A.I. is one of my favorite films and perhaps the most brilliant science fiction movie of the 2000s decade. The alternate reality game "The Beast" created for A.I. was the first of its kind in 2001 and some argue it has still not been surpassed. The following is an analysis of Spielberg's AI: Artificial Intelligence transmedia storyworld. You can view the presentation or scroll down for the text.
Steven Spielberg's AI: Artificial Intelligence was voted the best Science Fiction film of the decade by Cinematical (2009). The transmedia intellectual property (IP) consists of 2 platforms, the main feature film, and the alternate reality game (ARG) that became to be know as “The Beast” for its size; the game was played across websites, and set off by a curious title in the credits of the film, a telephone number in promotional trailers on television, and on posters. As a 2001 project, this is an early example of transmedia storytelling – and considered the first use of an alternate reality game.
In 1969 Brian Aldiss published a short story called "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long" which became the inspiration behind Stanley Kubrick's project he referred to as Pinocchio, “a tale of humanity and of the aching loneliness in an overpopulated future.” (Aldiss). It took 12 years to imagine and to develop that into a screenplay for AI that Kubrick was never able to complete. After working with a storyboard designer, pre-visualization companies and even recording voices by actors, Kubrick started to include Spielberg in the collaboration in the 1980s. As the development took place before Internet, Kubrick convinced Spielberg to install a hidden fax machine in his wardrobe to exchange messages with Kubrick and to keep it safe from anyone – a collaboration which lasted until Kubrick’s death in 1999. In comparison, the transmedia extension “The Beast” was a marketing project that only became part of AI a meager 1 year before its release and was developed by an external team at Microsoft and never imagined by the film’s creators.
AI creates a view of a futuristic society and poses a set of difficult questions for the audience to answer. Can one feel love for an artificial being who is programmed to have unconditional love for you and looks completely real? What is the true role of machines in our lives and will machines with artificial intelligence ever be accepted as our equals? How do we really treat machines that may become to supercede us? The core of the movie is the questions whether the audience (like the mother) can emotionally invest in an inhuman, robotic protagonist who seems almost human.
In the movie, David, an android boy is adopted by Monica and Henry, a couple whose son Martin lies in a coma wihout hope of recovering. When Martin nonethless recovers, he feels threathned by David and “deviously instigates David's abandonment, setting him on a vast adventure to find the fictitious Blue Fairy so he can [fulfill his] wish for mortality and seek a new acceptance from his mother” (Bertke, 2011). As the Film Quarterly article puts it, what makes AI Steven Spielberg’s “strangest, most interesting, [...] most mature work is that, whether by accident or design, it’s the first of his movies to be both a “children’s” film, ingratiating and manipulative, and a film for adults—complex, ambiguous, brutal and cold. Or, to put it another way, both a Steven Spielberg film and a Stanley Kubrick film” (Kreider, 2002). While Kubrick had been working on AI for decades, he convinced Spielberg to direct it because he believed Spielberg was better suited for its theme and had a grasp of the emotions that the film would need to convey to make it work; and after his death Spielberg had little choice. “While it may seem odd for a single work to result from two creators—especially two directors so distinct in style and temperament—this combination of minds actually reflects the themes and motifs of the film” (Sampson).
AI was a technically ambitious project. It was the “first film to use computer animated Pre-Vis” (IMDB) and also pioneered “the virtual studio, a technique which allowed Steven Spielberg to walk through a virtual version of Rouge City with his camera and select shots [used later] on "The Lord of the Rings" films” (IMDB). As an entertainment property its fundamental purpose was of course to entertain but it also superceded that function and succeeded in making the audience think about fundamental philosphical questions about humanity and identity and where one really belongs and can one come to love a machine that is programmed to love you. It is a story that Kubrick loved and wanted to tell and perhaps the culminatuon of his thinking about the future of machines.
The main character of the feature film is David, an android boy who doesn’t know he’s an android and who loves his mother. The support characters are Monica Swinton and Henry Swinton and their biological son Martin Swinton, sidekick Gigolo Joe, and a talking supertoy called Teddy. The mother and father characters are forgettable and would not travel across a transmedia storytelling. Teddy the supertoy gives as sense that David is perhaps – only – a toy.
There relationship between David and the people he meets in the world is what makes the movie interesting to watch. David is made to be the perfect son, never aging and always loving. To initiate his love, the parent has to perform an imprinting sequence that attaches the child to the parent – the mother Monica. David and his ‘father’ Henry, however remain unattached. “David and Henry are somewhat distant from each other and, while Monica performs the imprinting sequence with David, Henry never does” (IMDB).
The storyworld is a supporting character on its own; as an expansive space it sets the background for a "civil war" between robots and humans. Through secondary characters such as the robot-killers on the Flesh Market and the hedonistic inhabitants of the Rouge City we get a sense of the storyworld. Robots have developed to a state where they have reached the uncanny valley people feel uneasy about their presence, which is fast threatening the android population with nothing less than holocaust. The AI storyworld is a dangerous place for free robots, as when captured, they are taken to the flesh market to be publicly executed; a dystopian view of how people will treat machines that become too similar to them.
The characters in the alternate reality game are not the same as the film’s characters; in fact the film character do not ever actively participate as the game begins 16 years after the movie ends but extensive biographical material can be found though, for example one “website revealed that Martin Swinton grew up to be an architect who, after being traumatized by David's disappearance, spent his career building sentient AI houses” (IMDB). The robot-making corporations are central to the story, however, and the name of certain Jeanine Salla, a robotherapist from Bangalore University, who is an expert in the emotional construction of AIs – is the cue players find in the movie’s credits. Jeanine’s granddaughter Laia Salla had a relationship with Evan, the killed scientist, and a family friend of the Sallas, whose murder by a an android names Venus set the story off.
Doing a web search on Jeanine Salla brought up several in-game web pages “such as the homepage of Salla's employer, Bangalore World University” (Wikipedia, 2011). If the played would do his research, he would find Laia Salla’s name and Jeanine's phone number, that when called would be answered by an in-game automated message, providing additional cues to follower. Going down the rabbit hole step-by-step, following similar cues was how the game’s story unfolded. On certain step, non-player characters would get involved set up by the game’s Puppetmasters to add even more realism to the experience; access to these characters would be through email and in one case through a phone call, with a in-game voice actor; humans engage with characters and with sound, and being able to speak to what seems to be a real person on a phone, extends characters from the game world into the real world – and also plays to the thematic of the movie – the question, what is real?
AI was a large-budget Hollywood blockbuster that needed to capture the attention of a wide mainstream audience and the intended consumer of the movie was an adult, passive movie-watcher. At the same time, the player of the alternate reality game extension was different – an active participant who needed to 1) notice the rabbit hole in one of the 3 migratory cues and 2) take an active role in pursuing that cue online, and 3) keep engaged throughout the process of finding cues in the game.
The feature film followed the standard Hollywood business model that involves selling tickets to the feature film in the US market, selling DVDs to the home video market, expanding to international distribution. The game took place in the first part of this period, starting 1 month before the film’s release and extending 2 months after the film’s release. It was a purely promotional (and perhaps educational) undertaking underwritten entirely by the film’s marketing budget; thus free for the end user, and even for people who had never seen the film but perhaps recognized the rabbit hole in one of the trailers or posters or heard about the game from a friend. The Beast had a budget of over one million dollars.
The game attracted real-time players because to take part one needed to be actively involved throughout the summer of 2011, hunting clues online across many websites, as well as sending emails to characters and calling special telephone numbers – and by the end of the game even taking part in a real-life protest for robot rights, by that time being totally in the character of an investigator, with in-game protest actions taking place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City.
This was not a user-generate culture, as few pieces of content were developed, with no parodies, recaps or mashups created, however there was a very active fan community called “Cloudmakers” that acted as a central hub for players. The Cloudmakers group was founded on “April 11, 2001 by a 24-year-old, Oregon-based computer programmer named Cabel Sasser” (McGonigal, 2003) – named after an AI boat owned by Evan Chan, the central character who was killed in the game’s setup – and a mere “48 hours after [the launch] there were 153 new members in the group investigating these mysterious sites” (McGonigal, 2003) and by the time the game ended 3 months later, on July 24, 2001 the Cloudmakers group had expanded to a considerable size – “7480 members who had scribed a total of 42,209 messages” (McGonigal, 2003).
The player had an important goal to accomplish in the project – to find out who killed Evan Chan. The people taking part in the game where technically sophisticated and worked in a community, gathering around the forum. Some of the puzzles needed specialist knowledge, such as “understanding of lute tablature” (Wikipedia, 2011), that only a few members of the community could have, meaning a community was necessary to carry the story forward in a sort of a wisdom of the crowds type of story development. “The Cloudmakers' work, and game play in general, consisted of tracking and interpreting plot developments and evidence that circulated mostly through Web sites and emails, but also through phone calls, faxes, television and newspaper ads, as well as occasional real-time and offline events” (McGonigal, 2003). Traveling to live events, people would have fun staying in character. Steve Peters, a transmedia storytelling active in the community recounts an email he received from a fellow player (unnamed): “I carpooled with 3 strangers down there and we all had a good time and got to know each other. The guy who had the car got big [xxxx] decals and we acted the part; telling people it was an employee car and staying in character “ (Peters, 2010).
The main appeal for players was to follow the story through and to get to know the fascinating specialist knowledge of what is happening in the storyworld, and through that knowledge forming a community of likeminded individuals working on a commons goal – and could become friends.
Players were characterized by technical proficiency and fascination with science fiction, seeking to attach themselves to the project mainly online, however a few separate cases of real-life gameplay did take place. People formed a community around the AI storyworld that became so immersive they took the trouble to travel to live action game play across the country. They wanted to find out new clues to the story and they loved acting the part of investigators. “These folks didn’t go to all this trouble to just get a poster or a t-shirt. They did it for the story. And for the community. And for the fun” (Peters, 2010) – underlying how story is central and technology is way to deliver the story.
An alternate reality game is supposed to create a feeling 2 worlds are colliding, with the fictional world colliding into the reality and slimy tentacles of the alternate reality reaching our own world, as happens in the popular TV series Fringe. “For [the Puppetmasters], ‘immersion’ meant integrating the virtual play fully into the online and offline lives of its players”, wrote Jane McGonigal describing the motivations and methods of the creators of the Beast (Szulborski, 2005). Blogger Danny Bowes, who played the game through the whole summer of 2001, looking for the person(s) who killed the scientist, described it as “awesome and [something that] painted a fascinating portrait of the movie’s 22nd century setting. [...] I miss that time, playing that game on my dial-up connection, looking forward to seeing this movie where the immensely talented Spielberg would bring the late master Stanley Kubrick’s vision to life” (Bowes, 2011).
“The game [...] involved websites registered in several countries around the world as well as telephone numbers from across the US” (IMDB). “The mantra of The Beast [was] "This is not a game." When a player reads a character's blog, or looks at his employer's website, or even speaks to him on the phone, the character never indicates that he is anything but what the game says he is, whether that's a professor of biology, a kidnapped child, a DP artist, or a robot bounty hunter” (Wikipedia, 2011).
The game had no timer or other ticking clock to add tension to the experience nor a system of rewards or penalties to the players developed; a possible point of weakness of the first alternate reality game. The player’s primary motivation to spend time in accomplishing the goal was the narrative curiosity (just like in a movie) to find out what happens next and the feeling community created by the Cloudmakers group. In an interview with one of the players, a web developer in his 30s reveled that he was "less interested in the details of the game than in the game play itself; the unfolding of the answers IS the narrative that has me hooked… a meta-narrative" (McGonigal, 2003). The Beast was an interactive project and the mechanisms of interaction were the are web pages, the email addresses where actors answered in character, and phone numbers that answered with automated messages – and in one case is answered by an actor speaking in character. One can compare the interest of the player to find out more about the character to the addiction one has o the Facebook wall with new clues to the story appearing.
The beast offered meaningful interactivity by hiring phone actors who where live actors in character and would answer the phone. “One of the most talked about and fondly remembered parts of the Beast was when players discovered a phone number they could call and talk to” (Szulborski, 2005). This was hugely important in establishing more feeling of reality to them game and keeping with the TIAG (this is not a game) ideal. The players where encouraged to impact the storyline by persuading this live actor
The player was in the role of himself when entering the interactive storyworld; he does not explicitly identify how he entered the game and who is it inside the game and there are not set interfaces or boundaries however through gameplay and the puzzled appearing in the storyline he became an investigator of a crime; rather the boundaries are mental and set by the player himself. The player alwas remained in the first-person, and never enters in third-person or a mixture of both.
The player affected the outcome because the story was being written at the same time as the game was being player. Player’s actions would have direct influence on how and what would be fed in the clues next. The existence of a central forum for collaboration on the came was crucial. This 1) allowed games to collaborate, and 2) it allowed Puppetmasters to understand the gamers and where they were at. “The ARG "the Beast" was truly one of humanity's finest creations. I feel privileged to have been a participant, and the souvenirs I received at two in-person events (an in-game rally for the Anti-Robot Militia and one of the movie premiere showings) are among my most cherished possessions” (G., 2011).
The game drove mainstream awareness of AI while the actual players numbered perhaps in the thousands, it created buzz and excitement for opening night
and explored the key thematic elements of the film. “The campaign generated over 300 million impressions for the film through mainstream press such as Time, CNN, and USA Today, as well as niche outlets such as Wired, Slashdot, and Ain’t it Cool News, and won numerous awards including best idea (New York Times Magazine) and best web site (Entertainment Weekly)” (42 Entertainment).
According to the creators, “Over 3 million people actively participated […], playing in dozens of countries around the globe” (42 Entertainment). The beast worked as a cultural activator for the main attractor – the feature film and while “[t]hree million people engaging with The Beast was a lot for something that had never been tried before, but by Hollywood standards it was a neglible figure” (Rose, 2011). Nonetheless, for the creators of the first alternate reality game, it was a resounding success. After the Beast finished, the same group of game developers left Microsoft and formed their own company called 42 Studios, an obvious reference to the answer of life, the universe, and everything reveled by Douglas Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide – and went on to develop I Love Bees, Cathy's Book, as well as other alternate reality games for marketing entertainment properties.
Three platforms were planned in the storyworld – the tentpole feature film, a videogame developed by Microsoft, and an alternate reality game titled “The AI Webgame” that later became to be known as “The Beast”. Each of the three project were separate with separate teams working on them without a central role of a transmedia storyteller overseeing the storyworld in place. Playing the game (or the planned but ditched video game) was not going to be necessary to watching, enjoying, and understanding the film but would give additional information about the storyworld and other characters living within that world and give additional food of thought about the philosophical questions raised in the film.
Only the feature film and the alternate reality game became a reality. The video game was never released even though “Steven Spielberg [had] assigned video game developers at Microsoft the task of developing a series of games based on the film for the Xbox game system”, however box office figures were low and Microsoft “canceled the AI video game while it was still in development” (Rose, 2011), meaning the game eventually never made it to the market.
The alternate reality game, created by another team from Microsoft, game developers Sean Stewart, Evan Lee, Jordan Weisman, was conceived as an elaborate marketing project that would be separate from the movie but take place in the same storyworld and help people understand the same philosophical issues humanity would in the future with the rise of the human-like robotic society the game would create “awareness about the film’s future world” (Eggert, 2011) and helps us think about how would we treat robots.
“[C]onceived and directed by lead writer Sean Stewart, it eventually evolved into three core mysteries and a dozen rich subplots about nearly 150 characters — and for navigating the game's vast Web presence, nearly 4000 digital texts, images, flash files and QuickTime videos in total” (McGonigal, 2003). The game was to be held to a set of rules, the most of important of which, was the aesthetic of not revealing it was game at all. This was so important that “[i]n some trailers for the movie, the words, "THIS IS NOT A GAME" were printed in glowing red letters at the bottom of the screen” (IMDB).
Spielberg’s idea of the film was for an adult audience and being a Kubrick project, it contained some deeply philosophical questions posed at the audience about how society would respond to human-like artificial life and would we treat it as such and even “[p]romotional materials were kept to a minimum to ensure a mature demographic” (Eggert, 2011). There was very little franchising or merchandising development involved in the project with the only “toy [that was] released was a talking, gleefully grumpy Supertoy Teddy from Hasbro” (Eggert, 2011). There were no webisodes, mocumentaries, video games of other types of transmediation – but only he alternate reality game. The Beast had no interface as it was played over websites and was only limited by what player someone identified as belonging to the storyworld.
The beast was deployed on a series of websites that were so many that the producers found it difficult to keep track of everything. One of biggest problems was exactly the breath and depth of the undertaking as sometimes mistakes like posting the same picture under the name of two distinct characters would happen. Such mistakes were fixed as soon as they were discovered to keep with the TINAG aesthetic.
The game is set in the year 2142, 16 years after the end of the movie’s storyline. “[C]omputers have been successfully integrated into our daily lives. AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been born and accepted into the world. There are two main forms that the AIs take, the first of these is the robot which look essentially human (sometimes known as passers if they actually try to pretend to be human)” (Rick).
The central world of AI is a fictional world that is an elaboration of the developments in the contemporary real world. It is a fictional huge storyworld with extensive geography that is explored and gives a true sense of a world. The world looks futuristic and vast, with large parts of the geography under water. The game is the only extension to the AI storyworld, a narrative expansion through various media not an adaption (an intersemiotic translation from system to another). The extension is canonical and enriches the story, maintaining the original characteristics of the world but not answering questions previously left unanswered in the feature film. Rather, it asks a new question and lets players find and answer to that question. It also gives glimpses into the world of the movie trough new characters. The extension raises new questions and opens up possibilities for additional expansion.
The major challenges in the game were puzzles fed to the gamers community by a team of writers. Sean Stewart and Puppetmasters team “created and categorized the puzzles according to the length of time they thought it would take players to solve them, specifically so they could place them accordingly and help control the pace of the of the game. Unfortunately, for even the most experienced puzzle creator, estimating how long it can take a player or a community of players solve a specific puzzle is almost harder than making the puzzle itself” (Szulborski, 2005).
The project was structured around weeks of gameplay and altogether there were 16 weeks throughout the summer of 2011 played. New hints would be released every Tuesday and the game “maintained a strict schedule of all in-game changes” (Szulborski, 2005). The player navigated the game through links and web search, and it was crucial to make sure clues are identifiable such and are optimized for web search in a way that they could be found.
The Beast narrative rules, structure and limits of the world were revealed to players through gameplay without any formalization but four rules where set as guidelines by the people behind the game, as described by Stewart:
One: “The narrative would be broken into fragments, which the players would be required to reassemble. That is, the players, like the advanced robots at the end of the movie, would be doing something essentially archaeological, combing through the welter of life in the 22nd century, to piece a story together out of fragments”.
Two: “The game would--of necessity--be fundamentally cooperative and collective, because of the nature of the internet. His belief, which we all shared, was that if we put a clue in a Turkish newspaper at dawn, it would be under discussion in a high school kids basement in Iowa by dinner time”.
Three: “The game would be cooler if nobody knew who was doing it, or why. Therefore, secrecy was very tight. Almost nobody at Microsoft would know what the hell we were doing. Jordan had brought in old pal Pete Fenlon to subcontract writers, artists, and web designers, for the sake of speed and staying under MS's own internal radar”.
Four: “The game would be cooler if it came at you, through as many different conduits as possible. Websites. E-mails. Phone calls. Newspaper clippings. Faxes. SMS messaging. TV spots. Smoke signals. Whalesong”
-- (Stewart, 2002)
Once hooked in the game, the player took the point of view of an investigator, trying to find out the story behind Eva Chan’s death through a series of in-game channels, including the Anti-Robot Militia, the Coalition for Robot Freedom as well as an architectural magazine, a sleep clinic, a coroner's office, and a hat store. There was no concept of winning or losing in the game – the closest concept was the cheers of the community after solving a puzzle. “As the game progressed, the players came across additional mysteries, such as who is killing AI-enhanced houses, the location of the sexbot with whom Evan had an affair, and malfunctions in the weather-control system” (Wikipedia, 2011). People received emails, text messages, phone calls during 3 summer months. “After end of game people were asking for more” (42 Entertainment).
The AI strategy for narrative expansion was straightforward. The feature film did not include any migratory cues in the main narrative. The movie credits, the trailers, and the posters instead served as entry points to the game. It was as if there existed a world behind the movie and one could go exploring if he followed through the rabbit hole. For period before the release, all actors’ names were removed from the posters and only Puppetmasters names were printed on the posters.
The first entry point was found at the film credits “[where] a “Sentient Machine Therapist” named Jeanine Salla was listed” (Sebastian, 2006). Credits at the end of the feature film included the following lines:
“Sentient Machine Therapist ... JEANINE SALLA
Assistant to Mr. Chan ... LAIA SALLA Toe-Bell Ringer ... KATE NEI Cybertronics - Room 93056 ... CLAUDE GILBERT Sentient Machine Security ... DIANE FLETCHER Covert Information Retrieval ... RED KING” (IMDB)The second entry point was found in the trailers that “encoded a telephone number in markings on the promotional text” (Wikipedia, 2011). The number, when called would trigger instructions on an automated messaging machine, that if the player could follow through, would lead to the next cue to the story – an email stating "Jeanine is the key [...] you've seen her name before" (Wikipedia, 2011).
The third entry point was on a promotional poster with the cue "Evan Chan was murdered. Jeanine is the key" (Wikipedia, 2011).
The Beast was a proactive transmedia project, however as there was little interaction with Spielberg and no interaction with Kubrick; the Puppetmasters were left to their own devices to create a story in the storyworld in any way they wanted. The transmediation began as a marketing project and as this was the first alternate reality game developed, it was not possible to predict the consequences for the project and much was developed as the game progressed. The AI feature film did not include negative capability in terms of time, however the vast space of the storyworld gives space for story extensions.
One can identify external references and intertextural connections in the main movie, with thematic references to Metropolis (1927) and the Pinocchio story (Kubrick would always refer to the movie as Pinocchio, before he died) and Spielberg’s own E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), for example the “breakfast scene mirrors shot of E.T.” (IMDB). The movie is based on the Brian Aldiss short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long" and another literary references is the Philip K. Dick short story "Second Variety" (IMDB).
The aesthetics of the film are relevant in detail. For example, David does not once blink and neither do the other androids throughout the film. David is often shown “with a 'halo' of circular light; the kitchen light, the dinner table lights, the lights in his bed, the shot from the rear-view mirror, the full moon” (IMDB) and “patterns of doubling [as] faces become superimposed on top of one another” (Sampson) for example, when David looks at the picture of the Swinton’s son Martin. “[R]epetitions of shot choice and composition suggest multiple readings and underlying themes, including an interconnection between humans and machines that spans both desire and destiny” (Sampson).
The aesthetics of sound on AI are ambient and transparent, and “elegant yet characterful scoring” (Bertke, 2011). Much of the world is silent because by the 22nd century noisy machines have stopped working. It is a technological world where people dedicate their time to family and friends instead of factories and cars move without sound; the soundtrack is instrumental in creating the uncanny feeling one associates with David and his reunion with his ‘mother’ in the final scene. Appropriately, the movie’s final 10 minutes were recut to fit with the music created by John Williams (Schickel, 2007).
The aesthetics of the game are more adult – with murder, sex, and relationships thematically ingrained in the story; this is perhaps because the audience is assumed to be adult-only and these are the topics to get people engaged. The graphics artist Chris Baker Fangorn was instrumental in creating the story’s look; for example the City of Sin – Rouge City – was fully conceptualized thanks to his drawings.
While AI did not inspire many remixes, the one’s it id were by artists of considerable status, such as Nick Bertke also known as Pogo, the movie remix artist, who commented how “[t]he film salutes the tale of Pinocchio without compromising originality, and unfolds with uncanny realism in a frighteningly plausible future. It challenges our distinction between man and machine, and hints carefully at the conflicts of interest people can have in raising children” (Bertke, 2011).
I started out very doubtful with the idea that an alternate reality game could really contribute much anything to a transmedia storyworld; it seemed just trivial compared to the movie itself. From a marketing perspective, alternate reality gaming is a niche activity engaged in by small numbers of people. They are not profit generating activities and need an alternative revenue source or must be part of a marketing budget.
But as I researched on, reading clue after clue, I got pulled in into the storyworld. The Puppetmasters succeed in crafting characters who were not the same I had met in the movie, and that really were interesting enough to explore further – and whose actions represented deeper philosophical questions that I had thought about when watching the film, and that for me were integral to the same storyworld imagined by Kubrick and Spielberg. And as the example suggests, game can create significant amounts of buzz by mediated stories about those people who do play.
Players must construct meaningful experience and answer meaningful questions, which is why the community created around a particular forum – that was not preconceived by the Puppetmasters – was instrumental in the success of the game. Games without a good story won’t work. In the AI rich storyworld one can be part of an epic struggle between good and evil; a fight for robot rights. The quality of the characters, and the quality of the story are crucial to the success of the storyworld. There should always be a sense of depth and size – a world that is out there and we only have glimpses of it but we’ve clues to explore and find out more about that world. As Spielberg says about stories, “[a] lot more is happening that we’re not showing the audience” (Schickel, 2007).
The Transmedia Storyworld of AI: Artificial Intelligence. Paper presented for the Transmedia Storytelling 1 course with Professor Renira Rampazzo Gambarato in the Crosssmedia Production MA at Tallinn University Baltic Film and Media School.∎ Back to Index