Jun 112007

Tony Walsh© Tony Walsh 2007. Tony (bio below) explores virtual worlds, alternate reality and mixed reality by providing definitions, historical context and his experienced opinion on how the experiences provided by these are really driving future entertainment.

The Presentation

The second of three podcasts from Tony Walsh, Guy Gadney and Gary Hayes recorded live at the at the AGL Theatre, Museum of Sydney (MoS) Thurs 17 May.


“These spaces sort of permeate each other so that real life can be permeated by the virtual world, the real world can be permeated by alternate reality games, real life slipping into the virtual world, as in real corporations coming into the virtual world with their real products and services, how do they virtualize that. Alternate reality game spaces touching our real lives and then our actions in real life affecting what happens in the alternate reality games….Summary
(1)Play interaction and collaboration and strangers can be highly rewarding in ARGS, Virtual worlds and mixed reality.
(2)There is actually very little fundamental difference between this terminology, between virtual, alternate and mixed, it is all just different flavours of the same food.
(3) Hyperrealism is not a pre-requisite for engagement or immersion and suspension of disbelief might not be as important as we thought.
(4) Current audiences are willing to follow a story across multiple media and more importantly tomorrow’s audiences will demand cross media experiences and actually be conversant in creating cross media experiences.
(5)The understanding of the space is growing and increasing not only amongst producers of it by amongst consumers, just as we have kids cutting up their own videos on You Tube we will have kids creating their own virtual worlds, in fact they already are.”

Tony explores virtual worlds, alternate reality and mixed reality by providing definitions, historical context and his experienced opinion on how the experiences provided by these are really driving future entertainment. He looks at isometric browser based worlds as well as fully immersive 3D worlds and how they have evolved from Dungeons and Dragons and through MMOGs. As well as looking at the positive potential of bespoke worlds he talks for 20 minutes on why Second life is not ideal for creating story-worlds at the moment, but points out that none of the issues are Insurmountable. He follows this by defining alternate reality games, then looking at the Ocular Effect (which was linked to Disney’s series ‘Fallen’) and on which he was a game designer with its producers Xenophile Media. His last 5 minutes are specifically focused on Mixed Reality – Examples include: Alternate Reality Games moving into Second Life, raids in world of warcraft being planned collaboratively in Second Life, Heroes 360 experience that feeds on fan input that changes the show, real gold cubes (200 000 US), ordering Pizza in Everquest, VISA rewards inside games, music concerts that go into virtual worlds and back out again.

MP3 recording time 44:54 (16.7MB) Click to listen

Presentation presented by LAMP @ AFTRS.


All LAMP podcasts are also published through the iTunes store.

Audio edited by Tony Walsh, text and processing by Gary Hayes


“Where Social Networks meet Games meet TV”

Which side of the wall are you on? TV and Film OR Games and Virtual Worlds? That wall is about to crumble. This is a wake up call to all entertainment producers and consumers to prepare for an almighty collision.

Audiences are already spending up to four times as much of their entertainment time in virtual spaces than they are watching TV. EA Games have just partnered with Endemol to produce TV shows inside virtual worlds, MTV Networks have virtual versions of their popular TV program Laguna Beach and there is a growing tide of shows from virtual worlds which mirror our experiences in the physical world.

This exciting afternoon seminar will examine a wide range of cross-over services that work between games, virtual worlds and linear TV. This seminar is intended for games creators, social network managers and film and TV producers looking to merge their entertainment worlds. It will also be of interest to designers of games that work across media in the physical world using mobiles, print, viral techniques, TV and the web.


* Tony Walsh (Emmy Award Winning Canadian Games Developer)
* Guy Gadney (General Manager PBL Digital Services & President AIMIA) and
* Gary Hayes (Director of LAMP and Head of MUVE at The Project Factory)

Tony Walsh – Creative Developer and Consultant – Canada

Tony WalshTony is a Toronto-based creative developer and consultant with a background as a professional artist, writer, and designer. Since 1994, he has helped to plan and build social media and game projects for many local clients. Amongst these he was the game designer, writer and consultant on the recent Emmy winning ReGenesis ARG with Xenophile Media and also the Fallen ARG / “Ocular Effect” again with Xenophile Media and D20 Productions for ABC Family. In addition to his freelance work, Tony teaches Game Culture and Design for George Brown College and Game Theory and Story Development for Centennial College.

He is interested generally in the intersections between culture, business, and technology. Specifically, he finds virtual worlds such as Second Life among the most exciting results of those intersections. Tony has been researching and writing about Second Life since 2004 and his blog Clickable Culture is one of the world’s longest-running and most interesting sources of Second Life criticism and analysis.

He maintains a public profile by blogging, giving presentations, and commentating in the mainstream media. He has been filmed for two pending documentaries about virtual worlds, and has consulted two other pending documentaries on the same topic. On March 11, 2007 he moderated a panel discussion on “Avatar-Based Marketing in Virtual Worlds” at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. Last year, Tony moderated a panel on “The Secret Sex Life of Video Games” at the same conference.

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