Penguin’s gone digital and innovative again. We Tell Stories is a Google Maps mash-up that integrates locations with a story specially written for the project, oh and a bit of Alternative Reality Gaming. The first story is ‘The 21 Steps’ by Charles Cumming. It begins here, in King’s Cross.
The Press Release tells more:
Over six weeks writers including Booker-shortlisted Mohsin Hamid, popular teen fiction author Kevin Brooks, prize-winning Naomi Alderman and bestselling thriller author Nicci French will be pushing the envelope and creating tales that take full advantage of the immediacy, connectivity and interactivity that is now possible. These stories could not have been written 200, 20 or even 2 years ago. We Tell Stories begins with Charles Cumming’s Google Maps adventure. ‘He was the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time’. Now you can follow his adventures across the nation and across the world, step by step.
But somewhere on the internet is a seventh story, a mysterious tale involving a vaguely familiar girl called Alice. Readers who follow this story will discover clues that will shape Alice’s journey and help her on her way. These clues will appear online and in the real world and will drive readers to the other six stories where they will have the chance to win some wonderful prizes, including The Penguin Complete Classics Library, over £13,000 worth of the greatest books ever written.
Expectation is already high – the gaming community has been awaiting the first project from SixtoStart and the next digital publishing initiative from Penguin whose last project, the wikinovel (http://amillionpenguins.com) generated 85,000 unique visitors in five weeks, arriving at a rate of 10 per second at one point. We Tell Stories will be widely promoted, through traditional and new media channels and will be a significant event in publishing, gaming and new media communities.