[ISEA2008] Jay Bushman – The Loose-Fish Project: an experiment in online storytelling (Artist’s Submission)



Novelists, filmmakers and musicians are using the Internet to go directly to their audience, but in those media, they can post work online without changing the essence of what the material is. Dramatists work in an intermediate form. Our work needs some sort or translation or embodiment to come to life.

In Alternate Reality Games, every available medium online and off is used as a vehicle for story elements. The interactive component centers around players solving puzzles to get another bit of story. For me, the really good ARGs make the story, not puzzle solving, the reason to keep playing.

I wondered if I could make ARGs with no puzzles, only stories. Using stories adapted from classic and public domain sources, updated and reworked for new forms of media, wedding each particular story to an online medium that had particular thematic resonance. The Loose-Fish Project is my attempt to bring these elements together. It will be a storytelling hub with online distribution via the medium that best suits the particular qualities of the given story. My goal is to use every conceivable method of transmitting information on the web as a vehicle for delivering story.

Our first story is “The Good Captain,” a science fiction mystery adapted from the Herman Melville novella “Benito Cereno,” and distributed online via the service Twitter: <www.twitter.com/goodcaptain>. Future plans include an adaptation of Spoon River Anthology using Facebook, a version of Pride and Prejudice where the sisters Bennett author a group blog, a series of linked sites that will retell the story of Dracula, and a wiki-fied sci-fi adaptation of Moby-Dick.

More information about the project and it’s goals is available at <www.loose-fish.com>


Jay Bushman Biography

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