Tag: Cross-Media

IFP, Power to the Pixel Pair Up to Bring Cross-Media Forum to NYC

For the past five years, Power to the Pixel hosted a Cross-Media Forum at the London Film Festival, seeking to connect the film community with digital innovators exploring new methods of distribution, marketing, and financing for their projects. On April 19th, Power to the Pixel is partnering with the Independent Filmmaker Project to bring the Cross-Media Forum across the pond to New York City, at the Walter Reade Theater.

One of the highlights of the program in years past has been the opportunity to witness pitches for new projects seeking funding, providing open feedback on what financiers and investors are looking for in projects. And the New York edition of the forum will be no different in this respect, with three new film-based transmedia projects slated to be pitched in front of a live audience. The forum will also feature presentations and case studies from leading figures in the transmedia production space, including Jeff Gomez (Starlight Runner), Kevin Slavin (Zynga NY), Lance Weiler (Seize the Media), Ty Montague (Co.), and Nina Bargiel. The Cross-Media Forum will feature a few new networking events to the schedule. On April 18th, the Cross-Media Forum will hold its official kick-off at SPiN with a ping-pong tournament. After the event, Wired is hosting a cocktail party for forum attendees.

You can purchase your ticket online or at the door for $100. If you use the discount code %MISC20D upon registration, you can receive a 20% discount on the price of your ticket.

Available for a Limited Time, CLUE Goes Cross-Media

clueAccording to a recent press release, Hasbro is taking board gaming to the next level with the upcoming release of CLUE: Secrets & Spies Edition. Setting aside their ropes, knives, and candlesticks, the iconic characters from Hasbro’s classic board game will embark on a “globetrotting adventure to foil the plans of the Criminal League for Ultimate Espionage (C.L.U.E.)” starting this fall.

Unlike the classic game of Clue, the goal of CLUE: Secrets & Spies is to infiltrate C.L.U.E. and intercept Agent Black before he discovers your true identity. Players work to complete as many missions as possible with the help of in-game clues using an ultraviolet secret decoder and optional tips sent via cell phone text messages. Jill Hambley, the Global Marketing Vice President of the CLUE brand, notes that Secrets and Spies “takes text messaging from mere novelty to world saving technology. By using their own cell phones, players will turn their every-day phone into a top-secret spy device that is certain to add excitement and suspense to game play.” Hasbro has committed to maintaining text messaging support through December 31, 2011.

Using text messaging to send independent missions and missions to players has the potential to detract from the communal experience of playing a board game. However, it also allows for increased immersion in the gameplay experience. I still have vivid memories of playing the Star Trek the Next Generation Interactive Video Board Game with family and friends, happily shouting responses to a VHS tape. And with the growing ubiquity of cell phone use in families along with decreasing data plan pricing, the time may be right for a board game that text back at you.

Thanks to Steve Peters for the tip

Video Games and ARGs – What Can they Learn from Each Other?

Note: This article covers two SXSW Interactive 2008 events: Cross-Media Cross-Pollination: Mashing Up Video Games and ARGs (Saturday, March 8th, 3:30-4:30 p.m.), and its follow-up, Core Conversation: What Can the Video Games Industry Learn From Alternate Reality Games? (Monday, March 10th, 3:30-4:30 p.m.).

A last-minute change in programming on Saturday, March 8th, at SXSW Interactive 2008 brought together familiar faces from the Alternate Reality Games development community: Dan Hon of Six to Start, Tony Walsh of Phantom Compass, and Dee Cook, a freelance writer and designer who has written and developed content for games such as “The 4400” Extended Reality, World Without Oil, Unnatural Selection, and many others. Hon, Walsh, and Cook presented the panel “Cross-Media Pollination: What Video Games can Learn from ARGs”. The follow-up conversation on Monday afternoon with Steve Peters from 42 Entertainment, and input from Jane McGonigal, Ken Eklund, Hazel Grian, and others, rounded out Saturday’s panel.

Currently one of the most popular past-times world-wide, video games have an audience both extensive and diverse. Gamers are consistently asking for more from game designers – better AI, more content, more interaction, more story and narrative, more immersion. What can Alternate Reality Game designers learn from video game design and the needs of video game players (many of whom also play ARGs), and what elements of ARGs might video game designers consider when making games for gamers in a world of rapidly-evolving technology and techno-culture?

The panel opened with the question: what elements of ARGs might interest and engage video gamers? “I Love Bees”, a well-known ARG, tapped into the fan base of Bungie’s Halo video game by providing a glimpse into Halo’s (and its predecessor, Marathon’s) detailed backstory. Many Halo players enjoyed ILB because of the opportunity to explore more of that game’s mythology. The puppetmasters presented a Halo story that the players could interact with in a different way, affecting the game not by moving the controller but by problem-solving with other players, answering payphones, emailing the Sleeping Princess, and convincing an AI that they were, in fact, human, and one of her crew.

Perhaps, Steve Peters pointed out in Monday’s follow-up conversation, cross-media is one answer to a demand for more interaction and individualized response. A player’s progress through a game could be tracked, with content delivered not only through the console but also through SMS, phone calls, or even the post office! Similarly, Tony Walsh raised the idea that ubiquitous computing, the imperceptible integration of computing systems and functions into every day life, might indeed be the next game platform, heralding the end of the “couch-potato” gamer.

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