James Borda Writer, Game and Interaction Designer

Underworld

…needs a new name, to avoid confusion with the movie series…

This was the outline for experiment in transmedia storytelling. The idea was to take the all the audience energy that forms around popular shows like Lost and utilize it in the creation of the show, closing the loop between fans and creators. So after three episodes, a system would be launched which would take all the tweets with a key hashtag (say #NextOnUnderworld) and allow the fans to vote for them on the site. Whatever plot suggestions were made in the winning tweet would have to be integrated into the next episode of the show.

Of course people would try to abuse it, but that would all be part of the fun. Some fans might dislike a character and try to kill him off, while others would try to save him. The sense of narrative freefall would be shared by the audience and everyone involved in the production as well; literally no one would know what was going to happen next.

I decided to build a setting around this freewheeling structure. What I came up with was something like an urban Lost, with a wide range of characters and some very ambiguous situations. I thought it would be a very enjoyable challenge as a writer to honor the pact with the audience while still trying to maintain some sense of cohesion in the long range story. I may yet try to create this series.

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Posted: June 22, 2013

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