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New Media Stories For New Audiences

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“You Suck at Photoshop”: A Tutorial with a Story (Hide stories in unexpected places) “Surrender Control”: SMS Theater (Give yourself ridiculous constraints) “We Tell Stories”: Web-Native Stories (Experiment outside your comfort zone) “I Am Cherry Girl”: An Authentic Character (Invent a character without a storyline) “Yu-Gi-Oh!”: Telling Stories Across Platforms (Give the fans stuff to play with) “Smokescreen”: A Story for Modern Attention Spans (Give them stories to snack and binge on)

SOURCE: Locke and Ettinghausen – “New Stories for New Audiences” Picnic 2009

Beyond Facebook
“You might think making games is all about putting 40 percent awesome in a box, throwing in a pinch of zazz and calling it a SKU, but that's not true. Games, you may have noticed, are all around us, all the time. In the video below, Carnegie Mellon professor and ex-imagineer Jesse Schell lays out a vision of the future in which our lives become, essentially, one big RPG. Schell's discussion kicks off with some of the most unexpected gaming developments over the last few years, including:  The sudden success of Guitar Hero.  The Wii winning the console wars  Webkins  The incredible popularity of Xbox Achievements.  Mafia Wars “„What do these have in common? A variety of psychological tricks,‟ explains Schell, who then goes on to examine how these various gaming successes take advantage of humans instincts, and how we hunger "to get to anything real." He goes on to examine how gaming has extended to grading a class, driving a car, shopping and socializing, ending at a future where everything is a kind of game.”

Source:Carnegie Mellon University Professor, Jesse Schell, dives into a world of game development which will emerge from the popular "Facebook Games" era. “Design Outside the Box” DICE Feb 18, 2010:

Reality is Broken

Source: Jane McGonigal – “Gaming Can Make a Better World” TED, Feb 2010:

Alternate Reality Games


Alternate Reality Gaming (ARG)
Unique genre of gaming (since about 2000) that combines real world events with some form of virtual experience. Built around solving puzzles or mysteries rather than “killing enemies” and has many emergent properties created by users rather than simple linear story-lines

Alternate Reality Gaming is, according to CNET, " obsession-inspiring genre that blends real-life treasure hunting, interactive storytelling, video games and online community...
"These games are an intensely complicated series of puzzles involving coded Web sites, real-world clues like the newspaper advertisements, phone calls in the middle of the night from game characters and more. That blend of real-world activities and a dramatic storyline has proven irresistible to many." These games often have a specific goal of not only involving the player with the story and/or fictional characters but of connecting them to the real world and to each other. Many game puzzles can be solved only by the collaborative efforts of multiple players, sometimes requiring one or more players to get up from their computers to go outside to find clues or other planted assets in the real world.

“Traditional” GAMES
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is the next stage in the game evolution.


The “Beast” (the first mainstream ARG)
“This much we were told from the beginning: Evan Chan was murdered. A web of clues was spun through the datasphere, and the Cloudmakers meticulously pored over each and every puzzle and detail. The Cloudmakers brought together diverse skills ranging from cutting edge spectral analysis to a unique and unrivaled knowledge of historical events and world literature . . . and a whole lot more. Two heads may be better than one, but seven thousand combined to form the ultimate crime fighting syndicate.”

A complicated promo for the movie “AI”. Began in 2000, ended in 2001 with over a million players.

A crafty way to self promote comic books. Ran for 3 years in 2 forms.

A complicated advertisement to “increase interest” for the TV series “Fallen”. Began and ended in 2006.

The first mainstream non-promo ARG. Very linear storyline. Simplistic card based puzzles. 3 years for “season one”, and sadly “season two” never happened.


despoiler taking the “spoiler” out of, um, “spoilers”