New series delivers digital entertainment that is personalized to the viewer’s interests.
Startup Eko, an interactive platform for telling stories, has introduced a new way to watch TV. Viewers of their new series #WarGames receive a more personal watching experience as their subconscious determines how the series unfolds.
#WarGames is British game designer Sam Barlow’s latest project, in collaboration with Eko. It is a reboot of the 1983 film WarGames, a science fiction film that tells the story of a young hacker. Barlow and Eko’s six-episode collaborative project also follows the theme of hacking, government conspiracy and modern espionage.
With Eko’s proprietary technology, the series creates an interactive experience as it plays across multiple windows. It is up to the viewer to choose which window they wish to enlarge. #WarGames collects information on what windows each viewer chooses the most. Using this information, the series determines what stories and character personalities are of interest to the viewer. Therefore, what the viewer sees next is personalized based on their previous engagement with the series. Launching on March 14, #WarGames will be available across multiple platforms including HelloEko.com, Eko iOS app, Steam and Vudu.com. Additionally, it will eventually be available on Xbox One too. However, as the series requires multiple windows to display, it is incompatible with cable boxes and certain streaming devices.
We have previously written about TV innovations such as this European TV drama that allows viewers to vote and decide the show’s outcome. Another example is this second screen app that lets users marathon their favourite TV shows with friends. Eko is changing the film experience by moving from traditional linear narratives to branching narratives that are found in gaming. This change in narrative style is shaping a future of digital entertainment that is interactive, customizable, and intuitive. As interactive experiences are shaping the future of television, will traditional channels become less popular? In what other ways can technology enable storytelling and narratives?