This weekend, I got to watch and participate in the "World Series of Tubing" an augmented-reality game show that pits two contestants in a competition to see who can present the most popular YouTube viral video before a live studio audience. It was a wacky good time, but it also made me think about possibilities for integrating this kind of game into our youth media programs at Global Kids.
The World Series of Tubing involves the players choosing a viral video to pit against the other person's pick. The judgments of the audience are based on pure emotional hooks, which one entertains more.
But I think there are ways to adapt this social media game framework to a youth education program in ways that would be fun and engaging.
The "Transmedia Challenge" would be designed to help young people think critically and strategically about what messaging and content comes through in the various media they consume and how to make thematic and narrative connections across media.
I could imagine a group of young people broken up into teams to strategize and work together. Then each team would send in one player for each round.
The rounds might be designed around both particular kinds of social media and around particular themes or topics. Here are some sample rounds:
- Find an online photo that demonstrates the idea of "justice"
- Find a digital game that demonstrates the idea of "family"
- Final a viral video that demonstrates the idea of "depression"
Teams decide together on their best pick, and then present them to the game show host. The winner might be decided by an audience or panel of judges.
For two finalists, they would enter a "bonus round" involving mixing together different kinds of media. Each team would be given a story to tell using multiple kinds of social media, which they would narrate using three different samples.
Some possible story ideas: "a modern fairy tale," "a murder mystery." "a trip diary."
The youth would have a limited amount of time to put together music, photos, art, games, videos, or any other kind of social media to tell their story. The media might tell the story itself, or it might illustrate the story that they would tell orally.
This might be a fun culmination of a semester or year-long exploration of social media by young people, as a way of demonstrating their learning.