Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Conspiracy for Good

Tim Kring, the screenwriter and producer best known for creating the television series Heroes, has a new project, which got underway in London on Saturday.

Called Conspiracy for Good, it's an "augmented reality drama" sponsored by Nokia. According to UK's The Bookseller here, it's "game/storytelling hybrid." which:

blurs the lines between fiction and reality, and compels the audience to become a part of a story with real world outcomes. Participants will ... find the necessary tools and clues inside the story to move the narrative forward.
In other words, it's transmedia: storytelling across multiple forms of media such as video, text, blog posts and participatory games.

The setup is pretty simple. The villain of the piece is a fictional company called Blackwell Briggs. The heroes are part of an underground movement called The Conspiracy for Good (CFG). Here's the video which started the story rolling:

Audience members are invited to participate by attending events, the first of which took place in London on Saturday. Players register at sites like this one here on FaceBook.

The Literary Platform quoted Kring in June here, saying, "“I believe that storytelling has the power to create positive change in the world. Audiences today want to be more vested in stories.”

In order to help create "social and educational change," real-world charity events are part of the alternate reality. For example, take a look here at this International Book Drive, which asks CFG members to help by "collecting thousands of books to send to East African schools."

For its part, Nokia has this to say about CFG:

You can get involved by joining the cause at Conspiracy For Good ... From there, the path leads to other sites, videos on YouTube, Twitter channels, documents, onto your mobile device and out into the physical world. Alongside actors and celebrities, you join a cause to fight for social and environmental justice against a greedy mega corporation. You can solve mysteries online, play casual games on your phone and use applications to uncover more clues.

I mention all this because, of course, books could certainly become a part of this transmedia experiment.

The Bookseller points out:

  • Transmedia "could affect how readers expect to be told stories. For some the boundaries between books, games, websites etc will change or break down."

  • Transmedia "could be used to reinterpret or extend a book's world. Series of novels do this already, as do adaptations for film and TV."

  • "Books could be derived from popular transmedia projects, just as books are derived from successful films

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!

Shakespeare, The Tempest, (Act V, i)

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