We had an interesting discussion on some mailing lists about the lack of self-criticism in the ARG, pervasive game and transmedia storytelling scenes. Christy Dena, who has more energy than the most of us, fired up a website to address the issue: You Suck at Transmedia.
How do you/we/us stop sucking at transmedia? Well, this site is a step in that direction. This site welcomes contributions that really do aim to progress the state of the art. Here we can discuss the consequences of transmedia design, production and execution decisions.
In short, this site will cover transmedia decisions that never, sometimes, and always work.
Of course, being open and honest about failures — in processes, designs and end results — is a personal risk. It’s an investment from every designer, producer and researcher to acknowledge that “We did X, and man it sucked”. So, to deflate hype without anyone taking all the hit alone, all enthusiasts need to chip in with post-mortems.
There’s something I really appreciate in the people of The Company P. We’ve openly criticized many of their pieces in research papers over the years — Prosopopeia, Vem gråter, Momentum, Sanningen om Marika — and yet they come back, wishing us to conduct more research on their work. That’s because despite our merciless criticisms, honestly, we are in love with their work: Without those games Pervasive Games would have missed a lot of points.
I hope that You Suck at Transmedia will find the culture of bashing with love.