A Peek Behind Previously Closed Doors with Power to the Pixel

November 11, 2010 · Filed Under Events, Features · 3 Comments 

Unless you’ve presented a slide deck to potential production partners and financiers, the process of pitching a transmedia property probably seems like a foreign concept. Since 2007, Power to the Pixel’s Cross-Media Forum has sought to make this process more transparent. The centerpiece of the conference was The Pixel Pitch, where nine transmedia projects were pitched in an open forum before a jury of decision-makers, commissioners, and industry executives with a £6,000 prize on the line.

Michel Reilhac, the Executive Director of ARTE France Cinéma, gave the first of two keynotes kicking off Power to the Pixel’s Cross-Media Forum on October 12, discussing The Game-ification of Life. In his keynote, Reilhac recognized that the ubiquity of gaming culture is a reality that cannot be ignored in storytelling and experience design.

Reilhac traces the gamification of life through cash incentive, loyalty, and status reward systems. He notes that in gaming culture, the status / bragging mechanic is the most powerful tool for interaction, citing the prestige of having a platinum airline mileage card, earning Foursquare badges, and gaining social equity through Twitter followers as examples. Just as players turn to games to satisfy different motivations, transmedia participants seek different methods of interacting with stories. Specifically addressing alternate reality games, Reihlac celebrates the genre’s ability to empower players, not through an avatar, but as themselves. Alternate reality games engender trust that extends beyond the game and into the real world.

The second keynote was delivered by Campfire Media’s Mike Monello with the alliterative title Babies, Buns and Buzzers, a historical look at the last century of experiential entertainment told through the framework of Coney Island, and running through an ARGFest-spawned obsession with tiki bars (along with a brief mention of Campfire’s work, including the multi-platform viral campaign leading up to author Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade).

Read more

Is This a Game? IGDA Talk on ARGs in NYC

May 3, 2008 · Filed Under Events, News · Comment 

igda_logo.gifOn May 14th from 6:30-9:00 pm, the New York City Chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) will host a meeting entitled “Alternate Reality Games: Is This a Game?” The announcement describes the meeting as follows:

Alternate Reality Games blend the real world with the online world and fuse the players’ creativity with that of the designers as the story unfolds. A genre that began just a few years ago, ARGs have been used for marketing, for independent and self-funded storytelling, for serious games, and for no other purpose than to have fun.

This panel will address the genre’s roots in games and with gamers, explore what ARGs and traditional video games have to learn from one another, and even speculate on how the ARG is changing the face of 21st Century entertainment.

The panel will be moderated by Andrea Phillips, best known for her work on Perplex City, and a leadership council member of the IGDA ARG SIG, and will include panelists Frank Lantz, a founder and director of area/code, the creators of the Chain Factor (Numb3rs) game; Catherine Herdlick, creator of the grassroots game, Lawn Games for Life, co-organizer of the Come Out and Play Festival and a designer for The Case of the Coveted Bottle; and Mike Monello, co- founder of Campfire Media, who has been involved in transmedia storytelling since the Blair Witch Project.

You do not need to be a member of IGDA to attend, but you do need to RSVP.

Thanks to Rose from unFiction, the meeting’s organizer, for letting us know about this event.

Sharp’s Urns ARG Announces Winner

January 22, 2005 · Filed Under News, Update · Comment 

Sharp’s promotional ARG, Legend of the Sacred Urns, announced a winner tonight in their alternate reality treasure hunt. As posted on the Steinitz Puzzlers Forum, the Contest Grand Prize Winner was Ohio’s Ken Floss. Ken was the first to submit a correct answer identifying the location of the third sacred urn back on Dec. 1st. There were also six sweepstakes winners drawn at random from those who submitted entries.

Beginning back on September 15th, a series of Sharp TV ads featuring an orange Karmann Ghia crashing into a swimming pool directed observant viewers to moretosee.com, which led to the Steinitz Puzzlers site. There, players learned about fictional eccentric treasure hunter Dagobert Steinitz and the three urns he’d hidden for other adventurers to find. The game led to various blogs and websites where players were able to find clues pointing them to the final urn’s location.

For being the first to submit the correct location, Ken will receive a Sharp Home Entertainment System, consisting of a Sharp 45-inch Aquos LCD TV, a Sharp digital video player and Surround Sound amplification system.

Urns was produced by Mike Monello (the producer of “The Blair Witch Project”) and Brian Clark of GMD Studios in Orlando.