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A dystopian civilization in the throws of extinction. A government poisoning its own citizens through the drinking water. Military police raiding private residences. The end of civil liberties. The creation of a Church-State. Mind control.
The contents of some conspiracy theorist's personal manifesto? The plot of a rote first-person shooter? The results of a quick jaunt through Snopes.com? Actually, it's all part of the elaborate (and somewhat terrifying) concept behind Nine Inch Nails' upcoming Year Zero album (due April 17), details of which are currently being disseminated through a series of increasingly spooky — and downright odd — Web sites.
But according to reports published on the Web site of the U.K.'s Digit magazine and elsewhere, the sites are part of an alternate reality game, created by 42 Entertainment, a marketing company responsible for one of the most famously ambitious ARGs in history