Dec 302011

Originally published Oct 2011 in Wired Magazine ‘Change Accelerators‘ by Gary Hayes 2 of 5

Image by Gary Hayes

The alarm rings. Get out of bed, have a shower, dress, breakfast, grab your briefcase, and bus ticket and out the door. Now start RUNNING! Zombies are chasing you. Or is it pirates? Or the Mafia? Games and stories have grown legs and Facebook MafiaWars and Playstation console games have jumped into the physical world. Welcome to the most exciting and entertaining commute of your life.

For the first time in technological history portable devices that are able to send and receive game/video media, are now location aware. This means big changes in where we experience our stories. They will be always on. Around the next corner. We will be living inside the story world.

To get a glimpse of future services in the locative, pervasive space we simply need to look at the now and extrapolate.

As kids we all loved playground games: Hide and seek, capture the flag, cowboys and Indians captivated our imaginations and it was an important part of our social development. Today adults use technology to recreate those experiences for real using our own imaginary, place-based Holodecks. Fulfilling some of our adult needs in this space, The Go Game for example advertises itself as “the future of corporate play,” team-building, and self discovery.

Beyond mapping, check-in utility, or GPS functionality, what kinds of story game and locative services will get millions off their behinds and out into the real world? It takes a lot to commit to wandering around, scavenger hunting for morsels of story. How in the future may locative gamesevolve into being mass media? Or are they really just for niche groups?

This is and has moved way out of niche already. Early locative entertainment, such as orienteering and geocaching (user-created capsules hunt) are still played regularly by five million globally. More story-driven, first-generation Alternate Reality Games with locative elements such as Gentrificationor I Love Bees, attracted several million players. LBS, or locative-based services, have radicallyaltered the social gaming landscape already in Asia for hundreds of millions. A recent Pew mobile report noted that more than half of all smartphones are used for social and utility locative services and by 2015 it will be a $21 billion industry.

What makes and will make these so compelling, to so many?


The stories and games contextually fit their surroundings. The origins of this genre have often been based on architecture, audio tours, and urban map layouts, using early wearable computers or earphones. For example, back in 2004 PacManhattan re-created the 1980s game around Central Park’s grid-like streets and had hundreds of players running around collecting virtual dots. The creators wanted to:

“explore what happens when games are removed from their ‘little world’ of tabletops, televisions and computers and placed in the larger ‘real world’ of street corners, and cities.”


This element can put you and your friends at the center of the action. For example, “Spy Am I” a massive multiplayer locative game, lets players be the secret agent,  or live the life of a criminal. There are many story based pervasive game apps being launched on GPS enabled smartphones that let you explore your darker side such as Crime is Life or Crime Plays.

For those who want to make their real world a little bit more terrifying than it already is we have social locative games such as Zombie Apocalypse, where you have to really run, to outrun the attacking man eaters.

Speaking of running, marketers are not far behind in this race with viral examples such as Nike Grid or Mini’s Getaway (“this game has united us, it is so social”) that combined the best formula of story, game, and exercise with lots of social locative strategy.

Our locative experience tools are powerful social organizers. Everything in our future lives will be geo-tagged.


Set in the physical world means the same tools available to storytellers and marketers are available to everybody, including activists. So the recent Occupy Wall Street meet-ups themselves begin to look like locative fiction. Hundreds of thousands of geo-tagged narratives create probably the world’s most connected locative story yet. In a similar story-world, but oddly similar in focus, Tourality and Shadow Cities get you and your friends to battle, find treasure, and lay claim to areas of the city.

Flash mobs are a form of locative storytelling, a sort of organized social Holodeck. The social unification that comes from the best of these choreographed events, beginning with Frozen Grand Central, spread around the world. They become memes copied and extended through global imitation.

The story future of this specialized entertainment format is likely to come from expert traditional cinematic and marketing storytellers. They will be experimenting and extending fictional narratives into geo space. Pandemic 1.0 by Lance Weiler & Seize the Media is an infected world extending plot lines and challenges from cinematic games three years earlier. A present day example of future locative story, this played at the Sundance Film Festival and involved the best aspects of team play, discovery, and clever use of multi-device and place.

The popularity of locative stories and games will be proportional to marketers and writers making it worth our while to ask for our stories-to-go. As the technology matures and location lock-on is instantaneous, it will truly take off. The technology already fits in with our existing out of home routines, particularly when it comes to commenting, working, eating, and entertainment.

But back home, watching a forensic cop show on the TV. At the end, you’re told to go out of the house and help track down the killer on the street, mobile locative device in hand!

What are the security implications of this? In one evening, 200,000 viewers turn into 200,000 private eyes on the streets of London?! Would you take part in these types of services?

But think, at the end of the day, as the sun sets in a dark backstreet in your hometown, your heart starts pounding again. Will you make it back home alive?

Consider yourself, entertained.

Nov 162011

Not the most concise title but I wanted to cover a bit of ground with it. I am leading a week long Multi Platform development residential lab next week in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales with some of the worlds leading mentors and Australia’s top projects – all linked to Screen Australia. This is followed by a one day seminar in Melbourne called ‘Idea to Market’ and top and tailing all of this, I have taken up the Executive Producer ABC Multi Platform TV role. More on each coming up.

054_Southern Highlands NSW Australia II 10 000 pixels wide!

Intensive Clinic

As you know last year I founded StoryLabs, a global transmedia IP development network, with 3 other individuals in Canada, US and UK. Then, new format funding body, Screen Australia who were looking for a very practical, production orientated rapid development structure for their Digital Ignition initiative, looked to StoryLabs.

Screen Australia has engaged transmedia collective StoryLabs to direct the first workshop, under the guidance of its key founder Gary Hayes. He is recognised as one of the foremost digital thinkers. An award-winning multi-platform producer, author, educator and director. The founding director of global multi-platform training initiative StoryLabs he has recently become Exec Producer of ABC Multi Platform TV. He was the director of AFTRS’s LAMP program for 5 years, was Senior Interactive Development Producer at the BBC for 8 years, and was a Social TV Producer in the US. Gary has designed and lead multi-platform/transmedia courses internationally and in Australia with AFTRS and Metro Screen. He also runs MUVEDesign (creating story based augmented reality, virtual worlds and transmedia) and the influential media and marketing site PersonalizeMedia.. Gary will be supported by up to eight high-calibre international and domestic experts.

“The Digital Ignition Multi-platform Clinic falls within the suite of support offered through our All Media Program, which seeks to ignite and strengthen digital understanding, expertise and activity within the Australian screen content sector,” said Screen Australia Investment Manager Mike Cowap. “We’re thrilled to be working with Gary and his StoryLabs network to make this as rich and practical a workshop as possible.”

Founder of StoryLabs Gary Hayes said, “We’ll deliver a highly structured program focused on all the important practical topics, including storytelling, user experience, design, technical, business and marketing. We’ll be using case studies and tried and tested exercises to hone participants’ processes, and ensure they leave with a tangible ‘bible’ and clear list of next steps for their project to get it off the ground.”

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The Count

 Posted by on September 29, 2009 at 1:02 am  Add comments

Click for App Store Page

Original Counter and Post from 24 Sep 2009!

August 2016  ‘Social’ Update

  • YouTube mobile videos viewed 1 billion per day Source Jul 2016
  • Photos on Instagram 95 mill daily Source Jun 16
  • Likes on Facebook 10 bill per day Source Jun 2016
  • YouTube ad revenue $4.28 bill per year Source 2015
  • Hours streamed on netflix 42.5 bill per year Source Jan 2016
  • Snapchat video views 10 bill per day Source
  • iPhones sold $150 bill per year Source 2016
  • New mobile social users 1 mill per day Source Nov 2015
  • Plus 1s on Google Plus 5 bill per day Source Nov 13
  • Money made in US from PokemonGo $1.6 mill per day Source Jul 2016
  • Messages on Facebook messenger & WhatsApp 60 bill per day Source Nov 2015
  • Likes on Instagram 4.2 bill daily Source Jun 16
  • Profiles viewed on LinkedIn 25 mill per day Source  Jan 2016
  • Photos uploaded to Facebook 400 mill per day Source Feb 2015
  • Snapchat photos shared 9000 per second Source Jan 2016
  • Google searches 100 bill per month Source 2016
  • Videos viewed on Facebook 8 bill per day Source Jan 2016
  • Users joining LinkedIn 2 per second Source Nov 2014
  • Searches on Facebook 1.5 bill per day Source Nov 2015
  • Videos watched on YouTube 5 bill per day Source Jul 2016
  • Hours uploaded to YouTube 400 hrs per minute Source Nov 2015
  • Tweets tweeted 6000 per second Source Jun 2016

June 2013 ‘Social’ Update (mobile, games & heritage to come)

  • 2.7 billion likes on Facebook daily Source May 13
  • 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute Source May 13
  • 1.5 million Android phones activated daily Source May 13
  • 13.7 billion Google searches per month  Source Mar 13
  • 350 million photos loaded to Facebook daily Source May 13
  • 2.5 billion ads served on YouTube monthly Source Mar 13
  • 4 billion Tweets sent daily Source Mar 13
  • 5 million images loaded to Instagram daily – May 13
  • 5 billion minutes spent watching online video ads monthly Source Mar 13
  • 343 million new users of Google + monthly Source Jan 13
  • $5 billion made by Facebook 2012 Source May 13
  • 833 thousand Apple iOS devices sold daily – Jan 13
  • 4 billion hours of content streamed over Netflix per quarter Source Apr 13
  • 5 million press the Google+ button daily – May 13
  • 400 million made by Twitter per year from ad revenue Source May 13
  • 250 million users login and play a Facebook game monthly Source May 13
  • 1.28 billion YouTube videos are watched monthly Source Mar 13
  • 250 million Android apps installed every month Source Mar 13
  • 656 per second likes & comments by Instagram users on Facebook Source Jan 13
  • 3.4 billion searches on Bing per month  Jan 13
  • 2.1 billion searches on Twitter per day Source May 13

June 2012 ‘Social’ Update

  • 3.2 billion likes and comments on Facebook daily Source Apr-12
  • 40 billion android and IOS apps downloaded monthly Source Mar-12
  • 2 million blogs posts written daily Source Mar-12
  • 175 million tweets sent daily Source Feb-12
  • YouTube has 2 billion plays per day Source Apr-12
  • The Google+ button is pressed 5 billion times daily Source Feb-12
  • There are 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook daily Source Apr-12
  • 294 billion emails sent per day Source Mar-12
  • Samsung sells 42.2 million smartphones each quarter Source Mar-12
  • 2.2 million pages added to StumbleUpon monthly Source Feb-12
  • Pinterest gets 17 million visits daily Source Mar-12
  • Facebook has an annual net income of $1 billion Source Feb-12
  • Daily videos uploaded to YouTube is 829 440 Source Apr-12
  • 58 photos per second uploaded via Instagram Source Mar-12
  • 66 million iPads sold annually since early 2011 Source Mar-12
  • G+ gains 625 000 more users each day Source Feb-12
  • 22 million hours of TV & Movies watched on Netflix daily Source Mar-12
  • Facebook gets 526 million users daily Source Apr-12

August 2011 Update

  • 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month Source Jul-11
  • 550,000 Android-enabled phones are activated every day Source Jul 11
  • 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute Source May-11
  • $2.1 billion per year are spent on Virtual Goods in the US Source May-11
  • 1 billion tweets are sent per week Source Mar-11
  • YouTube per day has over 3 billion video views Source May-11
  • There are currrently 10 billion iPhone apps downloaded each year Source Jul-11
  • 20 million people joined Google + in the first 3 weeks Source Aug-11
  • There were 80 million new FB accounts 1st quarter 2011 Source Apr-11
  • 460,000 New twitter accounts daily Source Mar-11
  • There are 50 million likes of Facebook pages per day Source May-11
  • Skype users make 300 Million Minutes of Video Calling Per Month Source Jul-11
  • Google Chrome browser webt from 10-20% of global browser share in 10 months Source Jul-11
  • There are now one million new LinkedIn members every week Source Apr-11
  • Facebook ad revenues per year now more than $4 billion Source Jan-11
  • Google + users pressing +1 over 2.5 billion times every day Source Jul-11

ABOUT Living statistics  – Many of us who have been following social media since the early 90s are very sensitive to today’s exponential growth in usage of the sharing web. Inspired by other cool real time counters, Social Media Industry Head, Laurel Papworth, my own Rise & Rise of Social Media presentations and various ‘cool’ videos (you know the ones) I decided to put together this little Flash app (which is in constant development) showing how active & dynamic the Social Web, Mobile Industry and Game Business is.

If you want to embed this on your page just click the button in the bottom left of the app to copy the code to your clipboard OR use the code/s in the boxes at the bottom of this post. Drag select it all then copy/paste into any site. Use this code as I will be regularly updating it with latest stats.

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