Convergence: Andrea Phillips Writes (About) Transmedia

Posted by Anna Husted on 6.26.2012

If Convergence had to choose an ambassador to introduce transmedia and, specifically, alternate reality games (ARG) to mainstream audiences in an engaging and informative way, Andrea Phillips would be at the top of the list.

With doughty blue eyes and a sneaky grin (after all, she admits to cheating at Words With Friends), Phillips has taken the transmedia world by storm since 2001, working on an impressive array of projects including: Floating City with Thomas Dolby, The Maester's Path for HBO's Game of Thrones with Campfire Media, America 2049 with the nonprofit Breakthrough, Routes Game for Channel 4 Education, the independent commercial ARG Perplex City, and The 2012 Experience for Roland Emmerich’s 2012 with Sony Pictures. Considered a godmother of ARG creators, Phillips is also the chairperson of the International Game Developers Association’s Special Interest Group on ARG.

In 2010, Phillips gave a talk on "video games, sexism and attractive girls with brown hair" at SXSWi. She identified 2001 as a big year for kick-ass female TV leads like those in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena: Warrior Princess, Dark Angel and Alias, but that’s only the context for ARG’s female heavyweights. Perhaps, she posited, the women of ARG are actually just "the post-Buffy version of Princess Peach, always needing to be saved." To find out her conclusion, listen to audio of her talk, complete with slideshow, here:


ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette from Andrea A. Phillips on Vimeo.

But perhaps the most exciting and anticipated of Phillips' recent work was on The Maester’s Path for HBO’s Game of Thrones with Campfire Media (see related post). Bloggers and critics were given a box with scrolls, vials and a map of the Seven Kingdoms as part of the first step in this multifaceted viral marketing campaign. 

Whether you're totally new to transmedia or an old pro, Phillips is someone you'll want to hear from. Join Convergence in the Film Center Ampitheater tonight at 7pm to celebrate the launch of her new book A Creator's Guide to Transmedia Storytelling and ask her all your burning questions about transmedia and ARGs in our special event A Conversation with Andrea Phillips. Get $2 off when you sign up to receive exclusive email updates on our ongoing Convergence: Immersive Media at Lincoln Center series!

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