ensuring that the project could both be reproduced in the future as well as more effectively pitched to future business partners and investors interested in similar work.
Lead Interaction Designer
7 October 2020