June 28, 2011, By Nicholas Davis via devicemag.com
“One of the biggest announcements during Microsoft’s press conference during E3 2011 was Halo 4. The announcement of the game was a surprise to all but what was even more surprising was that Microsoft and 343 Industries are starting a new Halo trilogy. Halo will always be the franchise that receives the most hype and some give that credit to the world wide success of Bungie and their fine tuning of the Halo franchise. It was not only the gameplay that added to the Halo experience, but the Alternate Reality Games that preceded some of the title. ILoveBees.com (ILB) and 42 Entertainment were the most known and really caused a stir in the industry and amongst gamers. ILB was an Alternative Reality Game (ARG) that served both as a real world experience and a viral marketing campaign that was commissioned by Microsoft. If you haven’t been to the website recently, now may be the time to check it out again. There’s a brand new countdown….”
Excerpt from Jesse Borkowski guest post:
“…The MicroBudget Conversation: Crowdsourcing
My take on utilizing crowdsourcing with regards to micro-budget filmmaking is not about how to use it as a business model to reduce production costs and save money. To me, that falls under outsourcing. Instead, I am interested in exploring how crowdsourcing can be used to create opportunities for audience participation and how the power of the crowd might be leveraged to bring more diversity and collaboration into the filmmaking process.
Engram: Crowdsourcing Memories
Engram is an alternative-narrative, micro-budget, sci-fi epic that explores human emotion through a combination of both fictional and documentary storytelling. The film takes place in the post-Future and focuses largely on the discovery of the Engram 2000, a satellite that contains recorded emotions and memories from all of humanity.
In the film, the Engram 2000 serves as the holy grail of emotional content, and for the storyline we need this satellite to contain dozens of on-board memories for our main character to experience. However, as we began developing the script and structuring the film, we decided not to write the memories ourselves. Instead, we chose to use crowdsourcing to gather real memories, from real people.
Extending the depth of Engram’s narrative structure through the use of primary source documentary material was appealing to us for several different reasons. For one, I have always believed that the structure of a film should match the content of the film whenever possible. So, it just made sense to me that a fictional satellite could contain real memories, from real people, living all over the globe. The Engram 2000 was supposed to contain humanity’s memories, so we decided to let it do just that….”
Read the full post on John Yost’s filmmakermagazine.com
“…DVD sales are dwindling because it’s no longer the most consumer-friendly format. Geo-restricting DVDs by making them region-specific was the kiss of death. And now they are geo-restricting digital downloads. Has anybody learnt anything?
I can only imagine a world where I can effortlessly download/stream films to whatever device I happen to be using at the moment – WITH ONE CLICK. Oh, yes, there is such a place… it’s called Pirate Bay.
And the industry wonders why DVDs are dying…
What was insightful about this experience is that the Studios still don’t understand the needs of consumers. They presume that tying digital downloads to DVD purchases will halt some of the piracy but then they encumber the digital downloads process with all the same nonsensical restrictions that they place on DVDs. This is a bad band-aid. It won’t fix the problem.
Here’s the mantra again: anything, anytime, anywhere.
If you don’t give people what they want, they will find an easier way. And, I’m sorry to say, pirated content is by far the easiest way. It’s easy to find with search. It’s one-click. It’s generally pre-formatted to the widest common denominator. It doesn’t have licensing restrictions. And, it’s free….”
June 28, 2011 · By Kris Nordgren
“Six to Start and the BBC have teamed up to create a transmedia experience tied in with BBC Two documentary The Code, expected to air at the end of July. The Code is presented by Professor of Mathematics Marcus du Sautoy (Horizon on BBC2, The Beauty of Diagrams on BBC4) and explores how the world around us conforms to and can be explained by mathematical codes. Six to Start are next-generation storytellers with plenty of experience creating storytelling projects for different clients, often in the form of alternate reality games or treasure hunts. They’ve worked with the BBC before on projects like Spooks: Code 9 and Seven Ages Quest. As a first for the BBC and possibly a world first, an interactive experience called The Code Challenge has been seamlessly integrated in the writing and filming of The Code since inception. Viewers can participate in an engaging treasure hunt which will take place before, during, and after the series that will extend their understanding of basic mathematical principles.
The Code Challenge begins well before the airing of the actual show. Soon, 1000 people in the UK will receive a secret message with one of the first puzzles of the challenge. For a chance to be one of those 1000, keep an eye on Twitter @bbccode and apply via Twitter or e-mail. A few weeks before the show airs, several Flash games containing clues, puzzles, and more information about the Code will also appear online. The series itself is expected to air at the end of July and will be split into three 60-minute episodes: Magic Numbers, Nature’s Building Blocks and Predicting the Future. Six clues are connected to each episode. Three will be hidden in the programme itself, which can be watched live on BBC Two or on BBC iPlayer. One community clue can only be solved by working together with a group of players. Two further clues will be revealed on the blog and through a Flash game. Players can then enter the six answers they found for each episode into the ‘codebreaker’ to receive three passwords with which they can unlock the ultimate challenge.
The Code Challenge is conceived so everyone can play, even those with no prior understanding of maths or ARG experience, although the final stages of the treasure hunt will be increasingly challenging….”
Read the full post on argn.com
Simon Pulman’s breakdown of Pottermore’s potential gamification:
“So we know that Pottermore will contain a “gamification” layer, whereby users will be rewarded for completing certain tasks with “house points.” These points will be awarded for reading the ebooks, interacting with certain site functionality and -almost certainly – for participating in limited time “events.” They will also be attributed by “house” (Gryffindor, Slytherin etc.), thus replicating the system depicted in the books and movies.
This begs the question: once users have started to accumulate these points, what can they use them for? Sure, gamification always tends to create positive associations when a little notification pops up and a pleasing sound effect plays (see, e.g. XBox Live), but it would strike me as a missed opportunity if the points were not then meaningful in some way.
2. Virtual Items
3. Real Items
I (Siobhan) would add – what about fan-based social activism? move away from what can ‘I’ get? to what can we do in the world re. questions of social justice? social change.
See the Harry Potter Alliance – a fan-based social justice group acting on Rowling’s principles in the real world
“I just went to Brussels and I was lucky enough to get there on the last day of the exhibition of “6 billions others” – by Yann Arthus-Bertrand (see my comments on the whole project in my archive).
The project has been going around the globe since 2008, both as a website and as a moving exhibition (not to mention the book, the DVD, the poster, the postcards and all the relevant merchandising). I have played with the website a lot of times, but I had not seen the exhibition yet… so I was very excited to catch it in Brussels…
The archive of footage is indeed mind blowing. And the fact of watching faces coming from the whole world, speaking to you about personal things, is really touching. Interviews have been devised by themes (family, war, women, fear, happiness, religion etc…) and each theme is projected in a hut (or in Brussels’ case there were lots of small rooms). As a result one browses through a gigantic space, coming in and out from viewing rooms, and moving from a woman speaking about death in an Indian village to a man speaking about love in Canada. If some times the experience is a little too “easy” (is it enough to cut back to back people just sharing a topic?)… I have to admit that the justaposition of themes and people can create some interesting contrasts….”