So my blog currently only has two posts because I have about five sitting around as drafts because I do stupid things like that. So while I start backdating those posts so that the blog’s not empty, let’s talk about some new media stuff.
There are a lot of new media things that have stuck out to me for one reason: a framing device. Something that makes it just a little bit more exciting. There are a lot of websites that all add a little something to imitate something else. To give it that little bit of flavor that sets it apart.
The Xbox 360 popularized the idea of “achievements,” or specific goals and challenges that are “unlocked” once accomplished. They moved from the Xbox 360 to the PC and Playstation, and from there, into new media vocabulary.
When I was looking into options for website advertisements, I decided on Project Wonderful. After creating an account and poking around the website for a bit, I found that there were achievements that I could unlock. Achievements for getting a certain number of bids or publishing a certain amount of ads or adding friends. Achievements for, of all things, advertising. I never had much success with the site, but the fact that they would use achievements for it made it stick in my mind.
Another example of a framing device in use shows up in a fairly new website: Challenge Accepted. It’s basically a to-do list, with one small exception: the whole thing is set up as an RPG. When you accomplish tasks, you gain EXP, level up, improve in skills. It’s a to-do list that turns your life into an epic adventure. It’s a small thing, but it’s an insanely powerful motivator for that little bit in your mind that gets rewarded for accomplishing tasks.
So yeah, basically…they’re gimmicks. Framing devices, but they’re still gimmicky. But here’s the thing: people remember gimmicks, and even gimmicks can be good if they’re done right. There’s a lot of media out there, and you need something new, original, clever, and creative to set you apart from the rabble.
So! Anyone else have any of these framing devices or gimmicks used in new media? I’d love to see more examples.