Friday, October 21, 2016

BPN 1728: Terror, an interactive TV drama from Germany

On October 17 the German television station ARD broadcasted the interactive TV drama Terror - Ihr Urteil (Terror - Your judgment). It was a social experiment in in which viewers could vote on the outcome.

The drama is positioned as an ethical and constitutional dilemma. A plane hijacked by terrorists, is heading to a football stadium to crash there. In the plane 164 people sit and in the stadium 70,000 football supporters are present. In crisis talks it must be decided whether the plane should be shot down before it reaches the football stadium. An Air Force  major  chooses to bring down the plane with 164 persons and thus sacrificing  the lives of a small group of innocent civilians over against 70,000 football supporters. In a lawsuit by the State vs. the Air Force major a verdict is asked from the court. Viewers are invited to act as a jury, asking whether the major was right? Although the voting by phone and by computer did not go smoothly the majority of viewers in Germany voted in favour of the Major of acting correctly. Nevertheless, under German law he was convicted, as he had destroyed the lives of innocent passengers.

The drama contains references to terrorist acts and threats from the immediate past. In 9/11, the question was raised whether a fighter jet should be in the air to shoot down a hijacked plane that was heading for the Pentagon. Also, the reference to the attack on Stade de France in2015 is visible, while also a reference is made to the crashed plane flown by the depressed Lufthansa pilot in France.

The TV drama Terror - ihr Urteil is probably one of the few interactive TVdrama programs. Interactive is a big term as there was little drama activity, existing of the invitation to the viewer to be part of the jury. However the TV drama is a new step in the history of interactive drama.

This type of drama goes back to 1934 when in a US theater Ayn Rand gave the audience the part of the jury in a murder drama in the play Night of January 16th; the public could pronounce the guilty or not guilty verdict. Night of January 16th was staged in different versions and also made into a movie in 1941; later also radio and television version were made.

In 1967, at the Expo in Montreal a Czech film collective presented the Kinoautomat with the movie One Man and his jury. The film is about residents of an apartment, who do not get on  together well. A woman who took a shower, comes out to see who is at the door of the apartment and unfortunately closes the door of her apartment. Then she calls for help on her neighbor. Will she help, as the caller for help is just wrapped in a towel? Throughout the film the audience makes choices on a box with two buttons, option 1 or option 2, but in the end always the question is asked: will the neighbor help: yes or no. During the expo all group voted yes, except once – so the rumor has it - when the voting was done by a large group of nuns. This movie was made in the Czech Republic during the communistic regime and underlying this experiment was the satirical thesis of the film director that you can vote what you want, but the result remains always the same.

After the theater and movie experiments, Philips announced in the early nineties, the CD-i as the interactive medium, with which a user could make choices about a good or bad outcome. But CD-I lived to short in order to attract such a drama production for the medium. So far there have not been any signals yet on the internet of an interactive drama. However, the principle of making interactive choices has really taken off in the game world.

Friday, October 14, 2016


These are the category winners chosen by the Grand Jury in Cyprus in September 2016. The Grand Jury event was kindly hosted by The Republic of Cyprus and the Digital Champion Cyprus  and facilitated by by the Uclan Cyprus university. The event was supported by CYTA, MTN, European Commission, CITEA, Cablenet and PrimeTel as well as by the Council of Europe.

Category: Healthy Life: (fitness | nutrition | healthcare | med tech)
Winning projects:  Be My Eyes | DayCape | Mira 

Category: Smart Learning (education | e-skills | open science | infotainment)
Winning projects: Animal Hero Universe | Unimersiv 

Connecting Cultures: (language | travelling | diversity | new communities)
Winning projects: VEASYT Live! 

Category: Go Green(sustainable energy | mobility | smart cities | climate change)
Winning projects: HAIZE | 

Category: Active Citizenship (citizen journalism | social cohesion | human rights | (wo)men empowerment)
Winning projects: FreeCom | 

Category: Money Matters (financial literacy | employment | fundraising | fin tech)
Winning projects: Poslonaut/HireApp 

Special Category: migration | integration | inclusion | refugee movement
Winner: to be announced on October 19, 2016 

Special category: know-center_knowawardKnow Award
Winner: to be announced on October 19, 2016

More information on the winning EYA projects and the EYA Festival Graz, go to:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Toen digitale media nog nieuw waren

NU €18,00
In dit fascinerende boek beschrijft mediaspecialist Jak Boumans het roerige tijdperk van de nieuwe media in Nederland van 1967 tot 1997. Alles moest nog worden uitgevonden: technologieën, concepten en markten.

Op 1 januari 1997 kwam er een einde aan het nieuwe-mediatijdperk, ook wel het pre-internet tijdperk genoemd. Dit tijdperk wordt door jongeren, de ‘digital natives’, vaak gezien als woest en leeg. Maar niets is minder waar. Vanaf 1967 is er in Nederland een industriesector rond nieuwe media opgebouwd. Dat begon met een verwarrende zoektocht naar technologieën, concepten en markten. Hoe nieuwe media te verkopen en aan wie? Vanaf 1980 begon de commercialisering van online-diensten zoals ASCII-databanken, teletekst, videotex, elektronische berichten en Bulletin Board Systems. In 1985 werd de jonge industriesector geconfronteerd met weer een nieuwe technologie, de CD-media, die het broze groeipatroon van de online-diensten dreigde te verstoren. Uiteindelijk kwamen er door de CD-media naast het assortiment aan online-diensten ook off-line producten bij, zoals elektronische boeken en multimediale CD-ROM's en CD-i’s. De industriesector rond nieuwe media groeide en professionaliseerde. Terwijl de sector zich opmaakte om een grootschalige videotexdienst in de markt te zetten, sloop internet geruisloos Nederland binnen via de academische wereld. In 1992 waren er nog geen 300 bedrijven aangesloten op internet en acties op de consumentenmarkt leverde niet direct veel nieuwe klanten op. Maar toen op 15 januari 1994 De Digitale Stad haar deuren opende, begeleid met voorlichting door de omroep VPRO, was er geen houden meer aan. In minder dan drie jaar, tussen 1994 en 1997, wist internet in Nederland het aantal abonnees meer dan te verdubbelen, vergeleken met de online-abonnees van videotex. Op 1 januari 1997 werd de omslag naar internet definitief. De dienst Videotex Nederland verdween geruisloos. De internetdienst World Access en de elektronische berichtendienst Memocom werden samengevoegd met Planet Internet. Het was het begin van de grote opmars van internet in Nederland en het was tevens het einde van de nieuwe media in Nederland. Het tijdperk van de digitale media was begonnen. 

Toen digitale media nog nieuw waren - Pre-internet in de polder (1967- 1997) 
Auteur: Jak Boumans 
Omvang: 320 pagina’s, 
Prijs € 18,00 
Full colour: ca.150 illustraties 
ISBN 9789078730057 

Wilt u het boek van Jak Boumans direct aanschaffen, stuur dan een bericht met vermelding van uw adres en de titel van het boek naar VOF Electronic Media Reporting. Het boek wordt u dan na betaling (in Nederland) zonder verzendkosten toegezonden. 
Voor scholen is op aanvraag een speciaal tarief aanwezig.

Behalve publicaties verzorgt Jak Boumans ook studies, presentaties, voordrachten en colleges. Voor aanvragen stuur een e-mail naar VOF Electronic Media Reporting.