UGC: A New Union Between Social Networking and TV?

Here’s a story out of leftfield to show how 3D avatars could break out of the web and onto other media platforms. TV Asahi is producing a one-hour pilot TV show called Hoshi-ichi Owarairyoku Test, due to air on 14th June in Japan. It appears to be some kind of cross between a gameshow and a talent show, hosted by local celeb Kendo Kobayashi. Anyway, the interesting thing (from this blog’s point of view) is the fact that up to 100,000 viewers will be represented on-screen as 3D avatars.

It’ll use a technology called SMS Galaxy, from Hong Kong based firm Artificial Life. Viewers register before the show and choose an animated 3D avatar, before entering their name. Then, the TV show is able to show a virtual camera swooping through the avatars – effectively they make up a giant virtual audience. It sounds very innovative (as well as being brain-spinningly strange). According to Artificial Life, SMS Galaxy has already been used for a successful TV show in Switzerland.

TV Asahi to pilot avatar-based TV show in Japan | VWF blog | Virtual Economic Forum Content Library

This is a REALLY REALLY cool idea!!!!!!!  O, man.  If Me:TV, from Nickelodeon, had come up with such a thing to interweave their programming & Nicktropolis into this kind of virtual audience?  THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN UBER-COOL, and a new way to present users while still keeping a layer of protection up and less legal/liability.

They should do this with Cartoon Network’s new show Drama Island, which seems to be some hybrid of reality show & cartoon, with an opportunity for UGC/user-15-minutes-of-fame. 

I dig this.  I dig this a lot.

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