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   Help | The Ark gameshow
OK, I'm here, tell me all about this thing. What is the Ark?

The Ark is the world's first Internet reality game show. Kinda like Big Brother meets the Bible.

Well, that doesn't tell me a whole lot.

Right. What we've done is gathered 18 of the most interesting figures in the Bible and resurrected them in all their virtual reality glory. Unfortunately, there's only room for 12. They will board a modern-day version of Noah's Ark, complete with animals and a flood, and sail on to Mt Ararat for 40 days and nights.

Is that it? They just float around on a boat?

Oh no. The players will be given specific tasks to perform throughout the voyage (which will allow you a horrifying peek into the sadistic natures of the Ark Team). Also, every now and then someone will magically appear on the decks of the Ark and toss in a conversational grenade and then disappear again. You, our gentle voyeur, will be able to watch the fun from a safe distance.

"Someone will magically appear." What the heck are you talking about?

Not only have we called forth the Bible's interesting human figures, but we've managed to secure the services of the Ark Angel Gabriel to oversee the action.

"Ark Angel"? Groan.

Hey, we've been doing this for a while now, let us have our obvious fun.

So Gabriel's running the show, eh?

Not exactly. He'll be taking his orders from the Man Upstairs, who has graciously agreed to take up temporary residence in the Crow's Nest. That's right – God's coming along for the ride, too!

Wow. That's impressive.

We thought so. However, in order to prevent any Raiders of the Lost Ark-type melting of bodies, no one will actually see God. You'll only hear (read) his voice.

So how does the game work?

As mentioned before, we'll be giving the players tasks to perform and issues to discuss while you watch. At the end of the first week, and every four days thereafter, the players will nominate someone to be evicted. The two players who receive the most eviction nominations will be presented to the rest of the world, who will then decide their fates. One will go, one will get a reprieve.

What happens to the player who's voted off?

They take a long walk down the plank, and then pray that they've learned to swim. After that, they'll be available in the Live Chat for a post-chucking interview.

And the winner? What's the prize?

You mean something other than the fame and glory of winning the world's first Internet reality game show? As if that's not enough, they also get a nice wad of dough. The prize is 666, which translates to rougly US$1000. Plus our Chief Executive Sucker has promised a hand-built replica of the Ark made out of matchsticks.

OK, I gotta ask. Where on earth did you come up with this?

Well, one day Clare Rishbeth, one of the admins of the Ship of Fools bulletin boards, started a game on a discussion thread and billed it as "the world's first internet reality gameshow". Simon Jenkins, the site editor, liked it and developed the idea of running something onboard an Ark with biblical characters. For a look at the Ark's everso humble great-grandparent, check out the Smilie Sisters thread on the Limbo bulletin board. The two of them now make decisions and give orders from their padded cells.

You mean to tell me that only two people did all this?

Not exactly. They're the project managers, but a few other people have helped out along the way. One day there will be a list of all the no-lifers that congregate on Ship of Fools who worked on this... but not today.

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The Ark © 2003
*Samson not drawn to scale