Shelley’s Heart Transmedia Learning Experience
Authors: Gyori, B.
Publisher: Shelley Theatre, Storyplaces, KlyntAbstract:
From 2015-2020, Dr Brad Gyori designed the Shelley's Heart Transmedia Learning Experience. Its research aim: promoting cultural education across multiple media platforms.
Tying the Shelley Tomb in Bournemouth to the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein (2018), Gyori secured £12,000 in funding. He then investigated the mechanics of interactive education tools and read biographies of Mary Shelley and the Romantics. Via an Action Research methodology, prototypes and user tests were developed and best practices were identified across three platforms: Theatrical (2017) – An interactive stage version presented in the Shelley Theatre in Boscombe took two hours to perform but contained six hours of available material. To keep the budget reasonable, Gyori filmed eight ghostly characters who appeared on screens around the stage and interacted with three live actors. During the first performance, the audience voted to skip key scenes, so the voting mechanic was subsequently altered to limit such choices.
Locative (2018) – Creating a locative story set in St. Peter’s churchyard meant shifting to a single-player interface, so Gyori split the story into four paths, each representing the perspective of a different character. As location-aware narratives requires participant to hike trails and brave harsh weather, he reduced the number of scenes per path (from 15 to 10) and their length (from 3 minutes to 1). Participants at the debut requested more narrative context, so an introductory text was added. Also, some of the geo links were widened to make them more responsive.
Desktop (2019) – As desktop users sought more immersion, Gyori re-envisioned the participant as a ghost engaging with supernatural social media platforms to unlock educational content. This version can reach students in a classroom setting, allowing them to explore the churchyard remotely. The static map solves tracking issues, and animated gifs replace videos making for a fluid interface and lower data usage.