Will Wright, creator of the blockbuster game The Sims, will delve into television with Bar Karma. According to yesterday’s press release, the show will “harness the creative power of television audiences” by employing a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure mechanic.
Bar Karma will be carried by Current TV, a media network managed by Chairman Al Gore as well as CEO Mark Rosenthal (former MTV Networks President and COO), among others.
The unique interactivity of the show will be based on tech that Wright developed for Current TV. Viewers can register on the Current TV site, and “will participate in the development of all creative and technical aspects of production and communicate directly with the producers of the show.”
Wright hopes to attract conventional television audiences as well as gamers, and form a community with these viewers. Hecht adds that the direct line of communication can empower participants, as well as give the production team more cues to produce better content.
“Current is taking original programming to a new level. Bar Karma will fuse the power of television, the internet and mobile devices and provide viewers the ability to truly create and control a television series,” stated Rosenthal in the same press release.
Production will be made up of four key stages:
- Joining - Viewers sign up on the Bar Karma page to join the community
- Creating - “Viewers will submit potential story ideas on an ongoing basis. Each week the show producers will provide the viewing community with a rough outline for the upcoming episode. Viewers will then have the ability to create various storyboards of unlimited plot possibilities.”
- Voting - The community “will browse, comment and merge various ideas” which will eventually be reviewed and voted on.
Producing - The production team takes the storyboard and adapts it into a thirty minute episode.
Bar Karma is scheduled to premiere the first quarter of 2011.