In 2018, Playmatics teamed up with ProPublica and WNYC to create the award-winning The Waiting Game, an interactive experience about the lives of real people who have passed through the asylum process in the United States. The Waiting Game is a piece of interactive journalism, served alongside written and recorded journalism. In this presentation, Nick Fortugno discusses how the concept was conceived and how the project developed. How can interactivity be used to tell an emotional story? How can the experience of asylum seekers be rendered in the choices and feedback that the user receives? How can this experience live up to the rigorous standards of journalistic practice? In this talk, Fortugno explores the design decisions, precedents, testing, and development process that produced the work, and provides lessons about how interactive experiences can be created that can be powerful, pass journalistic standards, and reach wide audiences without needing thousands of assets or years of development.
Nick Fortugno is an entrepreneur, interactive narrative designer and game designer based in New York City. He is founder and principal of Playmatics (www.playmatics.com), a interactive development company. Playmatics has created a variety of digital and real-world experiences for organizations including ProPublica, Red Bull, AMC (such as the CableFAX award winning Breaking Bad: The Interrogation), Disney, American Museum of Natural History, the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Red Cross/Red Crescent. For the past ten years, Fortugno has been a designer, writer and project manager on dozens of commercial and serious games, and served as lead designer on the downloadable blockbuster Diner Dash and the award-winning serious game Ayiti: The Cost of Life. Nick is a Lead Artist on the Frankstein A.I. project (featured at the Sundance New Frontier Festival in 2018), and has worked extensively on interactive narrative projects in a variety of formats. Nick is also a co-founder of the Come Out and Play street games festival (www.comeoutandplay.org) hosted in New York City and Amsterdam since 2006, and co-creator of the Big Urban Game for Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2003. Nick has taught game design and interactive narrative design for 15 years at institutions such as Columbia University and the Parsons School of Design, and has participated in the construction of game design and immersive storytelling curriculum. Some of Nick's writing about interactive narrative can be found in the anthology Well-Played 1.0: Video Game, Value, and Meaning, published by ETC-Press.
The Storyteller’s Series at the School of Visual Arts invites visual storytellers from all walks of life, careers and media to share their work, professional practice, personal development and creative approach to Visual Narrative. This series is open to the public and SVA students.
Presented by the MFA Visual Narrative program and the School of Visual Arts Library.
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