Monday, March 24, 2008

Bow Street Runner & We Tell Stories

I've been giving quite a bit a thought to games and the whole concept of play since returning from this year's SXSW Interactive, where Jane McGonigal delivered a barnstorming keynote on gaming and happiness (lovely slides, sadly mangled by SlideShare) and World Without Oil picked up the Activism gong in the 11th Annual Web Awards.

Whilst a more considered post on gaming and play gestates, below are a couple of established media companies making innovative use of game mechanics which have caught my attention over the past few weeks.

Bow Street Runner

Produced by Brighton-based Littleloud, Bow Street Runner is an episodic Flash-based point-and-click graphic adventure commissioned by Channel 4 to accompany the five part TV series City of Vice. Set in Eighteenth-century London, the game seamlessly weaves together video capture with lovingly rendered backdrops and game objects to create a surprisingly immersive in-browser experience. Whilst a little too linear in structure (your progress through locations is predetermined and one-way), the concept of accruing esteem works well, as does the evidence gathering, which requires manual dexterity with the mouse/trackpad (most memorably to stitch up a stabbing victim). A new episode is unlocked every Thursday and a password is provided on completion of each episode so you don't need to replay them when returning to the game.

We Tell Stories

A Six to Start production for Penguin UK, We Tell Stories is a six week project in which half a dozen established authors fashion narratives which aim to take advantage of the unique properties of the internet. Week 1 is 'The 21 Steps' by Charles Cumming, a homage to The 39 Steps which overlays a twenty one chapter short story onto embedded Google Maps, visually plotting the narrator's progress and unfolding the story one data-point at a time (including optional images). The next story (from one of my favourite authors, Toby Litt) is due tomorrow with the remaining four narratives appearing over the following four weeks. Of course, this being the brothers Hon, there's also a secret seventh story "somewhere on the internet" with the incentive of £13k worth of literary booty to be won.

Game on!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey there Dan,

Hope you are well.

I work in an online PR agency, and we're currently looking for film/media types to attend a London screening of some film footage on Monday.

There will be food provided!

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, please contact me at
rachael at hyperlaunch dot com

for more info...