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Cross media between gaming and storytelling


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lecture at the Mediamatic workshop on crossmedia games, October 2007

Published in: Entertainment & Humor, Design
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Cross media between gaming and storytelling

  2. 2. WHAT IS CROSS MEDIA? <ul><li>Convergence </li></ul><ul><li>Transition from old media to new media </li></ul><ul><li>New kind of storytelling: transmedial worlds and stories, core content </li></ul><ul><li>Participation and sharing </li></ul>Values behind cross media:
  3. 3. ABOUT CONVERGENCE <ul><li>Different types of convergence : </li></ul><ul><li>Technological: digitalized content can be transferred across platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Economic: same company own different sectors of industry (ex: TV, publishing,music label) </li></ul><ul><li>Social: convergence through multitasking - real convergence happens inside the individual’s brain (“organic” convergence) </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural: grassroots productions meet mainstream, storytelling is free to express itself through all possible channels </li></ul><ul><li>(Henry Jenkins, 2004) </li></ul>
  4. 4. FROM OLD MEDIA TO NEW MEDIA <ul><li>“ Enhanced” media: “old” media add some extra content on “new” platforms to freshen up (Emmerdale, Lost Experience) </li></ul><ul><li>Repurposing: “old” media adapt their content to be reproduced in new formats, webcast, YouTube, mobisodes (LOST, 24h) </li></ul><ul><li>Remediation: “old” media take the form of “new” media to be more accessible (CNN on the internet) - unlike repurposing, the communication structure is changed </li></ul>
  5. 5. NEW KIND OF STORYTELLING <ul><li>#1 : “Thou shall not be redundant” </li></ul><ul><li>transmedia storytelling goes from platform to platform using each channel for a specific use </li></ul><ul><li>the basis of transmedial storytelling is the transmedial world (Star Wars,The Matrix, Tolkien, but also Blair Witch Project); sometimes a transmedial character will do (Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) </li></ul><ul><li>core content : an environment supporting stories, characters, and play patterns (B. Laurel 2003) </li></ul>Buffy prequel and sequel : Tales of the Slayers and Fray
  6. 6. NEW KIND OF STORYTELLING/2 <ul><li>Foundational narrative (B. Laurel, 2003): </li></ul><ul><li>Create a mythology, set of stories, history or chronology </li></ul><ul><li>Create rituals - give people things to do and to think about </li></ul><ul><li>Support community foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Cross media interaction design aims at moving the audience from one medium to the other (C. Dena 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Calls to action and openings for participation are the bone structure of cross media design </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory rather than interactive storytelling </li></ul>
  7. 7. CROSS MEDIA AND GAMES <ul><li>Cross media doesn’t necessarily mean game(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Cross media shares a number of elements with gaming (exploratory mode, sometimes direct interaction and gameplay, make believe), but its main goal is to tell a story </li></ul><ul><li>what we can call “cross media games” on the other hand use a story as a background for a game experience (Alternate Reality Games and similar) </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike games, narrative is indivisible from cross media - this doesn’t mean games can not be created within a cross media structure; space to debate what a game is, or the difference between a game and a format </li></ul>
  8. 8. GAMES FOR THE SAKE OF GAMING/1 Immersive aesthetics Interface-less interface TINAG principle (This Is Not A Game) (MacGonigal2003) ALTERNATE REALITY GAMES <ul><li>YEAR ZERO/NINE INCH NAILS </li></ul><ul><li>“ I am trying to believe” </li></ul><ul><li>Parepin/The Presence/Opal/Church of </li></ul><ul><li>Piano/Open Source Resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting in LA </li></ul><ul><li>USB drives in European bathrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Advertisement but also expansion </li></ul><ul><li>For fans only/multiple references though (NIN, Vonnegut,P.K.Dick) </li></ul>
  9. 9. GAMES FOR THE SAKE OF GAMING/2 WORLD WITHOUT OIL: “Play it - before you live it!” <ul><li>Collective intelligence to solve real life problems </li></ul><ul><li>1700 active players, 50.000 viewers </li></ul><ul><li>Create scenarios of world without oil/ </li></ul><ul><li>apocalypse/constructive actions </li></ul><ul><li>real life “missions” </li></ul><ul><li>8 fictional characters interact with “real” </li></ul><ul><li>fiction, on blogs, Fickr, YouTube etc </li></ul>
  10. 10. GAMES FOR THE SAKE OF GAMING/3 The Fallen Experience: an ARG for teenagers <ul><li>ABC advertisement for TV series “Fallen” </li></ul><ul><li>follows adventures of Faith, in line with TV series </li></ul><ul><li>Seattle San Diego Tampa Adelaide India Ararat </li></ul><ul><li>Collective detecting: clues, tracking Faith, “visions” </li></ul><ul><li>Less media involved: more affordable? </li></ul><ul><li>Which element (content, narrative structure, platform </li></ul><ul><li>structure) makes it so good for a younger audience? </li></ul>
  11. 11. GAMES FOR THE SAKE OF GAMING/4 CROSS MEDIA GAME:THE ULTIMATE SEARCH FOR BOURNE Partnership between “The Bourne Ultimatum” and Google - on the model of Da Vinci Code and The Break Up Find Bourne - interface reminds of movie, while making narrative use of Google Maps <ul><li>doesn’t ask for TINAG principle </li></ul><ul><li>doesn’t call you at home </li></ul><ul><li>one interface only </li></ul><ul><li>extension of film world </li></ul>
  12. 12. GAMES FOR THE SAKE OF GAMING/5 CROSS MEDIA GAME : ONLINE CAROLINE “ interactive friendship” doll house element (pick clothes) interface: web/email soap element gender issue?
  13. 13. STORYTELLING AS QUEST/1 THE TULSE LUPER SUITCASES: a personal history of Uranium, by Peter Greenaway Three feature films, 16-episode TV series, 92 DVDs, as well as websites, CD-ROMs and books
  14. 14. STORYTELLING AS QUEST/2 Narration draws from many elements: exploration, archiving, FAN community each element is relevant and independent database aesthetics meet Borges
  15. 15. STORYTELLING AS QUEST/3 THE TULSE LUPER JOURNEY: AN ONLINE GAME Each suitcase: 92 nazi gold bars, Vatican pornography, 92 shoes, Hollywood stars underwear - each suitcase is a game, each puzzle solved earns you a video clip Collective effort/FAN game, requires Specialized knowledge Social aspect: trading information, eBay-style Real life prizes: a trip around the world, drawings by Greenaway, DVD boxes
  16. 16. PARTICIPATION AS GAME: DIFFERENT CASE STUDIES <ul><li>CURRENT TV: “the television home </li></ul><ul><li>page for the Internet generation ” </li></ul><ul><li>aimed 18-34 </li></ul><ul><li>25% of programming is Viewer Content </li></ul><ul><li>Pods 3-7 minutes (up to 15) </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment desk suggest themes </li></ul><ul><li>all about democracy (“putting you in </li></ul><ul><li>control of television”, “handling over the </li></ul><ul><li>means of production”) </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory culture : “is a culture with relatively low barriers </li></ul><ul><li>to artistic expression and civic engagement,strong support </li></ul><ul><li>for creating and sharing one’s creations,and some type of </li></ul><ul><li>informal mentorship(..) members believe their contribution </li></ul><ul><li>matters” </li></ul><ul><li>(Jenkins 2006) </li></ul>
  17. 17. PARTICIPATION AS GAME/2 FOURDOCS : EDUCATING PROSUMERS <ul><li>“ just” a website </li></ul><ul><li>great emphasis on teaching and learning new skills </li></ul><ul><li>same approach of CurrentTV, but reward is not in $$$ </li></ul><ul><li>one of the first to use “bluecasting”(posters in underground stations and cinemas allow you to download 8 Fourdocs via Bluetooth) </li></ul>
  18. 18. PARTICIPATION AS GAME/3 ZIMMERTWINS: participation for kids View, share, make - easy access to creation Parental permission but no parental involvement The reward is to go on the air Unlike - The Nuuk(2005) Storybook and online game for children 8-11years old Tracking and hunting of mythical beasts in home fridges Place both parent and child within the story
  19. 19. CROSS MEDIA AND VIRTUAL WORLDS/1 CSI: NY in Second Life <ul><li>Virtual CSI Lab </li></ul><ul><li>“ Down the Rabbithole” airing October 24 </li></ul><ul><li>Simplified platform (Onrez) to encourage out-world users </li></ul><ul><li>Story will start on TV, will continue in Second Life, and end on TV - Lab and Island will be permanent </li></ul><ul><li>participation: you will contribute to solve the mystery in the virtual Crime Lab (6 months); in the future, more crimes to solve (1 every month) </li></ul>
  21. 21. CROSS MEDIA IN VIRTUAL WORLDS/3 Thursday’s fictions Adaptation across media: live performance + machinima Film Dance opera Theatre piece Radio piece TV episodes from film
  22. 22. CONCLUSIONS/1 Cross media is complex and doesn’t necessarily mean game “ cross media” as a term is used in relation to established media forms; hopefully soon augmented and mixed reality will show their potential with regards to (media) narrative Cross media games extend the potential of each medium to create rich experiences, to reach the personal sphere “ game” in cross media is most often a social experience,
  23. 23. CONCLUSIONS/2 How many media do you want your project to stretch to? Is it based on a character, a storyworld, a storyline---? What are the CTA (calls to actions)? What are the openings for participation? How does the cross media structure improves the same concept developed on mono-media?
  25. 25. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS brought to you by Factory Girl, for knowledge sharing Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture, MIT Press 2006 Brenda Laurel, “Creating Core Content in a Post-Convergence World, 2001 Christy Dena, Current State of Cross Media storytelling: Preliminary observations for future design, 2004 Jane MacGonigal, The Beast, 2004 J. D. Bolter, R. Grusin, Remediation, MIT Press 2001 Pat Harrigan, Noah Wardrup-Fruin, Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media, MIT Press 2007 V.Rao, Playable Stories: cross media and playability, 2007 D. Szulborski, This is not a game, New Fiction publishing 2005