Nearly $A40.9 billion dollars of interactive video games were sold in 2002 according to the Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA). That’s more than the worldwide box office takings for the film industry in the same year. In Australia, the story is similar: Australians spent $825 million in 2002 on games software and hardware, which increases annually and 88 per cent of homes have a device for playing computer or video games (according to IGEA).
Digital storytelling is big business and a lot of minds and talent go into the making of games and other digital narrative channels. The success of Fee Plumley’s recent project, reallybigroadtrip and Writing Australia’s Digital Writer in Residence (a project managed by SA Writers Centre) and today’s announcement of the new SA made game Hexiled (which saw more than two million plays in ten days) is confirmation that South Australians are hungry to make headway in the digital industry.
The maturing infrastructure to support this field means that richer digital stories are being produced and will only continue to expand. As sophisticated digital stories start to infiltrate the industry, it’s time for people to up skill to meet the demands and quality of the market. It’s imperative people develop their skills in an expanding and progressive and quite limitless arena and get a national competitive edge, whilst the rest of the sector are still learning. It also bodes well for attendees’ employability or self directed employment.
So we’re implementing a two day intensive masterclass to Adelaide, called The Digital Writers Room, which will be presented by award winning transmedia writer/designer/director, Christy Dena.
This masterclass is aimed at writers working in the digital space, especially those working with interactive stories, gaming, experimental narratives and other digital, collaborative writing projects, and those interested in participatory theatre and interacting with audiences. Modelled on a TV writers’ room, this special lab will give the lonely digital writer the rare opportunity to develop their work with peers, in a collaborative setting.
‘Not only will participants get to meet people in the industry, it’s a unique opportunity to be in a room full of similar people with complementary skills – this is where new projects and collaborations are often born. Who knows, in a year from now we may be hearing about an innovative product that began in The Digital Writers’ Room,’ said Sarah Tooth, Director, SA Writers Centre.
CHRISTY DENA is a writer-designer-director who has worked on an extensive list of pervasive games, film, digital and theatre projects. Her story app has been nominated for the 2014 WA Premier’s Book Awards in the ‘Digital Narrative’ category. It was also nominated for “Best Writing in a Game” at the Freeplay Awards. She was granted the first “Digital Writing Residency” in 2013 at the Cube, QUT. She was “Digital Writing” Ambassador at the Emerging Writers Festival, and runs a lab for storytellers working in tech in New York. Christy has a Post Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing (University of Melbourne), and a PhD on Transmedia Practice (University of Sydney).
Here’s a couple of Christy’s projects:
Séance for Lost Stuff
A live party game (created for the Pop Up Playground’s 2014 Festival) where players nclare to channel the spirit of a lost object, the goal is to be the first to find the locations of your own lost objects and pass on the locations you have of others.
AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS
A is a web audio adventure for the iPad. A prototype was Finalist for “Best Writing in a Game” Award at the 2012 Freeplay Independent Gaming Festival, and the recent crowdfunding campaign is the biggest successful game campaign on Pozible to date. More info
Guardians of Hidden Universes
A phone app that is based on a playful story that can be tailored to any city that you are currently in. More information
‘Christy Dena’s online-remix-narrative takes iconic images of popular culture and builds with them a strange world where the human fallibility is programmatically deleted. Both dystopic and playful, Dena’s work is an ironic reimagining of pleasure as a state of robotic flatlining, using tropes of science fiction to critique processes of social normalisation and increasing alienation from emotionality.’ – the project editors describe Christy’s work on the game Deletions, and Other Pleasures
WHEN: 23 and 24 August
TIME: 10am – 4pm daily
WHERE: SA Writers Centre
(This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body).