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[Ed: We asked Fourth Wall Studio's CCO Elan Lee to write a few words about where the idea for RIDES came from and what the goals of the platform are.  Here's what he came up with. -J.B.] 

What is a RIDE?

A Ride is a storytelling experience that uses your life as the medium.  It's what happens when you explore all those shades of gray between video games and movies.  A Ride is when characters from a story call you on your cell phone, written messages are delivered to your inbox, and bonus scenes get unlocked as you lean forward and challenge stories to enter the 21st century.

The first few transmedia stories were called Alternate Reality Games and we're really good at making them. I can say that without feeling too full of myself because the way we got good is by making more mistakes than anyone else out there.  We've tried the scary approach where you get phone calls in the middle of the night from menacing villains, we've tried the athletic approach where we asked you to track down randomly ringing pay phones in the middle of the city, and we've tried the overkill approach where you never knew which parts of your life were part of the story and which were not.

Each of these projects helped us plant our flag in the digital soil of Internet storytelling, but the real value in building them was learning where the broken bits were.  By identifying the elements that fell flat and correcting them, we were able to create the RIDES platform.

Think of your life as comprised of a million little pieces of thread.  Each piece is made up of one of the ways you represent yourself to the rest of the world.  One thread is your phone, another is your email account, another is your Facebook page, and onward they go until the entirety of your digital self is assembled.   RIDES takes all of these threads, weaves them together, and in doing so creates a screen on which to project a story.

But now to try to get even more use out of a metaphor that should have been dropped two paragraphs ago, we're going to let you have full control of the screen.  You get to decide how the story is told.  Do you want it to call your phone, or route that audio to your computer speakers?  Do you want to receive emails?  Text messages?  Bonus scenes?  It's entirely up to you.  There's nothing broken about controlling an experience, so we're not going to try to fix it.  Right at the bottom of every RIDE, you'll have access to play, fast-forward, rewind, and pause.  You get to decide when you play, for how long, and the level of interactivity.  We want you to have as much fun with this as possible, but we also want you to tell all your friends about it, and we want them to have as much fun as you did.  We've worked very hard to build a platform that makes it simple.

So what is a RIDE?

It's a platform spread across the fabric of your life.

It's a narrative that you control.

It's storytelling evolved.

--Elan Lee