Welcome to The Blacklodge

Transmedia and Adverising – Ivan Askwith


Ivan Askwith is big strategy Cheese at Big Spaceship. Here is a old – but not dated presentation on Transmedia and advertising worth reflecting on with some fantastic insight and leaving the audience in the privileged position of being able to look at how Ivan’s thinking is present in the world today.

Dan Hon – Dare to Play


Dan Hon of SixToStart gives a fantastic personal insight into 10 years in transmedia and ARG at TEDxTransmedia. A nice primer back to The Beast for those new to the field, with a nice section on play vs games which really deserves more.

Batman Twitter Crack


On June 10th 2005, a tiny indie team headed by a bloke called Christopher Nolan released a small film – Batman Begins. No one really heard or cared about it at the time, and it is still very unlikely you will ever meet anyone who has seen it.

I’m told it was a rip-off of the epic phenomenon ‘Condorman’ – superstar action vehicle for Hollywood hunk Michael Crawford – but I cannot see it coming close to the scope or scale of that Disney cash-cow.

There was surprisingly a sequel to this ‘Batman’ (just ridiculous – a bat man? – bat’s are no where near as cool as condors), but that also disappeared without trace. The impossible has happened, and this unknown director with his niche product has secured a third release. Cynical attempts to generate publicity have seen Hollywood drama heavyweights such as Uwe Bol attached, but it is clear this will again be helmed by the unknown and unproved Nolan.

Obviously desperate for attention, they squirreled together a few quid and realised the internet was cheap, so spent it on a twitter crack promotional piece, which rewarded the audience with a sneak peek of a film no one has heard of, and probably never will. If I know films – and I think I do - I predict it will again disappear without trace.

There are accusations of nepotism, due to Nolan’s famous Irish singing sisters, who have apparently ruled tinseltown since their 1979 single ‘I’m in the mood for dancing’ shook the world starting the global dynasty we know today.

This season I am mostly trending rubber and bad lighting

Top 10 viral videos


Every Thursday Visible Measures updates the 10 most viewed viral videos that week. Well worth a view.

I prefer a 4:4:2 formation

Student Cafe gets 600,000 visits


A student tasked with producing a viral video with no cash or time, had the bright idea of a leaking a fake Nintendo Project Cafe  two weeks before E3. I would imagine he got a first. A starving crowd of hungry nerds baying for information-y raw meat, dripping with forbidden blood is pretty much a viral marriage made in heaven. Well done that student!

7 Steps to Viral Marketing Success


The number of times I was asked by clients if I could ‘make something viral’ for their marketing campaign in a week – if each request were equated to a unit of currency – for example 1 US dollar – it would have kept me in moderately priced coffee, throughout the whole unpleasurable experience of trying to explain to them how and why virality work. Because i don’t know.

Anyway – Brent Hodgson is a man who does, so here are his thoughts on the process in 7 tasty steps.


This is also the model for transfer of 'cooties'

Twitter Censurator


This is a fab little twitter hijacker used to raise awareness of censorship and dictatorship in Burma. Simply enter a twitter ID and watch the hostile takeover of the page. Link in to HappyWorld to find out more about the oppression in Burma.


Happy World - Burma - The Dictatorship of the Absurd


Prototype Experience


Ubisoft you creator of interesting interactive content you! I loved Far Cry 2, but you really shouldn’t have let Clint Hocking get away, he is a lovely man and a crusader of evolutionary narrative. Now he’s shacked up with LucasArts. Don’t pretend you don’t care. Don’t pretend that beneath your aloof sophisticated Frenchness, you aren’t hurt a little bit. I know I am. You should have fought for him – you could have kicked George Lucas’ ass.

Anyway as a brief review of your output since inception, the Splinter Cell’s were great thanks to Clint, ditto Far Cry 2, Beyond good and Evil was smashing, Prince of Persia was excellent – OK everything you do is pretty bloody good and you are the only thing keeping EA from franchising ‘my weekly shopping 2011′ – but letting Clint go? I know he looks a bit like Dan Houser depending on what state of hairyness you catch them in – but he’s beautiful on the inside. Can’t you two make up?

The greatest thing in your catalogue by far is of course Vacation Sports on the Wii, and I highly suggest you immediately set the lead external designer and producer on that particular masterpiece on to Far Cry 3 where I would follow in Clint’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ footsteps and base the whole thing on another literary masterpiece. Maybe a book or something.

Anyway – one thing you did that wasn’t fun was Prototype. It started off great but where was the testing? The difficulty curve is all over the shop – its one of only 3 games I’ve ever given up on – the other 2 were Jet Set Willy and Merceneries 2. Do you want to be part of that trio? DO YOU????

Anyway – your marketing campaign was significantly better and this early facebook hijack was quite nice, and didn’t pretend to be any thing other than a cold marketing proposal and for that I salute you.

it knows everything.....