Space Junk is an animated TV show created by Workaholics co-creator Dominic Russo and produced by story studio Toonstar.
This isn’t just any old cartoon, though. Here are no less than five ways Space Junk stands out from the crowd - and they’re using the power of Edutainment 3.0 to do it.
1. Web3: Toonstar focus their work around the world of web3, and produced a series of NFTs for fans
2. Co-Creation: These NFTs allows holders to craft story pitches for one of the robot characters, Wellbecca
3. AI: The story pitches can be refined alongside an AI version of Wellbecca (the AI is trained not just on the character but in the wider world of the show)
4. Community-driven: stories generated with the Wellbecca chatbot can be posted on Toonstar’s blockchain (powered by web3 company Theta Labs) and upvoted by the rest of the community. The top stories are then woven into future episodes
5. Sustainability: an international team of researchers recently estimated there are more than 100 trillion pieces of trash floating around in space. To ensure this issue was depicted accurately on screen, Toonstar collaborated with an aerospace engineer during the show’s production.
And so far, so good - Toonstar have reported 15x the audience engagement versus their previous production.
Now, we know that approach won’t work for every show - but it’s proof that blending emerging tech with audience participation can open all kinds of interesting spaces (sorry…).
It also gets us thinking - why only TV shows? Narrative shows up in many other places: from video games, to fantasy sports, social impact topics… and educational curriculums.
What if your next learning experience could feel more like a co-created video game, complete with interactive characters, and storylines, challenges and events that are decided on by a community of learners…?
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