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Participatory Fiction (Updated)


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An updated version of my guest lecture on Participatory Fiction for upcoming Experimental Writing class at OCAD University.

Published in: Entertainment & Humor
  • Note: slides 11-22 will not make much sense without the talking point notes that you can view with the notes icon above. In sum: my first participatory curatorial project laid the groundwork of understanding how to pull off participatory fiction projects, as slide 22 encapsulates.
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Participatory Fiction (Updated)

  2. 2. What Participatory Fiction is Not:
  3. 3. “Interactivity is mainly an illusion. My favorite Castle gimmick was for his 1961 film “Mr. Sardonicus” — the audience were handed out little cards with a glow-in-the-dark thumb that he called The Punishment Poll. Near the end of the film, the audience had a chance to vote: thumbs up if you want to show Mr. Sardonicus mercy, and thumbs down if you want to see him punished. The audience was picking the ending of the film. Except, Castle says the “mercy” ending was never once shown, as the audience always voted for the punishment. But Castle was having a gag on all of us, as TCM explains: “Although Castle asserts in his book that there was an alternate ending filmed — one where Sardonicus lives — the consensus among horror film scholars is that it wasn’t actually filmed. No different ending has turned up, even in these days of unearthing every scrap of unused material in extra features for DVD releases.” ~ Brian Clark
  4. 4. Interactive Fiction/Interactive A branching narrative where the reader/ audience wayfinds their way through the narrative by making a series of choices:
  5. 5. Examples of Interactive Fiction/Theatre
  6. 6. Interactive Fiction Engines/Platforms Twine One More Story Games Texture Writer Ren’Py Unity -- modules
  7. 7. Simulations & Video Games
  8. 8. The Dood Show It all starts with a blank page… or in this case a blank wall
  9. 9. The Sandbox Model for Participation What are the constraints? (physical, temporal, organizational, bureaucratic, legal) How are you going to encourage participation? How can you lead participation? What are the rules? (what are the rules of your world/experience) Enforcing the rules? Community moderation? Have you thought of everything? Have you REALLY thought of everything? Worst case scenarios? Logistics: i.e. How are you paying for this? Strike/Documentation
  10. 10. What’s this got to do with Story?
  11. 11. Enter Social Media Platforms #wotw2
  12. 12. Welcome to Sanditon
  13. 13. Broadcast model
  14. 14. Storyworld Building: Welcome to Nightvale “Because it’s an on-demand thing, you can do stuff that requires people to listen to everything you’ve done up to this point,” explains Fink. “You can do a lot of stuff that demands more of an audience, in terms of making references without having to explain them — if they want to go back and figure it out, that’s on them. You can also do structural stuff — we had one story that was told from two perspectives, which you can do when you can release episodes at the same time.”
  15. 15. SHARED STORYWORLDS Clockwork Watch This tumblr Post
  16. 16. Clockwork Watch
  17. 17. Transmedia & Extensions “I believe that transmedia actually reflects aboriginal storytelling methods where there was a lot of room for intersection between different communities, and different voices and different narratives” – Loretta Todd, at Merging Media 2012
  18. 18. Immersive Theatre, Nordic Larp & Alternate Reality Games
  19. 19. Sleep No More
  20. 20. Westworld Experience
  21. 21. Total Immersion: Conspiracy for Good
  22. 22. Zed.To/Byologyc
  25. 25. DANGER WILL ROBINSON You have legal responsibilities for your immersive works: Do not put people in danger Do not be careless or negligent about people’s welfare Do not break the law (including bylaws and OCAD’s code of conduct) Have necessary permits Do not hoax Do not be careless with your “fiction”