Meet the World Brain – created to support the launch of a Sundance-nominated documentary about the future of knowledge, raises questions about the dilemmas and dangers of sharing information on the internet at a time when the public is questioning online privacy and corporate behaviour more and more. The launch supported the US-premiere of the film on Al-Jazeera America.
The Facebook game, Meet the World Brain, represents a radical new way of marketing a serious documentary; bringing gaming, Facebook marketing and filmmaking together to strengthen the call to action. The game has been co-produced by Die Asta Experience (http://www.dieasta.dk) & Portaplay (http://www.portaplay.dk).
The game introduces us to a humanoid robot who asks us some seemingly innocuous questions in the interests of creating “a planetary memory for humankind.” But before long, her altruistic intentions disappear and things begin to take a more sinister turn – will you submit and merge with her to create the perfect harmony of user and machine?
Created as a parable to promote Polar Star Film’s new documentary, Google and the World Brain, directed by Ben Lewis, the experience meeting the sinister World Brain is an unsettling one. As she leads you step by step into uncharted territory, your data becomes the way-finder to explore an increasingly uncertain world. Is she who she says she is? Should you allow yourself to be seduced by her grand notions of an information symphony for all humankind? Can you trust her when she says she won’t be evil?
Participants are given an unsettling – if not terrifying – experience that prompts them to think about the value of the information that they share online. Once you enter into her world, The World Brain asks you a few questions, promising she ‘won’t be evil’. You are asked to confirm some details – is this what you look like? Which of these memories is your favourite? Before long, it’s revealed that she has other intentions and is gathering your data for another, darker purpose. You see a map flicker on screen – it begins to zoom into your city, your street and, even, your house.
Jason DaPonte, Managing Director of The Swarm, and co-creator of the promotional game said: “Google and the World Brain tackles an uncomfortable truth; we’re not mindful enough about data protection and personal privacy. The game brings a very serious subject to the audience that needs to hear it most – those who engage with games and apps without thinking that their data may be under threat. By bringing gaming, Facebook marketing filmmaking together to promote the film, the call to action is filtered via the most relevant channels – strengthening the overall message to those whom the documentary is aimed at.”
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