Gamers know Will Wright as the amazingly creative mind behind “sandbox” games like SimCity, The Sims, and most recently, Spore. But last year he left behind Maxis, the studio he created to produce those games, and formed Stupid Fun Club, a startup aimed at crafting entertainment projects that go beyond gaming.
The first product of his efforts is Bar Karma, a television series (yep, you read that right) that’s set to air on CurrentTV in early 2011. Nothing is known about the show’s premise, but its production style is the big news, because Wright has designed it to be fully interactive — in every way imaginable.
Bar Karma will be comprised of four stages of production: 1) Viewers logon to the Bar Karma website and join the online community; 2) Community members submit their ideas for ongoing storylines, including storyboards; 3) Community members vote on their favorite of these ideas; 4) Once a winning idea is selected, production company Worldwide Biggies will “adapt, shoot, produce, and edit” the story into 30 minutes of (hopefully) watchable television.
I don’t see this concept landing in lukewarm waters. It’s either going to be a hugely popular undertaking with an active, avid community (like that of his video games), or it’s going to be utterly awful.