As we wrapped up our first-ever New Frontier Story Lab at the Sundance Resort in Utah, we took a few minutes to check in with 10 guests as they checked out on their way home. Our third interview is with Nick Fortugno, artist and Creative Advisor to the New Frontier Story Lab. Game Designer, Teacher and Playmatician, Nick dazzled us and became the first man in Institute history to play Xbox live in the Sundance Screening Room. He lives in New York City, you can follow his online play journal here.
1) Do you know what transmedia is, yes or no? Yes, in theory. In practice, it’s not a fixed genre.
2) Using only one word, how would you describe it? Evolving.
3) Which is more important? Storytelling or Technology? You can only pick one. Ack, very hard. Storytelling, I guess. More accurately, storytelling is the vision and technology is the brush. I hate this dichotomy.
4) What do you do? What’s your passion? I’m a game designer, teacher, and artist. My passion is for creating emotion through experience.
5) What transmedia website, article, project or person are you really excited about right now? I am very excited about Team Ico (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus) and their work. They’ve made the most powerful interactive narrative in the digital space yet.
6) Why do you think it’s taken so long for transmedia to be taken seriously? It’s undefined and literally the frontier of our thinking about story. We haven’t recognized any masterwork of the form as a culture, and we certainly haven’t had a total commercial success. We’re waiting for something broadly mind blowing. I think that’s why we need things like the lab.
7) Who or what first helped you understand it? When did you hear about it for the first time? The first time I heard about the game for the “A.I.” movie, The Beast. It changed my thinking about this forever.
8) Have you been to the Owl Bar on this trip, yes or no? Is the Owl Bar avoidable? It seemed like a necessary step. A fun one too.
9) What piece of technology could you simply not give up right now? Clothing. Or maybe shoes? We need to stop thinking about technology in the limited sense of new stuff.
10) What was the most exciting thing that happened to you at the first-ever New Frontier Lab? Being a part of a real meeting of people from film and new media among both the fellows and the advisors. These conversations just do not happen otherwise, and I think if we are really going to have powerful new forms of story, it’s going to take a fusion of experienced storytellers and wild experimenters. And that’s what I thought the Lab was.