Over the summer, I've been thinking about games and the current sketchbook is slowly filling up with ideas for playing and what games can be used for.
One of them started when I saw this splash on an issue of WIRED and ultimately was disappointed by it. In the mag, however, they did use the good old Fighting Fantasy system that really, really, REALLY rocked my world when I was a kid, so based on my own flat, I created a mini story in the sketch book as a test. Developing it, I thought of how this could be used to reverse the ARG thinking - they usually import a fictional world into the real world in order to connect you to a videogame, film, TV-show or whatever - my test had small bits of information about reality imported into the fiction.
I thought of the potential of this way of telling stories and there are some pretty decent things you can do with it - these will be revealed when they happen, but one that sprung to mind was:
I wanted to have the same sense of leafing through the book (or some of it) so I decided to ask a bunch of twitterers to join in and each host a segment of the story, leading them on to the next - At this point I was thinking about how the story could be used as marketing - how this could work as a way to get your target audience to visit certain places - obviously, this system can be linked to facebook pages, blogs, flickr accounts, websites for a more versatile system, I used Twitter because Twitter is flux - the story would be gone within an hour, or at least very difficult to find (I could have used hashtags if I wanted it to linger on.)
At a set time, my fellow storytellers and I tweeted first message, directing readers to the start, then a part of the story.
Marketing-wise, this generated very few new followers for the participants - I got a few, but mainly for the hype before the actual event, what it did was to tie the participants closer together, people checked out each others IDs, but non-participants reading the story did not, they focused on the story - probably also because of the Twitter pace - the fear of loosing something.
As for the storytelling in the twitter format, it works with certain kinds of stories, amnesia-stories are good, where you don't need any background, where you figure out snippets along the way. The system is very fragile - you're in trouble if one person forgets to tweet, so in order to make it work, I had created numerous IDs so I could re-route the story if that happened.
I'd like to thank my fellow storytellers: @sewkate, @tikaro, @nick_fu, @equisgarcia, @nerdmeritbadges, @ET_lives, @steveBussDK, @drhypercube, @p8tch, @guerilladrivein and @thisisnevermore
Prepare for "Running Fantasy"...