Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Crossover Summit has kicked off, with author and Wired contributing editor Frank Rose using the opening keynote to challenge doc makers to bridge the gap between storytelling and interactive gaming.
The broad-ranging opening address saw Rose, author of The Art Of Immersion, tracing the history of early print media and the golden age of advertising in the 1950s through to modern day videogames such as The Sims and Metal Gear Solid.
“We’ve been trained to believe for the last 150 years or so that stories are passive – they’re there to consume, not to take part in,” Rose told attendees. “But whether we knew it or not, we’ve always been participating in the storytelling process.”
He added: “Media has moved from the command and control model of the 1950s to the call and response model – the call goes out and we respond.
“Whether you’re a game designer or a storyteller, you’re creating a world [and] a narrative, and you’re plunging the audience into that narrative… and to really make this work, what we really need is a new grammar of storytelling.”
The author concluded that no one had yet bridged the gap completely between these two worlds. “The question I’d leave you with now is: who is going to figure out this next step?”
The interactivity-focused first day of Doc/Fest continues in Sheffield with a session named “How Digital Innovation is Changing Our Media Viewing,” which features representatives from Google and UK net Channel 4 discussing future trends in the digital space.
Later in the day, the “Commissioning for Convergence” session will see execs from VPRO Digital, PBS Distribution and Channel 4 discussing their approaches to commissioning and distributing convergent content.
The day closes with the opening night movie, Morgan Spurlock’s POM Wonderful presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, followed by a Q&A with the director.