What if you could see what it was like to live in the past? What if you could have something similar to a time machine that could allow you to see what a place was like, who the people were, and most of all, how life has changed from then and now. Would you want to interact with the history of your own country?
The concept of our group’s project is to create an augmented reality application for smartphones and tablets. It will present an augmented reality of historical settings around the city of Melbourne. This app will be focusing on the historical character John Mitchell Christie (1845-1927), a Victorian detective and customs officer, illustrating his life through story, images and webisodes.
This story will be covered over multiple platforms using historical sources throughout this transmedia piece. We will incorporate videos, sound, images, webisodes, the app, and also a website (the central hub of the story). The different platforms that are on offer will allow the audience to connect with the content, and allow for different target audiences to come into the story and to understand what is happening. These will act as entrances into the story. The engagement levels will differ, depending on what interests them. The viewer might just like to use the app and see the historical representations of settings; or they may want to delve deeper into the world on offer, and read more into the story and other relevant historical information.
My job is to not only be involved in all of the other stages of this project, but to also produce the website, help create the app, and design the poster and project logo. The app is the centrepiece of this project – and without it, this piece all of a sudden becomes very difficult to create. The app will allow the user to see what it was like to be around when John Mitchell Christie was. The user can watch their phone come to life. As the viewer, you will be able to hold your phone up to a building and the phone will show you a historical representation of that setting, through sound, video or imagery. When you are walking around Melbourne you will receive a notification from the story world, notifying you about an event that happened there. If this app doesn’t work, we will be working with google maps and using a pin drop with photos at every location point.
The website is a place the user can go if they want to further their understanding on this subject. It is where the story comes alive and becomes an interactive story, however, it is non-fiction. Everything that is gathered or produced will be factual and respectful to the original person/character and their life stories. The website will contain written information, extra footage, webisodes, and audio pieces. It will have links to other websites (historical sights) that will further the viewer’s understanding on this topic. It is here that the user can link into the social media sights that we have on Facebook and Twitter.
This transmedia story is the new way of retelling history, and is a modern approach to storytelling. Not only is it informative, but you are able to interact with the subject, and go on the adventure with them. The direction of this project is to inform people of what has happened around Melbourne, by telling a story using multiple media platforms and using the augmented reality feature. Throughout this project I wish to learn new and innovative ways of making a website/app, and to understand the powerful role of transmedia storytelling. Throughout the semester thus far, we have been taught about this concept, have been shown examples of these stories, and now it is time to make one. This will also help me understand the future of storytelling, and get in touch with online and interactive media such as webisodes. This “Pocket Museum” allows you to engage with historical storytelling, and get in touch with the iconic landmarks, events and characters around your city. This is a project where we have specifically made room for expanding any element of this story, where this app could potentially go nationally, and then globally. It can be used anywhere you go, wherever there is enough history. We are just starting with one story, in one city. John Mitchell Christie, in the city of Melbourne. Learn, discover, enjoy, interact, play. Welcome to the modern day digital museum at the touch of your fingertips.
Here is the link for the trailer: