Jeff Gomez’ Masterclass: The Power of Transmedia Storytelling. 3 Day Workshop Series, Toronto.

See on Scoop.itTracking Transmedia

Jeff Gomez, the world’s most successful transmedia producer, comes to Canada to present his one-day Master Class plus his two famous workshops TRANSMEDIA STORYTELLING WORKSHOPThe Future of Story Across Multiple Media Platforms and AUDIENCE & POPULATION ACTIVATION.

All-new and offered for the first time in CANADA, this Master Class delivers practical, how-to training and will assist you to maximize the effectiveness of your projects, your business, and your brands with the vanguard technique of transmedia storytelling.

Learn how to create intense loyalty and long-term engagement among audiences, communities and consumers, which in turn can yield multiple revenue streams

More details & registration here:

See on


@theory11’s intriguing update on JJ Abrams’ Mystery Box & Playing Cards…

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Following my (I admit it!) disgruntled post on what seemed to be the mundane contents of JJ Abrams’ Mystery Box & Mystery Playing Cards, I got these faith-restoring tweets from @theory11 in a pretty quick turnaround!

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I love it when I stand corrected & the update is really really good! Thanks @theory11 & apologies for the tardy update! Great big project news forthcoming!

JJ Abrams’ Mystery Box Playing Cards… Collectibles? Snake Oil?

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I got very very excited about this one as my first thought was that maybe this would be a new card game, designed from the ground up.

I was thinking a unique set of rules, with maybe the cards as a set of ‘game’ prompts, with themes, characters, actions, events, outcomes… something like what Jeff Watson created for his PhD Dissertation, Reality Ends Here.


In Jeff Watson’s collaborative media-making game, the cards act as prompts to collaborative creative multi-media productions, staged on the campus of USC:

Reality is a collaborative media-making game for 10 or more players. It is not a single-sitting game, but rather a long-term experience. Depending on how you want to run it, a “season” of Reality can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months or longer. It is not a game like Monopoly or Senet or Tag or Mario Kart. If anything, it’s more like a miniature sporting league, where the sport involves media-making, socializing, strategy, and team-building, and where the teams are impermanent, forming and dissolving on a project-by-project basis.”

JJ Abrams’ Mystery Cards, however, appear to be just that – ordinary playing with layers of collectible packaging.

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As Abrams’ TED Talk Mystery Box famously defined, sometimes you don’t want to know what’s inside the box because what you imagined was infinitely more exciting. The cards, pointedly, come wrapped & sealed so you have to decide whether to violate the packaging & reveal the deck within

Abrams has given hard core fans the opportunity to now buy their own mystery box, with 12 decks for the substantial cost of $149 US.

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Even though Abrams is shunting $1 per deck to 826 National, a literacy initiated started by Dave Eggers in San Francisco (which I love), I can’t see myself rushing to buy the deck or the box.

There is no mystery, rather what we might think of as a simulation/simulacra of mystery, given that there is no creative value in the cards themselves.  I was really hoping for something much more engaging like the brand new futurist object generating card game I played yesterday, The Thing from the Future.

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Designed by Jeff Watson and Stuart Candy, The Situation Lab OCAD University, for an event co-hosted with New York’s Extrapolation Factory, this card game, designed as a set of prompts, was a highly creative, engaging collaborative experience.

At the end of the day, we had generated hundreds if not thousands of future scenarios and possible objects, and created a selection of physical objects which are now available in a vending machine from the future at OCAD University.

Future vending

That’s mine in the top centre, the red one…

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In contrast, Abrams’ Mystery cards are all package, faux mystery, and, honestly? very polished snake oil. Not buying here

+City Twitter Data Visualization Project Featured on SSHRC Home Page

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My collaborator, Faisal Anwar, & I were delighted to see our +City research/creation data visualization project featured on the SSHRC home page with a very short interview:

Where social media and ‘real life’ intersect, crucial questions emerge

Ontario researcher Siobhan O’Flynn started out with a seemingly straightforward question: how do people use Twitter to navigate large‑scale cultural events like Toronto’s Nuit Blanche? Digging in, however, the University of Toronto lecturer and her team unearthed issues of copyright, ethics and privacy that could have a profound impact on how journalists, academics and governments handle social media data.

“The information individuals make available without questioning the consequences is astonishing,” she observes. “It is available for data mining to marketers for a fee—and now, as we are well aware, to intelligence agencies as well. There are vital questions we need to answer here going forward.”

O’Flynn was originally curious to learn if insights into social media use during live events in specific locations might contribute to better urban planning—specifically, the creation of spaces that foster positive social outcomes.

“We wanted to know whether social media exchanges affect people’s real‑world actions and experiences,” she says, “and how that might inform urban planning and event design.”

The current project the SSHRC post refers to has a fuller description on our website:

In +City’s latest DV work ‘Public/Private – Playing in the Digital Sphere,’ +City’s research and practice investigates the troubled & unstable grey zone of how Twitter content in the digital public realm changes from public to private, depending on the context of use and the question and often, point of access. As a series of ongoing, interrelated projects, our research now asks: what does it mean to make ‘art’ with content pulled from the digital public realm, especially when Twitter users often list personal details (location, occupation, etc) on their pages? & profiles pics are just as likely to be head shots as custom avatars? What is/should be the borderline between the public & private digital spheres? What are the implications of data mining & the commercialization of digital content in the era of big data? What does it mean to resurrect archived content in a public interactive context? And to be able to search with twitter hashtag streams in real time?

Deeply Insightful Wired Article: ‘Why Her Will Dominate UI Design Even More Than Minority Report.’

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Why Her Will Dominate UI Design Even More Than Minority Report | Wired Design | 01.13.14

Fantastic analysis here by Kyle Vanhemert. I love all of the ideas opened up in this Wired article:

First, this is THE key idea to successful interaction design:

“A few weeks into the making of Her, Spike Jonze’s new flick about romance in the age of artificial intelligence, the director had something of a breakthrough. After poring over the work of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists trying to figure out how, exactly, his artificially intelligent female lead should operate, Jonze arrived at a critical insight: Her, he realized, isn’t a movie about technology. It’s a movie about people. With that, the film took shape.”

Then, Jonze’s term: ‘slight future’  in contrast to near future or sci fi

Then as Vanhemert argues, that ‘her’ “shows us a future where technology is more people-centric. The world Her shows us is one where the technology has receded, or one where we’ve let it recede. It’s a world where the pendulum has swung back the other direction, where a new generation of designers and consumers have accepted that technology isn’t an end in itself–that it’s the real world we’re supposed to be connecting to. (Of course, that’s the ideal; as we see in the film, in reality, making meaningful connections is as difficult as ever.)”

the concept of ‘undesigning’…

Then, the seamless integration of voice control interface into everyday life, what Vanhemert describes as:

“The Holy Grail: A Discrete User Interface

The greatest act of undesigning in Her, technologically speaking, comes with the interface used throughout the film. Theo doesn’t touch his computer–in fact, while he has a desktop display at home and at work, neither have a keyboard. Instead, he talks to it. “We decided we didn’t want to have physical contact,” Barrett says. “We wanted it to be natural. Hence the elimination of software keyboards as we know them.””

This super smart analysis is why I subscribe to Wired.

I loved this film & it has the only ‘sex’ scene I’ve ever seen that’s brought me tears. Yup. Said it. Because that scene created a connection to the essence of an experience that bypassed all of the mechanics & visual over indulgence that characterizes movie sex today.

If the value of fiction, drama, film, is to open up worlds we have not experienced or that have not yet been realized, Spike Jonze’s ‘her’ did that. This vision of a ‘slight future’ is entirely believable and very very human. Last night at the Golden Globes, Jonze accepted the award for best screenplay, saying that he wasn’t very good at speaking English and that was his first language. Ironic, coming from the man whose films tap into and express emotional cores and relationships that speak more resonantly that most other living filmmakers today.

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2013, there were 1,398 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 5,379 posts. There were 46 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10 MB. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was June 17th with 338views. The most popular post that day was World War Z’s Creepy In-Game Transmedia Campaign .

Click here to see the complete report.