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Exploring tech as a canvas

Say hello to your latest mobile gaming addiction; Say The Same Thing, a word association game which rewards players who share the same lateral thinking. The crux of it is thus; two players say the first word that comes into their head, at the same time. For instance, “cat” and “love”. Then, the challenge is for each player to come up with a new word that links these two words, such as “pet” (a cat you love very much), or “fish” (because cats love fish). Players are rewarded once they eventually come up with the same word. It’s harder than it sounds, and highly addictive.

But what is equally interesting about Say The Same Thing is its origin. The game was created by members of the band OK Go, who shot to viral fame back in 2009 with their song “Here It Goes Again” (and its treadmill-assisted dance routine). Rather than just being an app with the band’s name on it, Say The Same Thing is a personal invention of the band – something the guys used to play together in person to pass the time. Fortunately, they just so happened to have a programmer in the band – guitarist Andy Ross – meaning when they first decided to pilot the game in the app space, it was something they could do themselves.

It’s a growing trend for creators in any medium to embrace change, whether they be filmmakers, writers or musicians. Says lead singer Damian Kulash: “At some point we realised, hey, there’s no reason why we need to just put out songs. We can put out everything we want – we make videos, we make shows, why not make apps?” He makes a salient point, especially in this increasingly entrepreneurial, multidisciplinary climate. “We’ve always been interested in tech as a sort of canvas. We try to make art for the world we live in, and this is where we live now.”

The leaders in the entertainment field have already hopped onto the multi-channel media bandwagon. For instance, the SyFy network devised a television programme and computer game contemporaneously, both set in the same fictional “Defiance” universe. The events and characters of the game influenced the show, and vice-versa, encouraging pop culture completists to engage with both forms. There is also a second-screen tablet app, SyFy Sync, which enables fans to share opinions and insights on the developing story, in addition to offering exclusive content.

As we noted in our coverage of the younger generation of media moguls, a degree in Computer Science is no longer a necessity when it comes to building your own app empire. E-learning and a modicum of tech savvy are all it takes; in theory, any artist could take a leaf out of OK Go’s book and begin to explore this new sphere as a potential setting for their next project.

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