Transmedia Gaming

Publication Date27 October 2020
SubjectMedia, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment, Media & Entertainment Law, Broadcasting: Film, TV & Radio, Gaming
Law FirmHill Dickinson
AuthorMark Weston

We at Hill Dickinson are not just interested in today's problems or complexities, we are also pushing to understand the next wave of development and how that may interact with users and stakeholders. Hill Dickinson partner Mark Weston has a wealth of experience in digital productions and gaming and lists RTL Media, the BBC and Elstree Film Studios among his clients.

In this article, Mark covers an interesting topic of a clash of realities: real, virtual and augmented - and how the circle can complete through transmedia gaming.

Transmedia: gaming the system

Many people think law is boring. Very few people think the latest computer games are boring. But the two do interface! Probably one of the most progressive areas at the forefront of gaming technology at the moment is transmedia-integrated televisual, real-world, augmented and virtual reality gaming - all with a unified concept through multiple media platforms. This is known as transmedia gaming - and it's already BIG business which is going to get bigger.

Experiencing the levels

For those not familiar with the concept, transmedia gaming is made up of several levels. In this example I will suggest a spy series as a typical example. Here's how it works:

  1. At the most basic level there is the filming of a television series (such as a spy series) with the various episodes having different possible endings - only one of which is actually screened.
  2. That first level then interfaces with a further level 'up' - an online massive multiplayer game with a mass of online subscriber players - where what happens in the game influences what happens in the television episodes and the various endings and plotlines.
  3. That second level then interfaces with the next level 'up' where players can be part of one or more 'teams' carrying out gaming activities (such as spy missions against each other) in the online world.
  4. That third level then interfaces with a further level 'up', which is 'missions' out in the real world where augmented-reality software allows the photo-realistic depiction of game elements onto real-world locations (such as picking up a spy gadget from a briefcase under a particular bench in Hyde Park; the gadget and the briefcase are not really there but your tablet or phone shows them to you when you hold up the camera app over the relevant place and your GPS beacon and the software registers when you 'get' the gadget).
  5. What you do in the real world then changes what happens to your team online, which then...

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