June 27, 2007
Interview with C3 Alum Geoffrey Long, Part II of IV

This is the second part of a four-part series featuring an interview with recent graduate of the Program in Comprative Media Studies and C3 alumnus Geoffrey Long.

Sam: What are some of the areas of research that you have looked into and that have interested you in the past couple of years?

Geoff: My core interest for the last decade or so has been digital storytelling. My key influences there were the late Dana Atchley, who founded the Digital Storytelling Festival, and Derek Powazek, who founded the online storytelling site {fray}.

While in C3 I studied storytelling using mobile devices and ubiquitous computing - what Adam Greenfield calls 'Everyware' - but most of my attention was focused on transmedia storytelling, which Henry outlines in Convergence Culture.

I'm fascinated by how stories evolve across multiple media forms, but especially by ways that new technology can empower storytellers to use multiple media in the crafting of a single, unified narrative.

I'm also still fascinated by design - especially the East-meets-West cross-pollenization going on with China right now - and how to design new experiences with technology. Right now I'm doing some work at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab to look at how video games are evolving both as narrative forms and as artfully designed experiences.

Sam: What do you feel makes C3 a substantial site of media research, and what has helped fuel your involvement in it for the past two years, aside from the obvious need to fund your graduate studies?

Geoff:The biggest thing about C3, to me, is how it cuts across so many different vertices. There are a ton of research groups out there that are only interested in the humanities, or in corporate culture and business, or in anthropology, and so on.

C3, like CMS, realizes that the really truly interesting - and valuable - bits lie in the intersections between these worlds.

If you imagine all of these research areas as a series of Venn diagrams, I think that the areas of the most growth are found in the overlaps, where the areas learn from each other. Artists can learn from businessmen, businessmen can learn from anthropologists, anthropologists can learn from artists, and so on.

By providing forums like the Futures of Entertainment Conference, C3 encourages these incredibly creative interactions between groups, facilitates absolutely invaluable blue-sky thinking, and then combines that with MIT's knowledge of technology and academic analysis to produce some truly fantastic results.

It was these conversations and brainstorming sessions that kept me really excited to work with C3.