Gamification: When two tribes go to work – Features, Gadgets & Tech – The Independent

Honestly, this does not sound good. In the short term, it will only be possible to alter the “flavor text” and not the substance. Since the producers ultimately control both the game world and the TV world, and can therefore nerf a gameworld city that e TV plot needs destroyed, or buff a game world NPC whose TV actor has been hired for a long contract. I’d find it very hard to believe the interaction will be more than superficial.

Having said that, way back when I actually made time to watch TV, I was really looking forward to the Babylon 5 game. It had reportedly included performances by some of the principal actors, and which was supposed to have a plot that fitted into the show’s overall arc. The game would not have affected the show’s plot, and in fact the game was cancelled (I have a promotional watch and mousepad that make me sniff sadly once in a while.)

“It’s the holy grail and nothing less,” says SyFy president David Howe. Provisionally titled Defiance, the premise of the project rests within the familiar sci-fi boundaries of a future Earth that’s populated by humans and a race of marooned extra-terrestrials. The initial 10- to 12-episode TV aspect will focus on characters plucked from this imaginary world and detail the angst and moral confusion that comes from living with such a nightmarish jumble of geo-political and social conflicts.

Meanwhile, online gamers will be able to enter the exact same world by playing on either the alien or earthling side and creating characters that populate the wider society. This, in turn, will help to provide some of the narrative undercurrent for the TV show. So should the leader of a vine-covered city be toppled online, it may later be mirrored in a writer’s script.

“You are basically a participant in the same fictional universe that the TV characters participate in,” explains Lars Butler, CEO of Trion.

Titanic director James Cameron has likened this to “having an artificial intelligence at work behind the primary story, but your audience is the AI” and in pursuit of this “holy grail”, SyFy and Trion have already invested three years’ work and the best part of £20m. —Gamification: When two tribes go to work – Features, Gadgets & Tech – The Independent.

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