Shall We Play A Game? USC Kids get a Movie-Themed REALITY check!

Mike Roma, Rikke Heinecke John August, Allison Tate-Cortese, John Chance for an afternoon at the Natural History Museum

You would expect your first semester of your freshman year of college to be an exciting whirlwind of new people, classes, and experiences, but you wouldn’t exactly anticipate having to decipher cryptic emails, search for secret symbols and mingle with media moguls would you? Well, my fist semester at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts included all of the above and more.  It was certainly more than I ever could have ever expected. 

Enter one Jeff Watson, USC PhD candidate who is the puppet master of the “Reality Game” that rocked the worlds of the incoming freshman class this past fall. Along with a team of designers and the blessing and support of the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) he unleashed this Alternate Reality Game to a group of eager, and driven media makers. “The Game”, as we lovingly referred to it, incorporates a pack of unique playing cards that guide thestudents creation of transmedia “Deals” that are then uploaded to a website. A point system to determines weekly and overall winners in various categories who then earn incredible Experiences with various prominent SCA alumni in the media industry.

my MARRA crew with the Puppet Master himself Jeff Watson. Left to right: Rikke Heinecke, Max Pittsley (behind) John Chance (kneeling) Mike Roma, Madeline Berger, Jeff Watson, Althea Capra, Allison Tate-Cortese

It was thanks to “The Game” I was able to collaborate with my talented peers, produce multimedia projects and earn the opportunity to meet and spend time with the likes of John Singleton (Director of Boyz n the Hood and Abduction) John August (Writer of Big Fish, Corpse Bride) and attend a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark with a Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford Q&A afterwards.

Me dressed up right before that "Raiders" 30th Anniversary screening.

Not a bad start to my USC experience.
For more check out the article that Wired magazine wrote about this surreal first semester.
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One Response to “Shall We Play A Game? USC Kids get a Movie-Themed REALITY check!”

  1. […] Despite moving 3,000 miles away from Florida to California and being a guinea pig for a new SCA Reality Game, what has really made my freshman year so wonderfully surreal is my first 6 months with Beyond the […]

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