Ash Vlogs is a very creative, unique, and well put together alternate reality game (ARG) that was put together starting in 2018, and has continued to this day. Without giving away too many spoilers the story revolves around a young woman named “Ash” who has recently started a Youtube channel to vlog about her seemingly normal personal life, however things soon take a turn for the worse and the story grows into a much creepier darker mystery full of twists and turns. Due to the more mature nature that the Ash Vlogs content eventually grows into, a murder mystery story, I feel as if the intended audience for this ARG is more upper teenaged and adult players and viewers; this ARG was most certainly not intended for young audiences as it does get dark at certain times. With that being said, the ARG was definitely intended for people who enjoyed mystery and possibly already played ARG’s as keeping up with this story also takes a lot of time and effort in itself and the casual viewer may get lost or grow bored with it pretty easily. However, the deeper mystery behind the story, overall good production of the narrative, good acting by all characters involved helped Ash Vlogs to become one of the most well known and arguable successful ARG’s on the internet.
The Ash Vlogs series has almost all of the storytelling themes that Bryan Alexander describes in his book The New Digital Storytelling. The Ash Vlogs series has played out over multiple years and contains many different episodes and videos intertwined across multiple social media platforms. Through this, Ash Vlogs has been able to master the theme of a serial structure. If it were not for the success at perfecting this theme, Ash Vlogs would not still be around to this day, over 2 years after it was originally created. Not only this, but as I have previously mentioned, the ARG behind Ash Vlogs takes place over many different social media networks including, but not limited to: YouTube, Reddit, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. By doing this, the Ash Vlogs ARG uses the concept of multiple proscenia to its advantage and makes players of the game utilize many different avenues to figure out the story.
This ARG is also able to utilize the concepts of personal presence and social framework by allowing those playing the game to directly interact with the story and share their findings with one another. In fact, there are several different Subreddits, wikis, and Discord chats dedicated to solving the mystery behind Ash Vlogs. Not only have the creators of this story been able to utilize multiple online platforms to form their narrative, but there have also been several real world clues that players have had to find themselves. Through this the creators of the story are able to use many different platform affordances that they would not normally be able to by only using one online platform to create the story. Through the use and execution of all these ideas, the Ash Vlogs story has been able to continue for multiple years and is still successful in its own right.