theorycast.17 :: Christy Dena on Cross-media & Alternate Reality Games

How the Internet is Holding the Centre of Conjured Universes
Christy Dena • Department of Media and Communications, University of Sydney

The Internet is an indisputably influential force in changes to the way entertainment is conceived, produced, distributed, experienced and critiqued. Little is known, however, about how the Internet is used by fans and producers in the experience of cross-media entertainment. Cross-media entertainment forms such as alternate reality games (ARGs), entertainment ecologies (artistic franchises and tie-ins) and enhanced television lean towards an ideal form of art that combines all forms. These works are distributed over media platforms, producers, arts types and time. They require assembly, navigation and interpretation. Her paper outlines how fans and producers are using the Internet to hold these emerging works together, using examples from popular entertainment, providing a narrative- and ludic-agnostic ontology for the understanding and analysis of them, and posits motivations from cognitive psychology.

In this video interview, I ask her for some real-world examples of cross-media in action (e.g. ARGs like The Lost Experience, The Matrix, ILoveBees), as well as where people could go to learn more about the world of ARGs.

Incidentally, Christy recently shares her own AoIR report which detail people she met and chatted with. Lots of links to other researchers’ blogs there.

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