A great Crossplatform Marketplace Event
Cross Video Days (Paris,15-16 June 2011), a meeting place for B2B players in the video industry, any size, any platform, with conferances and an international market place. In this framework we launched a call for entries and we are trying to spread the news all over Europe...Application deadline is April 26th!!
If you know some producers, creative teams, filmmakers, etc...currently working on a cross- or transmedia project, please let them know about our call for entries! We are looking for crossmedia or transmedia projects (webdocs, webfiction, webTV, webseries, ARG, transmedia, 3D...). We accept either projects in development seeking funding, or existing projects seeking distribution.
The advantages for the selected projects are:
- One-to-one business meetings with European decision-makers seeking innovative content (incl. ARTE, ZED, Orange, Mediaventura, Zodiak Active, Endemol... and many others).
- 3-minute pitch slot in front of 300 digital video professionals;
- Free participation in the Cross Video Days Conference A unique opportunity to be seen, financed, (co-)produced and distributed!
Projects must be submitted online (free of charge) before April 26th, 2011:
Crossover: Collections and Archives
How can the stories and histories, the hidden gems and treasures contained within archives, museum, library and gallery collections inspire innovative uses of digital media? Do you have the skill and imagination to devise crossplatform or transmedia projects that can engage new audiences, making archives and collections accessible using IPTV, the web, mobile or other platforms?
The Wellcome Trust and Crossover Labs are delighted to invite curators, archivists, archive rights holders and producers with experience in film or television, social media, web design, games, mobile and location based services to participate in an intensive 5 day ‘creative lab' with a specific focus on developing innovative digital projects inspired by archives or museum and gallery collections.
Crossover: Collections and Archives is supported and hosted by the Wellcome Trust, bringing curators and archivists together with creative professionals from diverse disciplines to share understanding of a rapidly changing mediascape, to form new interdisciplinary collaborations and generate ideas for projects.
The Lab will provide a space for exploration and development, a unique opportunity to forge meaningful partnerships capable of creating new kinds of access to archive material. As well as producers with a background in film and television, we are particularly interested in attracting applications from writers with experience in fiction and drama, as well as games developers.
Crossover: Collections and Archives will be held at the Wellcome Collection between January 16th and 22nd, 2011.
Applications should be made online - http://crossoverlabs.org/events/42/applications/new
An exciting Alumni event!
Beyond the Pale is an interactive theatre experience where you as an audience member find yourself at the heart of the action. At the London Quest Company we look at immersive experience to engage stimulate and inspire audiences. Our work has been heavily influenced by artistic director Andrew Pawlby's involvement with Crossover. He attended the 'Game' lab in 2009.
'I was amazed to find so many people (at the lab) who thought the same way as me about interactivity but looked at the form from a different angle. Listening to them and brainstorming ideas has inspired us as a company. I firmly believe the future of entertainment lies in interactive experiences with Crossover at the helm.'
MIRRORME - A PROJECT FROM CROSSOVER 4iP - LAUNCHES ON FACEBOOK
Newcastle based serious games company Ideonic has launched the beta version of a Facebook application, MirrorMe. The idea was generated and developed at Crossover 4iP in March 2009.
MirrorMe allows you to take any photo of yourself and after entering an overview of your bad habits, morph your face into its degenerated future form. You can then share and compare images with your friends and experiment with the effects of different lifestyle choices.
Although primarily designed to be simple and fun, MirrorMe has some clever technology behind it. It uses advanced Facial Recognition technology to detect over 86 unique points on the human face and uses this information to create an individualised and scarily accurate facial distortion. It also incorporates medical research to create changes specific to the individual user’s sex, age, location, ethnic origin and bad habits.
Have a go yourself, and see what you will look like when your old! http://apps.facebook.com/mirrorme
Screen West Midlands is has appointed Crossover to facilitate collaborative development exercises to assist the agency in the organisation of a five day Cross-Media Ideas Tank programme (CMIT) to be delivered before 28th February 2010.
The purpose of this CMIT is as follows:
- To help to support regional companies from the film, TV, games and digital/social media sector work with arts organisations, technology companies and recognised knowledge bases to develop digital projects and cross-sector collaborations.
- These digital projects should be specifically geared towards the West Midlands 4iP/Digital Media Fund and/or Arts Council WM's Digital Content Development Fund. Briefs can be provided for both.
- Encourage collaboration between regional SME's/industry and recognised knowledge base centres, (please see attached definition).
- CMIT will offer a facilitated/mentor-led approach to developing projects and encouraging collaboration between different sectors.
The CMIT will be aimed at a wide range of sectors in addition to screen media, including arts, third sector and innovative commercial companies.
Date: 22 November 2009 to 27 November 2009
According to a recent House of Lords report: "Society's relationship with science is in a critical phase... There is a widespread belief that the UK's post-war love affair with science has been replaced by an emerging anti-science mood which both fears the rapid development of science and is losing faith in the ability of science to solve society's problems."
Crossover Science will explore the potential of digital media to make compelling experiences focused on the stories, discoveries, challenges and moral dilemmas emerging from science and scientific research in the 21st Century.
Deadline for applications - Tuesday 3 November 2009
Crossover Summit 2009
Date: 4 November 2009
Crossover Summit at Sheffield Doc/Fest on Wednesday 4 November 2009.
The summit will address the new business of media and how production companies can respond to the creative and the commercial challenges of developing content and services for digital media. There will be a number of speakers as well as breakout sessions and round table discussions. In the days following the summit, there will be a strong strand of Crossover panels through the Sheffield Doc/Fest conference programme – including sessions, commissioning editor panels, workshops, project showcasing and cross platform pitching competitions. We encourage you to stay on for these as well as attend the Summit. A Doc/Fest delegate pass will get you access to the Summit and the rest of the festival too.
Crossover Play – Jamie Campbell
Date: 15 July 2009
Juice's Jamie Campbell reports on an inspiring new event
Earlier this year I took the opportunity to attend ‘Crossover Play’ – a lab organised by Frank Boyd of Unexpected Media.
Crossover is a unique series of ‘innovation labs’ designed to explore and invent new media forms. Each lab fosters new collaborations between talented and experienced producers across different sectors in the audio-visual industries, sparking innovative projects that push the boundaries on existing and new platforms. Crossover is supported by Screen Yorkshire, North-West Vision and Media, London Development Agency, NESTA, The Skillset TV Freelance Fund and The Wellcome Trust.
Crossover Play was designed to explore new forms of entertainment for interactive and participatory media: the relationship between play and narrative, formats dependent on user contributions, mobile or location based entertainment with a broadcast component. And of course, games: social and casual games, games that involve live events and performance, augmented or alternate reality games, games with emotional depth, games that appeal to non-gamers.
The Lab comprised a blend of masterclasses, presentations, workshop, screenings and, naturally, play. Participants had a unique opportunity to explore and experiment with game forms and digitally mediated play; working as individuals and in teams they also brainstormed, developed and prototyped ideas for new ones.
Arriving on Sunday evening I read the diverse biographies of the delegates and it became apparent that this was going to be different from the usual conference, summit, or seminar. I had been expecting to encounter many others from the console game development community at the event, but soon realised that out of the thirty or so attendees the only other direct industry-related people were Margaret Robertson (Games Consultant and former editor of Edge magazine), Mark Sorrell (Senior Creative Developer for Screenpop/Fremantle Media), Adam Russell (Games Studio Manager and Lecturer in Games Programming, University of Derby), and Maurice Suckling (Director, The Mustard Corporation). In this situation it would have been very easy for cliques to gravitate towards one another and form groups that would persist for the duration of the event, but that was not to be. I’m glad, as from a console programmer perspective the MacBook to XPS ratio was disturbingly high…
After introductions from Frank Boyd (Unexpected Media), Heather Croall (Sheffield Doc/Fest), Matt Adams (Blast Theory), Mark Atkin (Independent Producer), Peter Grimsdale (Novelist and Executive Producer), Margaret Robertson (Games Consultant) and Kirsty Roach (The Wellcome Trust), we were informed that in the next hour or so, we would all learn one another’s name. Immediately, everyone (myself included) confessed to being terrible with names. An hour later I could recall the names of twenty-seven or twenty-eight of the thirty or so people in the room, and so could many others. How had we achieved this? Through playing a couple of games. It was time to sit up and take notice. Then the work started – no lazy Sunday evening at the bar as may have been expected, it was obvious that not a moment was going to be wasted during the week.
The following morning more formal introductions informed all the attendees of the background and skill-sets of everyone present. Personal passions were also highlighted and broadcast, as well as goals for the week. I felt the need to explain that I was not looking for any truly tangible project opportunities to come out of the lab for two main reasons; a) I work for a publisher-owned development studio, therefore collaborations outside the realm of customer-supplier transactions could potentially be complex, and (possibly more importantly) b) I saw this lab as a unique opportunity to ‘throw off the shackles’ and not worry too much about feasibility. To quote Boyd “It’s easier to make the interesting feasible than to make the feasible interesting.”
The following five days were a blur. Constantly changing teams and activities resulted in my working with almost all of the delegates at one stage or another. Although fed to the congregation in bite-sized chunks, in retrospect I feel that there were certain distinct ongoing themes running throughout. The Lab had no headings, subheadings, or rigid terminology, but the following is my personal take on the format of the major themes and activities.
Environmental Scanning – “What’s out there?”
OK, so no-one actually referred to it as Environmental Scanning, but working in pairs we identified the extent to which media of different kinds pervades our everyday lives. My partner was Luke Williams-Ellis, Creative Director of Pixeco, a company that helps film and broadcast projects reach new audiences though digital solutions. He lives and works in the trendy big smoke, whereas I dwell in suburban Cheshire. So yes, we have quite different days, and could teach each other something about working patterns, commutes and the daily experience of play.
Following on, the whole group contributed to formulating a mission statement for the week; “To develop playful cross-platform experiences”. So what does that consist of? Again, it was fascinating to see the perspectives of such a diverse group, including those who claimed to have ‘no experience of games whatsoever’. A claim that simply was not true. Almost everything is a game – that’s the conclusion the group came to. Juggling emails, programming, commuting, looking for a parking space – these are all games when viewed from a different perspective. So, instead of scaring folk half to death by asking for a STEEPV analysis of the environment, a vast map of what factors should be considered when maintaining the group vision was initially teased, and eventually flowed, from the group.
Creative Thinking – “Brainstorming?”
I know you’re not supposed to use that word any more, but I guess I’m just not that PC. Anyway, it was incredibly refreshing and enjoyable to see people comfortably spewing ideas onto the army of flip charts. People were making mistakes in thought processes, breaking industry ‘rules’, and although experience caused an initial urge to say ‘that won’t work because…’ or ‘you can’t do that because…’, taking a ‘Yes AND…’ approach was constructive and fascinating. Even if it validated the initial negative thoughts, just seeing the thought processes of people from different backgrounds converging to the same logical conclusions through diverse creative ideas was both enlightening and reinforcing.
Narrowing It Down – “Too many choices.”
It was interesting to see the difficulty people had when asked to generate initial concepts that supported the mission statement, when given a blank piece of paper. The difference in productivity when participants were provided with cues, no matter how random, was tangible. Again, this was reinforcement for the mechanisms in day-to-day use within the games industry – lateral thinking, random word association, and so on. Moving on, more structured cues were created, simply by listing all potential customers, genres, platforms and any specific aims. Morphological Analysis (or Idea Boxes) was used for either structured choices or random selection (depending on the masochistic tendencies of the team involved), and these selections formed a requirements specification that could be developed further; yet more reinforcement of collaborative ways of working and sharing knowledge. Voting was also used in the lab, giving each attendee a number of points to allocate to preferred options, allowing for spread-betting, out-and-out endorsement, or anything in-between, and this was a great catalyst for discussion.
Game Development Activity 1 –“The Twittering Ghosts of Crathorne Hall.”
“Create a game using ‘History’ and ‘Twitter’. You have two hours.” Each team of three or four people had a subject and a platform to work with. Here, I thought, we can really go to town. A few hasty meetings later, some ideas for clues and answers within the Country House Hotel, and we had an idea. Twitter would enable the players to converse with ghosts, who would provide clues to guide them to a certain ‘treasure’ item (hidden behind the chair beneath King George’s portrait). But how do we guide the players to the correct Twitter account? Being a programmer, I knocked up a quick C# application that asked a simple multiple choice question based on the coat of arms above the fireplace. The correct answer navigated a browser to Twitter, and supplied the player with a username and password. Swish, I thought. And it was. And it worked. What I hadn’t counted on was the plethora of incredible ideas from the other teams:
- Blood-soaked actors.
- ARG (alternate reality game) SMS messages. These not only caused a couple of delegates to complain to the hotel about spamming, but also resulted in a (to all but one of us) hilarious ranting maniacal accusing email being sent to a completely innocent third party. To explain, the sender thought he knew who was behind the ARG messages, and sent him a picture of a dead squirrel in retaliation, along with various threats. It just so happens that innocent party was also the guys employer…I don’t think he has got back in touch yet.
- A parody iPhone audio tour of the house claiming that certain locked rooms were actually hiding the only remaining features of the 1960s leisure centre which was the original structure on which the Edwardian country house was built. These ‘features’ included an eleven-foot running track and the world’s largest vending machine. Genius.
- And so on and so forth…
The point I am trying to make is: I completely underestimated everyone. And that was a great thing.
Game Development Activity 2 – “Goat vs Goat.”
Need I say more? OK, I probably do. One of the more laborious sessions involved everyone scribbling down the names of as many games they could think of (not only video games) and then segmenting them based on their primary mechanic. I say laborious purely because of the subjectivity involved. The activity was of course perfectly valid, and there was a noticeable change in the way the non-gaming fraternity and sorority were now looking at games - they had lost their innocence. Football was no longer about ‘The Reds’, it was a shooting game. Or was it a management game? Or was it a battle? Hopefully, the delegates had not changed their perspective, they had gained another one. One mechanic was chosen by each person, and then mysterious envelopes provided a context in which the mechanics should be incorporated into a game design. Four of us were presented with ‘goat farming’, ‘controlling an unstable object’ and ‘calculating probability’ as parameters, and ‘Goat vs Goat ‘was born half an hour later. A third-goat-racer (TGR) including: genetically modified goats, the lure of female goat attention as a prize, shortcuts by eating long grass (but then the risk of being too fat to breed), and the danger of bent horns rendering you unattractive to the opposite sex, being only a few of the USPs. At this point, everyone was REALLY thinking games. Silly games? Some maybe, but games nonetheless.
Meaningful Feedback – “Tell it like it is.”
Each concept that arose over the course of the lab was condensed to an A4 sheet of paper slapped to the wall, and by this point, they numbered around sixty. The group as a whole was now performing, and ready to focus and exploit their current state of awareness of games. Again, another validation of a commonly-used practice then took place. De Bono’s ‘Six Hats’ thinking has been around a long time, but it was still a new concept to some. For accessibility, only three of the hats were used (Yellow, Black and Green), but forcing small groups to think purely in terms of either the logical positive, the logical negative, or creative-alternative comments at any one time demonstrated a way of communicating without finger-pointing or defensiveness. Similar to previous exercises, the formal (again, De Bono) term ‘Provocation Operation’ was not used, but appeared to be the aim; if you have an idea, want to know what people think, and you can take criticism and filter out extreme views, then put your idea out there and see what comes back. One thing is for certain - if it looks like you are ready to action something, it is unlikely you will be met with apathy.
Game Development Activity 3 – “Hang on a minute…these ideas are actually getting… good.”
Voting was used to reduce the number of concepts on the wall based on who was interested in ultimately working on what. I tried to stay away from anything too close to home as I wanted a challenge, and I didn’t mind who I worked with - I had enjoyed working with everyone. However I made a conscious decision to stay away from one particular person who had a similar skill-set to me. This wasn’t to avoid conflict or ego, it was to spread the knowledge more evenly among the groups. Over lunch we decided on two projects each that we would put our names to, with the option of changing our minds later. After seeing who had put their names down for each project, we could then remove one of our nominations, and change yet again if we wished. There were two projects I was interested in but I committed to a particular project, thinking I knew what I would be working on the next day. Then a strange thing happened - somebody I had worked with on the first day approached me and started to ‘sell’ me a project he was interested in. It wasn’t his concept, but he liked the idea and thought that I should consider it. It was a loose specification, more of a concept for a mechanic that a game, but it was ‘the other’ project I had been considering. I thought that this would be an interesting test of the cross-platform perceptions of another individual…how would he know if I would be any use on the project? So I accepted.
My team consisted of James Kilner (a Neuroscientist funded by the Wellcome Trust), Chris Walker (MD, BrightWhite Limited), Luke Williams-Ellis (Creative Director at Pixeco) and myself. The next few hours were spent on the Croquet lawn (unfortunately not playing Croquet) with marker pens, post-its, and a lot of physical moving around pretending to be actors and objects in a game, to see what mechanics worked. There followed many, many discussions, some post-midnight finishes, some C++, lots of Logic Studio, and regular ‘watering-holes’ with the mentors who provided food for thought, praise and criticism. Thirty-six hours later we had a concept, a logo, a demo, a mock-up, a business model and a pitch.
The Pitches – “Impressive.”
Commissioning editors for Channel4, the BBC, Heads of Industry, Special Projects, Project Directors for RDAs, and more, all arrived on the final day. For me, seeing the seven pitches was an inspiring event. The diversity was incredible, but the depth to which each avenue had been examined, and the sheer amount of thought that had gone into the concepts was astounding. People who claimed to be non-gamers on Sunday were now explaining the reasons for their mechanics (and doing a very good job of it) in a pretty daunting situation…and they were talking a lot of sense.
Each team had seven minutes to pitch their game to the panel. I’m used to talking games to internal parties and specialist press, all of whom are interested in not only the high-level aspects of the games, but also the minutiae; the technology behind it, the detail, so pitching a game concept in seven minutes seemed like a difficult proposition. We pitched it in five. And then someone said they were interested in funding it…go figure.
I went into the Lab with a deliberate aim to not get anything tangible out of it. I wanted contacts, inspiration, refreshment, and an idea of what was going on in the wider world. All of a sudden I have a game concept with a large amount of positive feedback from many people. The fact that there was an interest in funding the project means I have to present the concept to Juice Games and THQ; I have a responsibility to propagate the idea. It’s innovative and a little bit leftfield, but it’s also unique and viable, and came from a very unusual source – a crossover team.
So exactly what am I taking away from the Crossover Play experience?
- The importance of finding a common language. I’m not just talking co-ordinate systems, units of measurement, art compared to code, or Mac versus PC; I mean a language without jargon, and a language of patience and making an effort to understand and make oneself understood. The result is more than worth the struggle.
- It’s not just the idea, it’s the perspective. Take two or more ideas that sound similar, dig beneath the surface and hopefully find that there are completely different perspectives to be had depending on the people involved.
- Expectancy theory holds true yet again. Effort, performance and reward are inextricably linked. Only attend a Crossover Lab if you believe in putting in the effort. There were several days which ran from 9am to the small hours, but this was mainly due to the attitude of those involved; everyone was there to get as much from the experience as possible.
- There are some amazing people out there. Regardless of background, the level of contribution was quite remarkable. There was heated discussion at times, but no ‘Apprentice’-style egoistic episodes. In truth, a lot of the constructive abrasion was smoothed over by finding the ‘common language’ described above. Any residual heat was a bi-product of people striving to achieve the best possible results.
- Everything is ‘IMHO’. It’s OK to tell people your opinion. It’s OK to tell people what you think. But often there is no exclusively-right answer. It’s important, especially when talking to people from a non game-development background, to continually remind oneself that everything is subjective. Yes, there are guidelines, and yes, there are things that have worked in the past, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be right in the future. Personally I think the Lab could have benefitted from more delegates from the game development community in order to provide differing insights and perspectives - hopefully more will take the opportunity to attend in the future. It’s all about providing a balanced view, so tell everyone to assume that every sentence uttered is preceded by a virtual ‘IMHO’. Humble or honest, either will do.
Crossover Play, through intensity, method, and variety, induced some kind of Stockholm syndrome in a Country House Hotel. It could easily have been chaos, but the mentors guided (rather than managed) events towards a common goal. There were definite, recognisable, and effective tools and techniques being employed, but in a subtle and jargon-free way so as not to alienate the previously uninitiated. Every individual I spoke to came away exhausted, enlightened, and with a sense of shared experience that will hopefully ensure future communication, if not collaborations. There was a sense of instant nostalgia as the Lab drew to a close, and a feeling that something very worthwhile had just happened. Massively useful, thoroughly enjoyable, and highly recommended; probably best experienced as a complete stranger. That’s IMHO, of course.
Crossover Australia 2009 – Sandy Cameron
Date: April-May 2009
Sandy Cameron is an Adelaide-based writer and digital media producer.
From a participant’s perspective, Crossover Australia was an invaluable collaborative hothouse unique in the media landscape, a timely primer in current audience behaviour trends in media consumption, and a periodically stressful but ultimately highly rewarding creative exercise.
Crossover director Frank Boyd is a veteran of the creative laboratory process, having run dozens of high-level residentials with partners such as the BBC, Channel 4 and the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. He espouses the frameworks and stimulants for innovation and creativity with gravitas, and together with Sheffield Documentary Festival Director (and former AIDC Director) Heather Croall has successfully transported the Crossover model to Scandinavia and Canada, tweaking it to suit specific genres such as content for children, games and documentary. Three more international mentors plugged knowledge gaps and provided excellent one-to-one and team-based guidance: Matt Adams, the versatile co-founder of digital artist group Blast Theory (UK); Margaret Robertson (UK), a well informed games consultant and journalist; and Sandi Dubowski, an award-winning New York documentary filmmaker.
In the salubrious setting of the McLaren Vale wine district, 20 professionals from an eclectic range of media backgrounds converged with the broad brief of creating prototypes for “innovative interactive digital experiences.” Positioning itself as an accelerated development lab, Crossover emphasises the brainstorming and shaping of concepts rather than arriving with preconceived projects and team structures. Additionally, an explicit aim is to migrate practitioners from “vintage media” into the cross-media realm, or at least introduce them to the conceptual potential of genres and delivery platforms outside their comfort zones. Amongst the selected participants was an award-winning fantasy author, a playwright and a visual artist, blending with digital natives such as a game developer and an artificial intelligence programmer. This mixture of skills served to test the Crossover hypothesis that a good source of innovation is to bring together creative professionals from different sectors.
Crossover is structured into four key phases: an introductory stage that explores the territory of the lab and allows participants to understand each others’ skills; an idea generation phase encompassing a series of brainstorming exercises; the formation of teams to develop some of the stronger ideas further; and finally the pitching of these projects to a panel of funding agency representatives and commissioning editors. It’s an adrenaline-fuelled week.
The introductory phase was blessedly light on the getting-to-know-you theatre sports and more concerned with discussion of current intersections between audience behaviour, modes of delivery and emerging trends across media. Recurring themes included the ‘digital divide’ yawning between the technologically savvy and those unengaged or disaffected, and the issues facing rights exploitation. It was also an opportunity to learn about the complementary skills and personalities of those in attendance, to begin scoping out those with whom you would be willing to work closely as the week progressed.
The idea generation phase signaled the commencement of the lab proper. Using a range of techniques including classic brainstorming and lateral thinking tools, constantly changing teams started creating original concepts for cross-platform projects. For example, randomly selected teams were assigned a genre, a digital delivery platform and a demographic and asked to generate a project to suit the combination. Teams might be served Internet television, comedy and teen girls, and have 40 minutes to devise and pitch a concept to the larger group. Also employed was a useful user-focused design process, where teams each created a very specific, detailed individual audience persona and then came up with a digital project that it would enjoy. The exercises poured forth a stream of ideas of varying robustness, but also generated a palpably exciting environment.
Augmented Reality Games, commercial online software properties and community campaigns making intricate use of social media tools all were pitched, boiled down to fit on an A4 sheet of paper and fastened to the communal “ideas wall.” During the third stage of Crossover, a crucial turning point occurs in which participants select the projects from amongst the 60 or so generated to develop further and present on the final pitch day. The stakes were raised as political manoeuvering was necessary to secure preferred concepts and mixture of personalities. Ideas were teased out, directions tweaked and roles assigned as the projects grew more flesh.
As Crossover builds towards a public presentation the selected projects are developed in the prism of a five minute discussion, and in particular are pushed to address the value propositions enshrined in the Stanford Research Institute’s innovation methodology. What audience need is the project addressing? What unique approach is used to address this need? What are the benefits of this approach? And finally, what is the existing competition to the project? In the last 36 hours of the lab the direction changes markedly from a forum of ideas to the polishing of pitching skills, with some needing more intensive coaching than others. Most of the adrenaline surge occurs in this final phase as the teams are whisked to the AIDC to present to financiers for feedback. Although the presiding panel is aware that the ideas are only a few days old, it’s the potential for embarrassment that hangs most like Damocles’ sword. As it happened, the teams rose to the occasion, with a solid batch of proposals including serious games (projects designed to provide educational and social awareness instead of or in addition to entertainment) and community digital storytelling projects that had benefitted from being fired in the kiln of accelerated development.
The intimacy of the creative laboratory generates an intense atmosphere; the experience of having 20 new friendships progress in rapid-fire fashion created moments of tension and pseudo-melodrama. Fortunately (and perhaps incredibly), this Crossover was seemingly devoid of aggressive egos which made the experience smooth and enjoyable under the circumstances, and a safe and fertile breeding ground for creativity. My sole criticism is that, due to the idiosyncratic nature of the laboratory, Crossover is geared towards developing “concept cars” rather than projects that are ready to go into production; the quest for innovation occasionally leaves pragmatism behind. Nevertheless it’s a valuable exercise, and the networking benefits alone are enough to justify the process. The insertion of a focused business modeling component could add further value to what’s already a high quality and rewarding professional development opportunity.
RealTime issue #90 April-May 2009 pg. 29 - http://www.realtimearts.net/article.php?id=9410