Follow the rabbit and… save a soap opera?

As tempting as it is to dangle a session in front of you every day until they’re all revealed, there is so much going on this year that it’d take forever! Heck with six presentations and four panels already on the schedule, that would take us well into June and then we could start in on all of the games (have you submitted one yet?).

So, today we will tell you about two oddly related presentations. Both are case studies looking at a similar problem – engaging an audience. Yet, one shows how transmedia can be a solution to an increasingly disengaged audience and the other shows how one company has solved the problem of increasing engagement by getting an audience right from the start. Of course, both presentations have a lot of other things to bring to the table, but when it comes right down to it, they’re about bringing in, engaging, and keeping an audience.

First up… Can Transmedia Save the Soap Opera? Of course, we, the committee, had the same reaction that you are probably having… soap opera? really?! is saving the soap opera a real concern? And seeing as this is Brooke’s very own presentation, we were all a little worried that we’d have to approve it. But once we read the description, she didn’t even need to threaten us with more work. We liked it! and think you will to. Brooke is going to take a brief look into the history soap operas and their declining ratings before ripping them apart to find their strengths & weaknesses. Then she’ll show how those strengths & weaknesses can be used to transform a soap opera into a transmedia experience (or, maybe, make your transmedia experience better). Along the way, we’ll learn about things that soap operas have done to extend their stories off the small screen and find out whether or not they’ve worked.

The other one is Patrick Möller’s Follow the Rabbit presentation. Patrick works with vm-people and together they have produced some of Germany’s best alternate reality games. Yet, no matter how successful these games are, they keep hearing from people that they want to be able to get involved from the start. And that’s not unusual! Anyone who has run any sort of live experience has heard that same complaint. So Patrick is going to talk to us about some of the benefits of (and challenges to) getting people involved right at the beginning and staying connected as the game progresses. In the process, he’ll show off Folge-dem-Kaninchen.de (that’s German for Follow the Rabbit) which is a new site by vm-people where players can register to learn about ARGs before they start and, if they choose, provide various means of contact information so the games can surprise them by reaching out into their world in various ways. So far, two games have launched from the site and we’ll hear about what they’ve learned along the way.

We’re working on putting together the schedule page with more information on what all is happening when. In the meantime it’s just straight links to the session descriptions. We’ll see if we can finish it before the last session announcement is made. It’s a race! Who do you think is gonna win?

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