Google Stadia for Interactive digital narratives?

Yesterday Google announced Stadia, their cloud gaming project. The interesting parts of the announcement are…

  1. Play now on youtube
    I love the transition from watching to playing, 5 seconds and I’m sure with time it will drop down to even less.
  2. Play on any device and completely cross platform
    Really taking complete advantage of streaming and google’s massive cloud infrastructure.
  3. Record play state to the youtube
    Completing the circle, by sharing your state (not video) back to youtube, maybe even allowing others to play again with… This makes total sense because youtube is where they can start to show adverts too; although because its all generated it would be easy to advertise in the game its self.
  4. Share play state
    As mentioned above, you are not playing a video, but the game again complete with its world state, player position and player inventory.

Google Stadia on every platform

I think its quite a compelling idea and like everyone else, are interested in how much, how easy its to build for and will google get bored and kill it? I’m less interested in the exclusive games, game pad, etc but acknowledge  it will live or die by the games.

I do think theres some incredible possibilities for other types of media especially interactive digital narratives. It certainly could blow netflix’s interactive platform out the water. Said quite a few times, I find netflix’s interactive platform is horrible when you think, theres better more engaging experiences on the console attached to the same TV or even on the mobile you are using to drive it. With Stadia, its all the same thing.

Touches of Perceptive Media in odd places

Virgin toiletsVirgin talking Trains toilet

I wrote about the idea of Perceptive Media at a theme park a  while ago and frankly theres some equally fun places it could be used.

Every time I go to London and use the Virgin trains, I laugh inside to myself about the Virgin toilet signs. It reads..

“Please don’t flush Nappies, sanitary towels, paper towels, gum, old phones, unpaid bills, junk mail,  you’re ex’s sweater, hopes, dreams or goldfish down this toilet.”

In the bigger toilets the sign-age is spoken aloud, and you’re ex’s sweater is swapped with your *friends sweater. Its always gender specific.

My first thought was that it could be randomly done then maybe every other one it cycles? If it was up to me, I would hook it up to the toilet seat. If the seat is down, play the boyfriend version if the seat is up play the girlfriend version? I assume it wouldn’t be noticed by most, but those who did would think it was great!

A little bit of game-play in real life.

I am not a werewolf

Next year I'm to make sure I get in there early and get a ticket for Hide+Seek on London's Southbank. I missed the conference part again this year but boy oh boy did everyone have fun playing werewolf afterwards. I believe at one point there were 4 games of about 15-20 people playing at once. Maybe they were a bit too close so you couldn't hear very well what was going on but there were tons of new people to play with and even some of my friends joined in who have never played before. Talking of which, a special award goes out to Hannu for picking two werewolves on his first ever game and in such a important role as the seer. So amazing that a mature player took this as werewolf tactics and almost voted him off. I also took part in a game when we almost got rid of all the werewolves without killing any villagers. Every night the werewolf would try and kill the seer (aka myself) and the healer would heal me. Ok to be fair the werewolves were new to the game but only after 3 rounds of no one dying on the nights did the werewolves start picking off other players. By which time the game was almost wrapped up for the villagers

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The game: Lost

Riven screenshot

I was listening to the excellent Pop!Tech live stream over the weekend and one of the things I heard which I need to blog at least was the thought by (i'm sure) Edward Castronova that Lost takes most of its queues and ideas from games? The example he gave was the trend setting Myst and Riven games. And honestly when he said that I instantly started thinking about screenshots like this type of thing. But Edward was more getting at the depth and interactivity (yes you heard me right) than anything else. One of the points included the numbers which keep appearing throughout the series, something which encorages extra thought and people to do things like this and this. This type of behavour tends to be more common with games. When IT Conversations puts the audio online I'll put a link to it and it will all make a hell lot more sense, than me trying to do it from memory.

Without indulging my Lost thoughts, I find this all pretty interesting when you read Lost Boy's blog post about Lost: the game. The linkage between games and lost is all there and when you think about it more it makes more and more sense.

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