IGDA ARG SIG Whitepaper Released!!

Wohoo! It is here! The International Game Developers Association Alternate Reality Game Special Interest Group Whitepaper ( * whew * ) has been released! Here is Adam Martin’s announcement from the ARG SIG listserv:

After eight months of hard work and hundreds of revisions I’m delighted to announce that the 2006 ARG SIG Whitepaper is now available for download from the ARG SIG website ().

A huge thank-you to all the poeple who’ve helped make this happen. I’m very proud of the final paper, and even more so for the fact that everyone’s time and expertise was freely given. This is a great achievement, and since we came up with the idea at the 2006 GDC Group Gathering our volunteers have: had a new baby, been hospitalized, and created and edited literally hundreds of different revisions. It’s a tremendous achievement.

There’s a contributors list at the start of the paper, but once again here’s the people you should thank:

– Bryan Alexander, Director of research, National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE)
– Nova Barlow, Research Manager, Themis Group / Playerbase Solutions
– Tom Chatfield, Editorial Assistant, Prospect Magazine
– Christy Dena, Cross-Media Entertainment Researcher, School of Letters, Arts and Media; University of Sydney
– Andrea Phillips, ARG Writer, Mind Candy
– Brooke Thompson, Cross Media Entertainment Consultant

Here it is: http://igda.org/arg/whitepaper.html


[Late Note: I’ve just been flicking through the whitepaper and there are some errors in there that somehow made it to the final draft. That happens. But one of note is that ‘Cross Media Entertainment’ is credited with creating Jamie Kane. BBCi did Jamie Kane.]

ARGs, RPGs, Interactive Drama, Cross-Media, Serious Games, Film, Doco, Literature, Blogs and Marketing

Yep, they are all the topics I’ll be presenting on over the next few weeks in three states across Australia. But what is even more interesting, are the co-presenters. Check out this yummy bunch of seminars:

  • Film Australia’s “Evan Jones Masterclass: Extending Doco in the Time of Digital”

Monday 20th November, 1.30-4.30pm, Film Australia’s Roxy Theatre, Sydney
Tuesday 21st November, 1.30-4.30pm, AFTRS Melbourne, Docklands Theatrette, Digital Harbour, Melbourne
Free Masterclass with the Creative Director of Xenophile Media, creator of amazing ERGs (‘ARGs‘) such as ReGenesis I & II and beautiful doco projects like Beethoven’s Hair and Quebec 1749). SEE INVITE [pdf]

  • AFTRS’ “Extended Entertainment Experiences”

Friday 24th November, 10-4.30pm, Chauvel Theatre, Paddington
A day discussing real world cross-media projects: ‘alternate reality games’, experiential marketing and interactive drama. Evan Jones of Xenophile Media and Chris Avellone of Obsidian Entertainment will the international guests. The Marketing Director of Yahoo!7, Cricket Wardein, and Integrated Marketing Director of Yahoo!7, Kristin Carlos, will be speaking about the Australian leg of the international ARG of the Lost TV series The Lost Experience and interactive drama PSTrixi. Glen Condie of Maverick Marketing and Communications will talk about the experiential campaigns created by his agency and Deb Polson of QUT will share techniques she uses in Scoot. Excellent line-up!! Oh, I’ll be giving a presentation about the evolution of these forms of entertainment and MCing the day. Some (old) info and registration details ONLINE

  • Australian Literature Board’s “Story of the Future”

Monday 27th November, 9am-4.30pm, Innovation Centre, AFTRS, Docklands, Melbourne
Wednesday 29th November, 9am-4.30pm, Room B1.11, Building 5, Quay St, University of Technology, Sydney
Chris Avellone of Obsidian Entertainment will talk about RPG design, Simon Hopkinson the President of the Australian Writers’ Guild, Marissa Cooke, the writer for Fat Cow Motel, Jim Shobos of multi-platform drama Forget the Rules fame, Jackie Turnure and I will also be presenting. I’ll be talking about cross-media approaches to writing, distribution and marketing; interviewing Chris Avellone and MCing the day. Registration Form and more details ONLINE.

The following four events I’m running for the Australian Film, Television and Radio School; Australian Writers’ Guild and Dept of Industry & Resources:

  • Serious Games Workshop

Thurs Nov 30th, 6.30-9pm
WestOne Theatrette, Leederville, Perth

  • Everything You Wanted to Know about Blogging

Fri Dec 1st, 6.30-8pm
Australian Writer’s Guild, Perth

  • Alternate Reality Game Design Workshop

Sat Dec 2, 9.30am-1pm
Innovation Centre, Bentley, Perth

  • Cross-Media Entertainment Design Workshop

Sat Dec 2, 2pm-5.30pm
Innovation Centre, Bentley, Perth
Details about these workshops in this [pdf]

  • ‘A Case-Study of miniARGs: Design Issues for Creating Alternate Reality Games for Professional Training and Education’ Paper

This is a paper I’m presenting at the Joint CyberGames & Interactive Entertainment 2006 Conference
Weds 6th Dec, 10am, Perth

  • Alternate Reality Games and Cross-Media Entertainment: Low-tech, high-impact immersive experiences Workshop

A workshop I’m running at CyberGames & IE.
Weds 6th Dec, 1.30-3.30pm, Perth
Full details ONLINE

So, I hope to see you at one of these events. Or, if you email me during this time and I don’t respond, this is why. Or, if I babble incessantly at you, you know why.

Mixed Bag o’ Goodies

Here is a round up of some interesting links (the first 3 I gathered from Henry Jenkins’ blog):

  • Accomplished film academics Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell have a blog;
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick and Avi Santo have started MediaCommons:

MediaCommons, a project-in-development with support from the Institute for the Future of the Book (part of the Annenberg Center for Communication at USC) and the MacArthur Foundation, will be a network in which scholars, students, and other interested members of the public can help to shift the focus of scholarship back to the circulation of discourse. This network will be community-driven, responding flexibly to the needs and desires of its users. It will also be multi-nodal, providing access to a wide range of intellectual writing and media production, including forms such as blogs, wikis, and journals, as well as digitally networked scholarly monographs. Larger-scale publishing projects will be developed with an editorial board that will also function as stewards of the larger network.

On the site you’ll also find a great idea: In Media Res. Academics provide astute and compressed commentary over footage.

Scott Donaton, associate publisher and editorial director of the Ad Age Group and author of Madison & Vine talked about why user-empowerment is the key trend in business, and the ways marketers are adapting to it, including the rise of branded entertainment.

  • There is a podcast interview with fellow cross-media researcher Andrew McKenzie on his mobile movie business at Idealog.
  • If you haven’t already heard, Big Brother is in Second Life. They’re doing a SL-specific show that will be broadcast in the Netherlands. I have checked out the set inworld and look forward to ‘watching’ it inworld. Here is some info from the press release:

Endemol is the first television producer in the world to establish a branch in Second Life. Managing
Director Paul Romer: “The role of online communities is becoming increasingly important. As a
producer of cross-media content, Big Brother Second Life represents a fantastic opportunity to amass
knowledge of the virtual world. In the future we will use this experience to develop specific content for
online communities. Big Brother is the perfect format. Now that it’s been seen by 2 billion viewers all
over the world, it is now time to conquer the virtual world.”

I’ll be adding this to my listing of cross-media strategies with virtual worlds.

  • Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere is out.
  • And last but not least, The Electronic Literature Organisation has published the Electronic Literature Collection. It is available in CD-Rom format and there are additional pieces on the web. There are many classics and new gems there to delve into. Enjoy!