Sherwood Rise (2013)

Sherwood Rise police

Sherwood Rise was the world’s first augmented reality (AR) novel, which was the result of a Post Doc at the University of Bedfordshire dedicated to experimenting with the future of the book, and how to make a physical book interactive. Dave Moorhead wrote the script, and the result was an interactive story that really pushed the boundaries.

This was an AR transmedia interactive graphic novel and game, told over four days through a range of media and formats: newspapers, AR on mobile phones, emails, websites, blogs, sound, music, and graphic novels. The story was basically the classic Robin Hood story applied to post financial crash GB.

Over 4 days you receive a newspaper which you can interact with, via AR on a mobile phone. Your interaction updates a database, which then dictates the newspaper edition you receive the next day. This is a type of “real game” where you simulate taking part in a revolution and are forced to take sides. 

crime scene

It’s a story told in a range of media on multiple platforms, to expand a traditional printed story, adding additional layers of story through AR, and an interactive story where readers determine the outcome. This was a research collaboration between Dave Miller and Dave Moorhead, ost-doc research funded by the University of Bedfordshire and UNESCO Future of the Book project, 2012-14. 

savoy chef

An academic article published in ‘Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies’, describes the project in detail. 

The AR browser technology (Junaio) used as the basis of the story is now defunct, so I cant currently provide a link. 

Illustrations and the aesthetics of AR on mobile phones play a large part in the storytelling, so please take a look at the Flickr feed, and this PDF presentation to the MINA festival (2016) provides further detail on the project.

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