Reality Ends Here is a "secret" game designed to help incoming Cinematic Arts students meet, form creative partnerships, and get a jumpstart on getting into the habit of creating. The game was introduced in Fall of 2011 and is now entering its fifth season.
In spite of being "underground" and not officially talked about or acknowledged by faculty or staff (we keep the identity of the Committee a guarded secret) participation has increased every year. So has the scale of the work they create outside of class.
The game is an unmitigated success. Students from different disciplines now seek each other out and collaborate. While they produce a lot of entertainment, students also focus their media-making skills to accomplish real social good. And they do it all without being required to do it for a grade.
The big prizes in the game are short mentorships with exactly the kinds of industry professionals students didn't imagine they'd have access to for many more years. The experiences are overwhelmingly positive, and we've seen a rise in professionalism, experimentation, craft, and mutual respect as a direct result of participation in the game. (It also usually keeps them so busy they rarely have time to get in any kind of trouble!)
As our video mentions, we're looking for mentors in the entertainment industry. If you're interested in donating your time (so, so valuable, thank you!) we have a form right here.
Apart from one paid staff position, we run Reality on a shoestring budget. Now that we have more players, we want to offer more motivational mentorship opportunities. A big limiting factor is the cost of safe transportation to get them to these mentorship experiences.
Now that we've seen how effective the game is, we want to start taking steps to make this incredible 21st-century learning environment open to more and more players. That's why we're hoping to raise $5,000 for the Fall 2015 season.
A few quick things since we've all seen a few too many crowdfundng campaigns by now.
- Reality will happen either way this year. There is zero risk this comes to nothing. We're just hoping to make it BETTER.
- The Rewards are real by-products of the game, so you won't wit in limbo forever waiting. See #1. The game launches right around the time this campaign ends. Some rewards, like your custom card, might take a little longer, but we anticipate you'll have them all by the end of the semester..
- Ignite is USC's internal crowdfunding system. Unlike Kickstarter, your donation is tax-deductible.
Have questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll post the FAQ as we go.
Thank you so much, and please DO share this with anyone you think might be able to help. Just don't tell the students. After all, there is no game. It doesn't exist. Ssssh.