With the mainstreaming of new platforms from smartphones to tablets for viewing content, we’ve been seeing a push to create hybrid forms of entertainment that often blur the lines between real and digital and audience and creator, bringing an element of interactivity to what was once an inherently passive activity. One such explosion is already happening within the realm of social gaming, where popular titles like Farmville are attracting huge followings thanks to their ability to combine relatively easy game play with an underlying social aspect that touches on equal parts collaboration and competition. But what happens when that game experience begins to cross over the line into the realm of film?
That’s the question that We R Interactive is hoping to answer when it launches its I Am Playr online game (in private beta) later this year. The genre-bending release combines elements of gaming, social networking, video and first person narrative to simulate the highs and lows of becoming a football (soccer) star. The idea is to create a choose-your-own adventure style story where players compete on multiple levels against a global audience, in an attempt to make their “in-game” character the most successful.
What makes the game truly interesting, is the fact that how participants perform on the pitch and in the training room, is only half the story of stardom. They must also navigate the often precarious world of life off the field as well, carefully choosing agents and potential mates, along with how late to stay out the night before games.
All of this unfolds in a variety of ways as game’s website explains:
As you play through each week you’ll be picking up the narrative through a variety of different media. You’ll be getting text messages from people, see your story unfold through headlines in the tabloids, get video messages from friends, be able to tune in to radio broadcasts talking about what’s happening in your life and read what the fans think of your performance in blogs and fanzines.
A key feature of the Game is the fact that some of these [video] clips will be interactive. You’ll watch them through and at the end be given a choice, a dilemma which forces you to pick a narrative path. Making these choices can dramatically affect the way your game plays out. Choices have consequences, and those consequences feed in to all the other aspects of the game. Some of these choices will be straight forward and have an obvious and immediate consequence. Others might come back to haunt you later in the season.
The trailer for I Am Playr demonstrates the first person POV below: