IN10 looks to the new-media future

The conference on interactive media included Forty Farms' Christopher Bolton talking transmedia, as well as sessions on mobile marketing and the death of console gaming.

The two-day Interactive Exchange conference continued Tuesday at Toronto’s Carlu, with discussions ranging from the death of video game consoles to how to make a worthwhile iPhone app.

Produced by Interactive Ontario, the conference brought together experts and delegates from the media, mobile, marketing and gaming industries.

The most interesting panel of the day was ‘Game Changers,’ which saw panellists wax on the future of video games and consoles. All three panellists agreed that after the next generation (due out by 2015), video game consoles will become extinct and be replaced by video games via cloud computing – a move that won’t necessarily affect how brands are currently incorporated into the video game landscape, but will greatly affect how consumers use them.

‘We’re in the middle of a massive paradigm shift,’ said Denis Dyack, president, Silicon Knights. ‘In my opinion, the whole model of consoles can’t survive.’

In the ‘Managing Mobile’ session, the panellists disagreed on what the best model for future apps would be but agreed that in a world of over 250,000 apps, each company’s attempt needs to be immediately captivating or useful or risk being quickly and permanently deleted.

The most noteworthy session of the day from a media perspective was ‘Transmedia Storytelling,’ which provided in-the-field Canadian examples of this trendy media strategy.

Panellist Christopher Bolton, founder of Forty Farms and creator of Showcase comedy Rent-a-Goalie, shared his transmedia experiences in the creation of his latest project, In Search of Gordon Lightfoot, a new 13×30 comedy series in which Canadian celeb Ed Robertson travels around Northern Ontario searching for the folk singer. Promotion of the property will be supported with an album, feature film, documentary, graphic novel and a video game.

‘We’re in an extremely fractured media landscape, and this is a way to get people who only watch documentaries to watch a half-hour series,’ says Bolton, later adding, ‘As a storyteller, it’s a dream. The walls have been blown off of storytelling.’

Along with the other panellists, Bolton stressed that content producers should be strategic when incorporating brand partners or sponsors into transmedia projects.