Yomi Ayeni’s Breathewas an interactive experience taking place over 3 weeks in October 2009, resulting in the creation of a movie released in 3 parts. At its height, it included immersive live events such as a club night following an initiation ceremony for a secretive, clandestine society. The game attracted a dedicated core following as well as a more general audience attending events such as the club night. Now, Expanding Universe has plans to transform the experience into a recurring event either later in 2010 or in early 2011.
The events should hover in between the full experience and a normal movie screening. While the film will still be shown in its original three parts, attendees will be encouraged to visit websites and explore the story in various ways between showings of the filmed episodes. Participants will have access to a portal specifically created for the event, where various sections of the wider story will be unlocked in a calendar format as the movie progresses. These may include websites, phone numbers, extra video content and more, some of which will be exclusive to the events. The live events of Breathe’sinitial run were fully filmed in anticipation of such redistribution, and with the permission from those involved, may also be used as part of the storytelling platform.
Attendees will be encouraged to discuss their findings in groups; Yomi believes that this will further understanding of the story as a whole, as individuals can bring their different perspectives and findings to the discussion. Much as participants of the original experience were able to act as “beacons” to bring the experiential parts of the story to the wider audience, it is hoped that people discovering different story areas and content can come together to discuss these as a whole. These exploration and discussion sessions will help to preserve the wider and richer experience of the story to supplement the absence of real-time events. At the end of the full screening, there will be a wider talk and Q&A session with the audience to cement understanding of the story.
Earlier this year, Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton sent out a call for help, but not with his racing career – he uses his globe-trotting lifestyle to track down and recover stolen works of art, and his latest case was proving a tough nut to crack. Thus began Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life, brought to you by Reebok and nDreams.
Since our previous article on this game, players have cracked a museum security system, tracked down a reclusive art collector, aided an aspiring singer, and, finally, guided Lewis himself a daring heist through a mansion in Shanghai. Throughout the varied story, the most impressive elements have been a live meet in Kuala Lumpur and the fully interactive game used to plan the eventual heist.
After tracking down the culprit to his mansion in Shanghai, players needed to find the mansion floor plans so Lewis’ team could plot the heist. Luckily, Lewis’ comrade Anna discovered the mansion had been designed by an architect named Frank, and players were tasked with retrieving the mansion plans from him. Once on Frank’s website, players found an email address. Sending the name of one of several notable architects to the email address provided a response with a link to Frank’s twitter feed, @AnonArchitect. Not only did this reveal a picture of Frank in his best pink Lacoste shirt, but players also found he had plans to visit Suria KLCC, a mall in Kuala Lumpur, on a research trip. One intrepid fan contacted an expatriate website, finding a contact in Kuala Lumpur ready to meet Frank on the appointed date. You can read the story of the encounter here (although you will need to translate the article from French).
Lewis Murphy agreed to share his spine-tingling experiences at Pleasure Principled: A Night of Xcess in this guest post. So sit back and listen to his harrowing tale…if you dare.
On October 14th, the first part of Yomi Ayeni and Expanding Universe’s Breathe was shown for the first time at the Power to the Pixel party, at London’s County Hall. However, that was not the only thing happening that evening – previously, players who had joined the mysterious secret society Clamamus Pro Aeris received a message to be there holding a copy of TimeOut magazine. Amongst the mingling and drinking at the party, one or two suspicious waiters approached people holding the magazine and offered them a free drink. Upon receiving their free drink, they were given a VIP invitation to the Pleasure Principled Night for Xcess party… and told to arrive at 9pm, one hour before the stated opening time of the party, for free entry. A message was posted to the Clanamus group, requesting players to arrive at the venue by 9pm for “challenges.” I attended the event along with several players.
Once the shutters of the front entrance to the club opened, our group entered the empty club with trepidation. We were soon greeted by a man covered head to toe in a white bodysuit that covered his face. He silently beckoned us into the club, where we were guided by many more people in white bodysuits, including one filming us throughout with a small video camera. This was our first hint of exactly how creepy the evening would become; the people wearing bodysuits were breathing very heavily and audibly, but not saying a single word. Instinctively we followed suit, remaining silent as we approached a series of chairs in one corner of the room. There, printed sheets on a clipboard informed us the reason we were there. We would take part in a test of our strength to see if we were able to join the Clamamus Pro Aeris sect fully. Failure was a distinct possibility.