I’m working all weekend as mentor at the Boost Cross Media Lab in Örenäs castle, overlooking the Öresund captured in December weather. Discussions, playing games and great food: I love work that does not feel like work.
Apart from the six fabulous and inspiring transmedia projects, I have had the pleasure of getting to know my co-mentors Asta Wellejus and Mary Lee Sjönell better and to listen to them share their experiences as story architect and advertising creative, respectively.
One thing Mary Lee said when talking about stories as emotional journeys served as an Eureka! moment regarding the tired old debate between film and games people as to storytelling being part of games or not, namely:
Storytelling is the art of structuring the emotional respons of an audience.
Exactly! This is what narratives in a feature film is about: creating an emotional journey in a two-hour cinema experience *and* what gameplay is about: creating complex structures of player experiences.
Seemingly self-evident, this statement is important to me. It marks a shift away from the question of producer identities and old roles, focusing in stead on what effects we want to create in the audience and choosing the tools appropriate to create that effect.
The effiecient and continous pay-off structure of both advertising and games is exactly what film and tv needs to adopt to tell efficient multi-platform stories. It’s still storytelling, you can still make people pay attention, but you need to combine traditional tools with new tools, or people who have other skills than you do.