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).