Alternate reality games, as these experiences are known, are a hybrid of game and story. The story is told in fragments; the game comes in piecing the fragments together. The task it too complicated for any one person. But through the connective power of the Web, a group intelligence emerges to assemble the pieces, solve the mysteries, and, in the process, tell and retell the story online. Ultimately, the audiences comes to own the story, in ways that movies themselves can’t match.- Frank Rose, “The Art of Immersion”
We don’t really consume popular culture anymore, certainly not as a linear narrative. Instead, we co-create it, by deconstructing plot twists in elaborate blog posts, contributing to extensive fan wikis that delve into the motivations of each character, and creating our own parallel narrative in virtual worlds and alternative reality games built around films and TV shows.- Gaurav Mishra, “The Storytelling Mandala: Purpose-Inspired Transmedia Storytelling”
With the launch of FOX’s new series “Alcatraz,” they’ve created a transmedia element which leans more towards the marketing side of the scale, but still incorporates characters in a really cool way. Jorge Garcia’s “Doc Sotto” appears and talks to audiences about the puzzles and gives them their challenges, though the setup can be a little unclear for new viewers. There’s also a corresponding Twitter account here, which seems to help audiences out and let them know about new elements.
A Toronto-based company’s full-scale online web series called “Guidestones” takes audiences on a world-wide adventure in a tale of mystery and murder. There a wide array of elements involved with the series, including 50 episodic clips delivered in real-time via email, corresponding “video blogs” for each episode, several unique websites for nearly every clip, containing clues to other sites which involve maps, QR codes, music, Gord Martineau and pizza. You could enter the experience almost entirely in a passive way and merely watch the clips, or you can “get ahead” of the storyline by scanning each episode for clues and seeing what you can discover online.