BBC: Our audiences are not ready for ARGs

BBC: not ARGing
BBC: not ARGing

BBC multiplatform channel editor Jo Twist has insisted that the broadcaster's audience is not yet ready for alternate reality games that would bring interactivity across multiple platforms.

The subject of ARGs - and the way in which audiences interact with content rather than the traditional linear model of simply watching their television - has been a key topic at South by Southwest and at a panel discussion Twist insisted that it was too soon for step changes.

"I think it's important not to underestimate how important [linear viewing] has been for a lot of the audience who consume content," said Twist.

"I'm actually now the commissioner of multiplatform content and what I try to say to production companies is that there is a creative gap here, who's going to take up this creative challenge? And actually finding out what it means to produce content in a different way so that it isn't just about a linear experience.

"I'm going to be slightly controversial and suggest that perhaps ARG's aren't necessarily the way to go forward yet and I don't think our audiences, for the BBC in particular, are not ready for them."


Twist believes that interaction is an important topic – but believes that discussion may be key.

"Whether you are sitting with friends on the couch or sitting talking about the same programmes over the phone or IM, people do like to be cleverer or funnier than the person they are watching on TV.

"I think that's a really interesting game, or social, mechanic that we need to look more at in terms of crafting content for multiple platforms."

Web TV - really quite boring

Another BBC executive, Roo Reynolds, who was chairing the panel at SXSWi, added his assertion that interactive television was 'really quite boring' to date.

"[The] TV on the web stuff that we are talking about is actually really quite boring," said Reynolds.

"When you think of what television is and does and what it has been, and you think about the web, about what it is and does and how it brings together social and connects us together in ways that even ten years ago we just dreamt of, I think there is a lot more to be done here."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.