@theory11′s intriguing update on JJ Abrams’ Mystery Box & Playing Cards…

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Following my (I admit it!) disgruntled post on what seemed to be the mundane contents of JJ Abrams’ Mystery Box & Mystery Playing Cards, I got these faith-restoring tweets from @theory11 in a pretty quick turnaround!

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I love it when I stand corrected & the update is really really good! Thanks @theory11 & apologies for the tardy update! Great big project news forthcoming!

JJ Abrams’ Mystery Box Playing Cards… Collectibles? Snake Oil?

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I got very very excited about this one as my first thought was that maybe this would be a new card game, designed from the ground up.

I was thinking a unique set of rules, with maybe the cards as a set of ‘game’ prompts, with themes, characters, actions, events, outcomes… something like what Jeff Watson created for his PhD Dissertation, Reality Ends Here.


In Jeff Watson’s collaborative media-making game, the cards act as prompts to collaborative creative multi-media productions, staged on the campus of USC:

Reality is a collaborative media-making game for 10 or more players. It is not a single-sitting game, but rather a long-term experience. Depending on how you want to run it, a “season” of Reality can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months or longer. It is not a game like Monopoly or Senet or Tag or Mario Kart. If anything, it’s more like a miniature sporting league, where the sport involves media-making, socializing, strategy, and team-building, and where the teams are impermanent, forming and dissolving on a project-by-project basis.”

JJ Abrams’ Mystery Cards, however, appear to be just that – ordinary playing with layers of collectible packaging.

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As Abrams’ TED Talk Mystery Box famously defined, sometimes you don’t want to know what’s inside the box because what you imagined was infinitely more exciting. The cards, pointedly, come wrapped & sealed so you have to decide whether to violate the packaging & reveal the deck within

Abrams has given hard core fans the opportunity to now buy their own mystery box, with 12 decks for the substantial cost of $149 US.

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Even though Abrams is shunting $1 per deck to 826 National, a literacy initiated started by Dave Eggers in San Francisco (which I love), I can’t see myself rushing to buy the deck or the box.

There is no mystery, rather what we might think of as a simulation/simulacra of mystery, given that there is no creative value in the cards themselves.  I was really hoping for something much more engaging like the brand new futurist object generating card game I played yesterday, The Thing from the Future.

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Designed by Jeff Watson and Stuart Candy, The Situation Lab OCAD University, for an event co-hosted with New York’s Extrapolation Factory, this card game, designed as a set of prompts, was a highly creative, engaging collaborative experience.

At the end of the day, we had generated hundreds if not thousands of future scenarios and possible objects, and created a selection of physical objects which are now available in a vending machine from the future at OCAD University.

Future vending

That’s mine in the top centre, the red one…

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In contrast, Abrams’ Mystery cards are all package, faux mystery, and, honestly? very polished snake oil. Not buying here

Tribeca Film Festival: Jane Rosenthal on the Future of Film and Why Story Still Matters

See on Scoop.itTracking Transmedia

We talk to Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal about how the festival has embraced technology and new forms of storytelling.

“Do you think you’ll continue every year with this idea of innovation and that every year you’ll seek out what’s new and innovative?

Well, you’re curious about how to tell stories, so last year the Vine app was brand new and I was fascinated with “Can you tell a story in six seconds?” And now this year it’s evolved to people who are using and creating, and some of them are real artists. This year,  we’re doing our music challenge, which is a non-linear platform, and I think there’s ways to tell stories in a non-linear way, so go take a look at Interlude, and at what they’re doing with Treehouse format. It’s totally seamless. So new musicians have grasped this, and they want to do non-linear music, because then people can share it in different ways, and watch the music video over and over again. For narrative films, we’re going to have a film at the festival which I haven’t seen, it’s not even finished yet, called “Possibilia” and that’s by the Daniels, these young guys out of Emerson. They’re called the Daniels, not because they’re related but because they’re both named Daniel, and that’s a non-linear comedy. So I’ve played with it as they’ve been making it and I haven’t seen the final product, but I’m excited by all these different ways of telling stories…”

See on www.indiewire.com

Extraordinary. Leviathan: The Future Of Storytelling | The Creators Project

See on Scoop.itTracking Transmedia

“Considering a future wherein cinematic experiences are participatory, audiences would interact with narratives as if they were concurrently films and video games.

“Leviathan” points towards a future in which video games and cinema are fused in order to create new experiences. And while the integrated world of “Leviathan” is impressive in its own right, it also illustrates that folkloric practices will continue to be revolutionized in the near future. “It’s really a space that you can hardly guess where those stories and where those experiences are gonna take us,” says McDowell.” “We’re really moving rapidly into a new narrative space.”…”

See on thecreatorsproject.vice.com