Podcast with Chris Crawford

Yep, my first podcast interview is with Chris Crawford, the inventor of the first commercially available (soon) interactive storytelling engine — Storytron; and of course, a game design vetran. I was very sick with the flu when I interviewed him so I have a blocked nose and I giggle a bit too much! But, I think you’ll find his views interesting. The podcast is the first for my other blog: Writer Response Theory, so the post is over there. Enjoy!

Marketing Entertainment: Integrate ’06

iMedia Connection & Variety’s Integrate ’06 was held on April 12 and now there are some articles and ppts from the talks online at iMediaConnection.

Integrate ’06 is the second annual summit that brings together top marketing executives from major entertainment companies to explore the challenges and opportunities in creating integrated marketing programs to reach todayÂ’s entertainment consumer. 

Jodi Harris gives a round-up in her article. Brad Berens wrote an article, outlining Five Reasons to Market Your Movie Online:

  1. Online Movie Ads Work
  2. It’s Where Consumers Are
  3. It’s Where They Look
  4. TV is Losing It’s Effectiveness
  5. Consumers Want Integration

The ppt of his talk is available online. It has tons of stats on marketing & US film & TV viewing figures compared with DVD buying etc.

Vince Broady looked at How to Leverage CGC in his ppt. The presentation covers the findings of  the GameSpot/Starcom MediaVest Group Youth Study, and has some excellent stats on The Office campaign that I cannot duplicate here until I have permission.

Heidi Dickert and Warner Bros.’ Abe Recio discusses their research on film-goers using mobiles, Mobile as a Marketing Research Tool, in their ppt.

There is also a ppt online of Susan Fogelson’s talk, Creative Showcase: Integrated Marketing.

Upcoming Paper for AOIR

I forgot to tell you about a paper I’ll be delivering at the Association of Internet Researchers Conference: Internet Research 7.0: Internet Convergences in Brisbane late September this year. The paper is titled: How the Internet is Holding the Centre of the Narrative Universe, and the abstract is online.

The Internet is an undisputedly influential force in changes to the way entertainment is conceived, produced, distributed, experienced and critiqued. With the proliferation of technology we have a wide range of production devices and distribution models that, along with cultural and inter-disciplinary cross-fertilisation, inspire media-specific poetics and genre hybrids. To name a few that have emerged within new media arts alone: advertainment, email fiction, interactive comics, mobile art, hypertext fiction, wikifiction, botfiction and blog fiction. Conglomerate media ownership and franchise management encourages the shifting of audiences across platforms, within a branded universe. Years of television programming, competitive industry, networked markets and indie-publishing has facilitated episodic aesthetics and distribution. In the age of cross-media production, stories are no-longer delivered at a single-point in time; they are remediated, adapted, serialised, appropriated and distributed across media. Cross-media entertainment encompasses a range of genres that include pervasive gaming, franchises, alternate reality games, transmedia storytelling, mobisodes, episodic gaming, extendable reality games, tie-ins and so on.

The relationships between these “texts”, between components of a storyworld, are not addressed in the notions of intertextuality, hypertextuality, dialogism and heteroglossia, assemblage, intermedia, open work and relational aesthetics. These works are emerging forms with poetic and cultural ramifications theorised by researchers in media studies, literary theory and semiotics: “second-shift aesthetics” (Caldwell), “digitextuality” (Everett), “transmedia storytelling” (Jenkins), “entertainment supersystem” (Kinder), “transmedial worlds” (Klastrup and Tosca), “inter-media world franchises” (Lemke), “new intertextual commodity” (Marshall), “neo-baroque aesthetics” (Ndalianis), “distributed narratives” (Walker), “networked narrative environments” (Zapp).

Sympathetic to Richard Wagner’s “gesamtkunstwerk” (“total work of art”) these works are viewed through the romantic lens of Ionian Enchantment (Holton), universality (Andrews) and consilience (Wilson): they are reframed as polysystems within which a variety of clusters of entertainment forms co-exist and inter-relate. This is a somewhat turbulent narrative universe of original, commissioned, sanctioned and unsanctioned producers; long-form, short and micro narratives; linear, interactive, generated and emergent narratives; push and pull content; mono- and multi-modal media; fixed, mobile, converged, networked technology; public, private, mass, remote, virtual and personalised address; traditional, hybrid and emerging genres; literary, popular, marketing, anarchic and pedagogical rhetorics; fiction, nonfiction and alternate realities; real, virtual and augmented realities. How do audiences navigate such a dynamic narrative universe? The Internet.

This paper argues that the Internet is the binding agent of cross-media entertainment. A narrator with all the answers, a signpost to the everything, the Internet acts as site-map of continually updating components of a cross-media universe and its meta content. Rather than the artwork being the source of all information about a storyworld, the Internet acts as a neutral mediator of the various instantiations. Through a content analysis of cross-media productions and consideration of audience usage of media, an overview of the various functions the Internet currently plays, and could play are proposed.