Teaching Examples

SXSW finalists are online now
February 10, 2007, 5:14 pm
Filed under: interactive, online, video

The SXSW Web award finalists have been posted. I have never had the chance to go to this huge festival of music, film, video and interactive design in Austin, Texas, but someday … !

Well, it is just plain dangerous to start looking at such lists of award-nominated Web sites. The very first one on the list is CDX, an interactive video-based game (built in Flash) from the BBC equivalent of the U.S.’s History Channel. I was sucked into the game immediately and had to tear myself away to get some work done! (Yes, even though it’s Saturday.)

The opening premise is that a young British man has been injured in a motorcycle crash. He has amnesia, so you and he are both trying to piece his life together one bit at a time. An ancient Roman dagger is involved (you’ll learn that very quickly), and there is a distinct and very enjoyable tie-in to history throughout.

Two cool things I discovered in the short time I spent exploring:

(1) The game includes a comprehensive encyclopedia of ancient Roman history — this takes rather too long to load each time you take it off the bookshelf, but I love the concept. Of course, the prop of using a book within a game is reminiscent of Myst — and many other computer games.

(2) The self-contained Flash game links out to a Typepad blog where you can find additional clues. The login is sophie_bakewell and the password is the name of a river that Caesar famously crossed. Maybe they should have linked the encyclopedia outside the game too, for the sake of efficiency. Usually I am annoyed when a link takes me outside a Flash package, but with this Typepad blog, I really liked it. It made the game seem more real, because you get the clue to go to the blog in an e-mail you read on our hero’s laptop. So you click the link in the e-mail, and naturally it takes you to a real Web site. Neat.

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