Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Entertainment for convergence culture

Over at Faris’ place he’s posted a link to his insightful new preface for the Brazilian version of Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture.

It’s a first class summation of ‘participatory culture’.

Here's a taste:

"The convergence he is referring to isn’t the convergence of devices and suppliers that the telecoms and technology industry is obsessed by, but rather the convergence of modes; of production with consumption, of the mainstream with the underground."


"The story of participatory culture runs through reality TV, the cheap way to fill airtime that became a global phenomenon, through knowledge communities, fan fiction, Photoshop and cross platform, or transmedia, storytelling – anywhere there are gaps in the canonical narrative that people can rush to fill.”

So anyway, Faris also mentions Heroes as the first entertainment property created for convergence culture. Heroes first aired back in September 2006.

However I think I can proudly say that the Aussies pipped the Yankees at the post on this one.

In 2003, a then little known outfit called Hoodlum Entertainment created Fat Cow Motel for pay TV operator Austar and its TV, mobile and broadband platforms.

It was set in the rural town of Fat Cow, a small place where big things happened. Participants were invited to help solve a series of mysteries over 13 weeks to help keep the town alive.

In light of its success, it was picked up by ABC.

Hoodlum were quite simply ahead of their time.

You can take a look at this and other case studies here.

Hoodlum are now recognised as a global leader in interactive storytelling having recently scored a Bafta and an Emmy for their work on Spooks and Emmerdale respectively.

I write this not to gloat but because I have a professional crush on Hoodlum and hope I will work with Nathan and Tracey at some point.


faris said...

thanks kate!

and hoodlum do indeed seem awesome and way ahead of their time - am sending the link to the MIT crew ;)


Gary Hayes said...

Hi Kate - there be lots of examples of participatory TV that pre-date Fat Cow Motel way back to 1997 (if you want to include the web) but back to the 50/60s if you want to talk about TV/telephone based participation. FCM is only one in a sequence of faux transmedia...nice though that Hoodlum are around in Oz...

jay adams said...

i agree. but nice try faris