A former Nickelodeon animator and a Facebook employee teamed up to create social fiction in Hawk Funn, a story told via Facebook, Twitter and the Internet.
|Scooped by Gus Leagre|
Steve Lowtwait and Michael Smith may have just revolutionized storytelling.
It kind of reminds me of those old Choose Your Own Adventure books. I would drool over those when I was little. Being given the ability to influence the character's decisions drew me in so much, it didn't matter how awful and uncreative the stories were. I still loved them. It immerses you deep in the story and provides an investment and connection to the characters that previously could only be obtained by masterful storytelling. True audience participation is a powerful tool and once it is utilized by already great storytellers, the results are incomprehensible.
Now, what if you took that power, applied it to the modern age, and made it relevant to people over the age of 10? You get Lowtwait and Smith's genius creation of "Social Fiction." This consists of a story told through not just social media, but, in theory, all of the internet. Their first (as well as *the* first) story of this kind is that of Hawk Funn and his family. Just by liking Hawk's Facebook page, you get real time updates on this fictional character's life, just as if he was one of your internet friends. You can also comment on his posts with the large chance that he or one of his family members will respond, and perhaps even take your advice into consideration. It's not just Facebook either, there is a website for the company Hawk works for as well as Twitter accounts and more. Instead of just seeing a story play out, you get to peek into the character's lives as if they were really here.
They've found a way to make the audience part of the story beyond the purposeless "What's Gonna Happen Next?!?" polls adorning the sides of entertainment and TV station sites. And while the story of the Funn family may not appeal to you, this idea goes so far beyond that. Storytelling in all forms is affected by this: TV shows, books, movies, comics, everything. It provides an ingenious way to keep characters in the lives of those that have connected with them after the original medium has ended. For example: How about a realtime continuation of the stories of Ted, Robin, Barney, Lily, and Marshall in How I Met Your Mother after the mother has been met? Sure it would take upkeep, and frequent attention, but what story doesn't?
This form could usher in a new era of the way stories are thought of and written. And I'd like to think it will be an even better one.