When I heard DIY Days was coming to Boston, mostly I was looking forward to reconnecting with filmmaker, Alternate Reality Game enthusiast and ARGFest Boston speaker, Lance Weiler, (Hope is Missing and Beyond the Rave) and maybe getting a scoop on his next project. While I did get to do all that, I also got to meet some incredibly talented independent filmmakers, culture researchers, and writers, and participate in a great discussion not only about independent filmmaking, but also about the future of media and technology.
DIY Days is an offshoot of Weiler’s The Workbook Project, and is paired with the From Here to Awesome Film Festival. All are grounded in his commitment to open-source filmmaking, mentoring and encouraging creativity and helping independent filmmakers to finance, distribute and promote their projects inside and outside of traditional media channels (but mostly outside). Weiler’s partner in DIY Days is Arin Crumley, co-creator of indie film/YouTube phenomenon, Four Eyed Monsters.
DIY Days Boston, a free, all-day event, was the fourth and final conference in this series. (A new series will resume next year.) Speakers for the day included, among others, Weiler, a venture capitalist, MIT researchers, and, of course, many filmmakers, all bringing their knowledge and expertise to share with others. You can watch the conference proceedings online at the DIY Days site, so instead of giving a blow-by-blow of each talk, I’ll highlight my favorites.
Programming alert! Today on RTÉ News, reporter Laura Fletcher talks to ARGNet Editor Jonathan Waite about the new British Red Cross ARG, Traces of Hope. Catch the interview at the News on Two’s broadcast page:
Please note that rte.ie uses RealPlayer, so you must have Real Player installed on your computer in order to watch. RTÉ provides a link for the free download on their page if you need it.
Editor’s Note: No, I will not be changing my last name to Wilke. Was that even 15 seconds of fame? Yikes. – JW
ARGNet is pleased to announce our brand-new and shiny YouTube channel, argnetwork. Now playing: “ARGs and Extended Media Experiences,” the first panel from this year’s ARGFest-o-Con in Boston. Due to YouTube upload limits, we had to break it into six pieces, but it’s all there.
The rest of the panels will go up as fast as we can get to them. Attendees can relive the thrill of professional tattooed bodybuilders and black-bearded Grand Inquisitors, and if you weren’t there you can now see what you missed. We will also be moving over the ARG Video Netcasts as soon as possible. Enjoy!
Also, we might as well make our official announcement of the ARGNet Twitter account. Twitter is a great micro-blogging service that works well with announcements. So far, we’ve used it in an unofficial capacity for breaking news and article announcements, but we figure it’s time to make it official. Unfortunately for some, this means the end of the announcement email subscription, which will be phased out by October 1st. So, if you want the latest news on alternate reality games and related items, follow us on Twitter!
On 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.
The latest in The Dark Knight promotion is upon us. Today at 3:00 EDT, the I Believe in Harvey Dent campaign will be streaming a live press conference on their website. The email announcement says in part:
Everyone who knows Harvey Dent knows that the vicious smears by a mysterious group calling itself “Concerned Citizens for a Better Gotham” are not true. Harvey Dent is innocent of these charges, and the truth will triumph.
Harvey Dent believes that the movement to take back Gotham is bigger than one person. It’s never been about Harvey Dent. It’s about our hopes for our city. It’s about you.
Harvey Dent has always said that if he becomes a distraction from the bigger issues of the movement to fight crime and corruption, he’ll make the best decision for the movement itself.
We’ve done a lot in the last few months. We’ve shown the city that we will not stop fighting against the dark forces that have Gotham in their grasp. We showed everyone that we do have power. That there is hope for Gotham City.
If past events are any indication, it’s clear this will be more than just a press conference. Tune in to see what happens.
Come Out and Play is back, baby. After running in Amsterdam last year during PICNIC, the three day festival returns to the Big Apple June 6-8, this time hosted by bookstore Blue Stockings.
They are currently accepting proposals for new games (The application form is on the main page of the web site.) This is your chance to take your dream of running a big street game and make it a reality.
Read ARGN’s report on the 2006 Festival here.