I worked with Catherine McCurry, Kate Watson, Matthew Rader and Fernanda Bak to create a debate game show that employed audience text messages to subvert a high brow debate with low brow shenanigans.
The shows worked like this;
Two guests with opposing views on a chosen topic are asked to debate each other in a round table discussion moderated by a host. At the beginning of the show, the audience is asked to text in words they would like to hear the debaters somehow weave into their arguments. The debaters earn points by using the suggested words. Different words have different point values; basic curse words are 1 point, a single word suggested by the audience gets 2 points, suggested phrases get 3 or more points. At the end of the debate, the audience will vote on who won the argument which will earn the players more points. This ensures that the players will need to maintain a cogent argument with integrity if they want to win since only concentrating on getting points in one way will not guarantee a winning score.
The production was difficult. We definitely bit off a bit more than we could chew by trying to employ video and sound streaming for the presentation. We set up basic set elements, lighting, four cameras, a camera switching and streaming program and two additional video screens on set for content and one more display so the players could see their word lists. Most of this worked. Unfortunately the streaming didn’t pan out in time and was cut from the presentation. This meant that the audience (which was going to be down the hall in the classroom) had to come into the room where the production was taking place and watch from inside the room. It was still fun.
The audience was asked to send text messages to TextMarks, a SMS/web interface. The texts were fed into a Google Doc, where they were copied and pasted into a text document that was saved and displayed both as reference for the players (on their private screen) and on set so the audience could see the lists. We intended to use Isadora to display the lists and other video content (title cards, credits, word lists, etc.) on two screens, one for each of our stages. A four camera setup (using webcams) would control and broadcast the show using a Max Jitter patch (with much help from Luke DuBois).
Here is the Max patch I made to switch between the cameras and broadcast.