Adventures in Storytelling pt. 4 – Fallen
By Brian Seth Hurst

ABC Family’s Fallen was a 6 hour miniseries that told the story of fallen angels loosely based on the four volume fantasy novel “The Fallen” by Thomas E. Sniegoski. The extension of Fallen would be an alternate reality game or ARG.

An ARG is a story that takes place over time and actually has a beginning, middle and end as opposed to a “persistent world” created in virtual reality games. The devices (platforms) of storytelling vary but the hallmark of an ARG is the audience’s ability to interact with the character(s) and each other – thus blurring the lines between fiction and reality.

The Fallen Alternate Reality Game, 2007’s Emmy® winner for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television, gave fans the opportunity to immerse themselves in a clue-based universe of emails, chats, video, live online events, and clues embedded into the television show. Here the viewser enters the brilliantly contrived, designed and executed online world through a device called “The Oculus”. A runic puzzle that must continually be solved in order to reveal story elements, working the Oculus will help to ultimately reveal the origins of Faith Arella, the main character in the experience.

Once you are playing, The Fallen ARG is no more difficult than any video game but you have to know the television program. Again, this is something to be experienced. After all, to get to know how to use these platforms and devices to reach your audience, you have to know what’s possible.

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Brian Seth Hurst is CEO of the Opportunity Management Company, Inc. a cross media strategy and production company. Hurst served two terms as Chairman of the Producers Guild of America New Media Council (’03-’05) while simultaneously serving on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors. Currently, he is Second Vice Chair of the Television Academy and sits on the National Board of the PGA.