The past few weeks have seen my appearance at a number of events, festivals and industry conferences to rabbit on with animated arms and expressions about interactive and multiplatform narrative. The response to all these appearance was wonderfully positive, particularly in the questions posed to me by audiences - not the usual abstract and largely unhelpful Q&A, but rather a very probing and considered set of questions.
All this got me thinking that there is a maturity creeping into these new media spaces both in terms of audiences and creators - that I’m now starting to hear writers, directors and producers working - and wanting to work - in interactive and multiplatform starting to ask the right questions… Hard questions. Good questions. Questions that aren’t easy to answer or for which there aren’t clear answers but from which the act of asking itself reveals good things.
I spoke quite a bit at these events about the problems of immersive media narratives; the fact that there is a lot of very, very mediocre projects out there, that the cannon of great stuff doesn’t yet exist and that we need recognize the failings in ‘transmedia’ if we’re ever going to hope to produce that canon of new media greatness. Style over substance, unsatisfying stories, denial of closure and high barriers to entry, genre confusion and an absence of compelling dramatic structure. On top, an all too common fault of assuming too much of your audience; assuming they will engage without considering how you will compel then to engage.
These problems abound. And yet, there IS good stuff out there. There are interactive, online and multi-platform experiences that speak to the great potential of these forms. No I’m not talking about fucking advertising campaigns, but genuine engaging creative storytelling in hybrid ways.
So I thought it worth compiling a little list here of some of this Good Stuff.
Some are interactive, some are not, some are multi-platform, some are just a single platform, some are broad in scope, some a very small and focused. All are very valid in demonstrating the scope of potential.
Goa Hippy Tribe - Online intercative doco