Will Wright will see his first TV series Bar Karma launch on February 11 on Current TV. While not strictly about video games, the half-hour show clearly demonstrates Wright’s background in gaming.
“Video games were the first media to focus on growing online communities and establishing a creative outlet for fans to connect with their favorite games,” said Wright. “With Bar Karma, we’re meshing the game dynamic of not only allowing fans to get to know each other in an online community, but giving them the tools to take part in the creative process of the show, itself. The goal was to blend this interactive gaming dynamic with the established and challenging production process from Hollywood with regard to acquiring talent, building sets, and writing scripts.”
The show is set in a time-traveling bar operated by the enigmatic Karma, Inc. organization, where a new patron enters and must make a significant life decision. Users can give feedback on the show at http://current.com/shows/bar-karma on everything from the story to the music and art direction.
“I think with any show you’re in your own mind imagining the possibilities of where it might go and what might happen next in the series,” said Wright. “Traditionally, that’s where Hollywood has focused its attention with fan community sites for televisions shows.”
Wright has been shopping around his interactive show idea for the past five years. “I shopped Bar Karma at a few other television networks and I think they kind of understood what I was getting at, but the real issue with them was they didn’t even know where their Web group was,” said Wright. “To them the web group — if they knew where it was at all — was their enemy. The idea that people on the Web, or even their own Web group, could somehow intersect their programming with the creative decision making was not only alien to them, but almost distasteful.”
“Hollywood’s a different language than video games, which in some ways is very refreshing,” added Wright. “When you go into Hollywood, television especially, any pitch I give you basically have to sit alone for twenty minutes and describe your crazy idea. Maybe you have a few sheets of paper and at that point people either want to try it or not. Whereas in a game company you spend many, many months and lots of money building a prototype and you then shop around to somebody and hope that they buy your game So I love the pitching process of Hollywood.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter