HOW TO START A CONTENT REVOLUTION: Design the Future & End the World!


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TMC Zed.TO Case Study 2013 Part 2.
Extended Case Study of The Mission Business' 2012 transmedia production of Zed.TO & the invention of ByoLogyc. Case study created by Siobhan O'Flynn

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HOW TO START A CONTENT REVOLUTION: Design the Future & End the World!

  1. 1. Zed.TOCase Study HOW TO START A CONTENT REVOLUTION Invent the Future.... & End the World! Part 2
  2. 2. byologyc CASE STUDY Part 2
  3. 3. Why? The Mission Business is an adventure laboratory and start-up company based in Toronto that designs connected live-action and online experiences. In 2013, ZED.TO broke new ground as a participatory serial theatre production and with a highly successful, thought provoking new business model. Think theatre meets game, LARPing, ARGs... next level
  4. 4. What?In 2013, ZED.TO ran as an 8-month narrative told in real-time through an integrated combination of interactive theatrical events and online content. Participants followed the story of the beginning of the end of the world, from a viral pandemic created by ByoLogyc, a fictional Toronto-based biotech company. Part 2 tracks The Mission Business’ spectacular staging of an end- of-the-world scenario accidentally triggered through ByoLogic’s ambition to redesign you.
  5. 5. innovative cross-platform entertainment
  6. 6. "In all ways, the interactive instances in ZED.TO were designed to provide as much agency as possible for the individual user. In some ways, this is the impossible dream of interactive fiction, giving participants or players real choice that has real consequences not only in their personal story and experience, but also in the world of the larger narrative as well. Indeed, even the fictional corporation's name, ByoLogyc, was an arrow shot toward this target. Byo, as in 'bring your own' or 'build your own' or even 'become your own' hinted to users that this adventure was going to one part 'them', one part 'us', and one part 'we'.” Byron Lavoilette, Writer, Visionary, Wonder Junkie Designing for Creative Participation
  7. 7. Sent to VIPs, seeds clues & keeps story alive between events
  8. 8. Spotlight on Fan/Participant in VIP of the Month
  9. 9. Conspiracy clues seeded before ByoLogyc Patient Zero event via Graphic Nove/Blog ‘SEPTEMBER 28, 2012 ‘I got banned from ByoLogyc, yet here we are. There is more to see at ByoLogyc, and so I suppose I won’t be done until they are… or my funding runs out. Renata Reinger is a bit of a mystery. I’ve only ever met her once or twice and she’s never been all that chatty. At least not with me. To be honest, I sort of overlooked her as, in comparison to the Chets and Olives of the world, she doesn’t seek the spotlight. What I’ve learned is that she’s been promoted to the head of something called the Sanitation & Containment Division. As well, there have been a lot of recent hires at ByoLogyc lately. Or so I’ve heard. Are they connected? It’s hard to know WHAT’S going on at our dear Biotech/Lifestyle Solutions/Problem-Child...’ Original post here
  10. 10. Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Church of the Holy Trinity, September 30 2012 ‘Over 2000 visitors moved through ByoLogyc's free Public Health and Community Wellness Clinic, set up for one night in order to respond to growing threat presented by the BRX virus. Scotiabank Nuit Blanche offered the perfect context for ByoLogyc's outreach, as an all-night arts festival with tens of thousands of potential victims roaming the streets. Those who responded to the invitation experienced an intense ten minute journey through a crumbling corporation and a disaster on the horizon.’ patient Zero Live Event #3
  11. 11. • All visitors were efficiently introduced to ByoLogyc and the BRX virus by a combination of actors, video stations, detailed signage, and an online dissident faction communicating with visitors via SMS. • A team of medical staff administered a personal examination for every visitor. • An immunization pill was offered to every visitor. Those who elected not to take it were photographed, and the image projected outside for passers-by to be alerted about the possible risk. • Outside the clinic, ByoLogyc's riot-equipped security force faced off against a group of protestors, while those in line for the clinic watched (or joined in.) Live Event #3 HIGHLIGHTS • A century-old church fully transformed into a medical processing facility, complete with quarantined areas, cleaning stations, and an examination area. •
  12. 12. Build up to Live Event #4 Facebook Page invitation to Public Health & Community Wellness Clinic Pandemic announced via Facebook Page
  13. 13. Evergreen Brick Works, November 2-3 2012 ‘As the world succumbed to the BRX virus, 500 ticket holders over 4 shows paid top dollar for access to the ByoRetreat, ByoLogyc's solution to the imminent collapse of society. Part refugee camp, part deluxe getaway, this large compound would serve as their home, along with the ByoLogyc senior staff. Unfortunately, over two hours, they witnessed the final breakdown of an institution built on greed and hubris. With 50 performers facilitating 9 participant tracks and 63 different possible paths through the evening, every participant was given the opportunity to truly decide what part they would play in the end of the world. Live Event #4 Retreat
  14. 14. Live Event #4 • Action ticket holders joined up with the resistance group working to destroy ByoLogyc; and Privilege ticket holders joined the CEO for refreshments, live opera, and world-altering decisions. • A huge, interactive space with loads of unique installations, including a medical processing centre, a welcome area, a military outpost, an archive room, a board room, a disaster relief area and a campsite. • Dozens of individually designed participant-driven activities gave every kind of participant the opportunity to get into the story. • A grand finale depicting the final apocalyptic showdowns between characters, between factions, and between worlds. • HIGHLIGHTS • Four different ticket types offered unique experiences. Adventure ticket holders joined the ByoLogyc senior staff on their personal journeys; Power ticket holders were integrated into ByoLogyc's fully equipped paramilitary force;
  15. 15. patientzero fans mobilized as supporters & protesters
  16. 16. fans mobilized as protesters run Twitter accounts patientzero
  17. 17. Online app accesses facebook diagnostics your friends suspect warning to network infected friends Create an Online Experience Facebook Diagnosis Tool September- November 2012
  18. 18. Bring the Future to Life HIGHLIGHTS • The Mission Business was hired by Autodesk to kick off an annual-workshop event at NASA Research Park with 30 VIP attendees • It’s ByoLogyc in 2021 - what are Chet, Olive, and four new department heads working on nearly a decade after the BRX disaster? • Event attendees were split across four teams sprinting to defuse a rogue artificial intelligence hurtling towards Earth orbit with a seemingly extraterrestrial organic signature in tow. • The event invited science fiction authors including Ramez Naam and Douglas Coupland, technologists like Brian David Johnson, designers like Hugh Dubberly and even astronauts to imagine what decisions might result from a disruptive and alternative future scenario... all through an engaging and game-like immersive activity.
  19. 19. Bring the Future to Life Zed.TO BYOLOGYC: shadowfall
  20. 20. Zed.TOshadowfall Create an Infographic Timeline
  21. 21. Zed.TOshadowfall embed a crazy amount of content....
  22. 22. embed a crazy amount of content....
  23. 23. embed a crazy amount of content....
  24. 24. link to... PDFS Slidedecks Images Whiteboard notes... share your secrets... & the future
  25. 25. The Mission Business INSIGHT ‘There’s an adage in storytelling that you can always up the ante by showing, rather than telling. With ZED.TO and ByoLogyc, we have tried to shape our storytelling across media platforms to feel more like SHOWING audiences what is happening, rather than telling them. Even if we have to produce a recap before one of our live events, it should be present within the larger narrative we’re constructing, and delivered in such a way that it aligns with or supports the behavior of our characters (individuals or mega-characters, like ByoLogyc or EXE). As much as what we’re designing is an elegant and richly detailed simulation, our goal has always been to give audiences the impression that our story is ALIVE… which I think puts us at odds with many storytellers working in film and TV.’ Trevor Haldenby, Co-Founder, Designer, Evangelist, Foresighter
  26. 26. Create a Future Storyline via embedded documents
  27. 27. Keep the Story Alive Chet live on Twitter
  28. 28. tracking social connectivity dataViz TwitterNetworks •‘The following visualization was produced using the software tool Gephi. •The visualization depicts the network of connections that existed between the accounts attached to: •@ByoLogyc and @ByoLeaks on Twitter (blue) •the online terrorist organization EXE and its mascot Paul Fisher (red) •@ByoLogyc’s senior management team (grey) •Twitter users who followed ByoLogyc or its senior staff & mentioned one of them at least once (green).’ Trevor Haldenby, MDes. Thesis. Co-Founder, Designer, Evangelist, Foresighter
  29. 29. tracking social connectivity dataViz TwitterNetworks
  30. 30. tracking social connectivity What you see •The thicker the edges connecting two nodes, the more frequent the mentions back and forth between the two accounts. •The size of the nodes themselves indicates the amount of Twitter activity related to the account or hashtags for ByoLogyc. •The positioning of a node is optimized relative to the pattern of its connection. Twitter users with connections to multiple ByoLogyc staff members, for instance, are represented spatially within the ByoLogyc staff cluster. •Twitter users with connections to ByoLogyc CEO Chet Getram alone are clustered •together in the top-middle of the visualization — their proximity together indicates a •likeness in behaviour, not dense connectivity with each other. Trevor Haldenby, MDes. Thesis. Co-Founder, Designer, Evangelist, Foresighter
  31. 31. Clear Dramatic Themes
  32. 32. Zed.TO Google Insights Over the course of the project, ZED.TO attracted more than 4,000 live participants to its pervasive and immersive experiences materializing moments from a speculative biotechnological future, and generated more than 35,000 online engagements. ZED.TO Traffic + Time-on-site:
  33. 33. Zed.TO Google Insights Between its launch in February of 2012, and the conclusion of ZED.TO’s narrative in December of 2012, the official ByoLogyc website was accessed by 7,046 unique visitors over 16,000 visits, generating 82,833 pageviews, and an average time-on-site of over 5 minutes. In contrast, the ZED.TO project website, which was publicized in media coverage and promotion of the project rather than highlighted in-narrative, was accessed by 13,391 unique visitors over 19,500 visits, generating 31,518 pageviews, and an average on- site time of approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds. ByoLogyc Traffic + Time-on-site:
  34. 34. BIG THANKS TO TREVOR HALDENBY & BYRON LAVOILETTE FOR ALL THEIR HELP IN CREATING THIS CASE STUDY! For the curious and the obsessed, know that there is MUCH MUCH MORE out there to be documented on the extraordinary experience that was Zed.TO... Fan blog posts Facebook exchanges & posts of pics & videos Twitter content Reviews on theatre, culture & digital culture blogs....
  35. 35. You can find Trevor Haldenby’s MRP (Major Research Paper) submitted to the Master of Design, Strategic Foresight & Innovation, OCAD U here: Transmedia-Scenarios-and-the-World-of-Worlding And you can also watch two of Trevor’s recent talks here: here here
  36. 36. urls... slide specific urls... Slide 9: Slide17: Slide 18-24:
  37. 37. THANKS to... tmcrkpartners
  38. 38. The Zed.TO Case Study is released under a NonCommercial ShareAlike Creative Commons license to be shared, remixed and expanded non-­‐commercially, as long as you credit the TMC Resource Kit, the creator of the Case Study, Anthea Foyer and/or Dr. Siobhan O’Flynn, and license your new creations under the identical terms. Images from third parties retain original copyright.
  39. 39. Get in Touch Zed.TO Case Study was prepared by: Dr. Siobhan O’Flynn @Sioflynn contactus TMC Resource Kit