ROBERT ROTHFARB  |  BROADCAST DESIGN  |  NYU'S "YORB" INTERACTIVE TELEVISION

ALTERNATE
REALITY
THEATER
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Alien Abduction?  Blind Date?   Put yourself onstage on YORB: An Electronic Neighborhood , ITP's weekly interactive television broadcast on Manhattan Cable Channel 34, Thursdays at 11:00 PM.

YORB is an interactive television program in which four telephone callers call in to the broadcast and are represented on screen with an animated cartoon face. One of the callers is made the pilot and can drive around a 3D world which includes a city, a farm, countryside, and suburban houses. The callers can participate in various games and activities along the way including a drive-in theater, a bar and disco, sidewalk drawing, board games, as well as begin to explore the interactive narrative of the YORB world.

Along with classmates Jessica Saffran and Robert Brown, I created an addition to YORB called Alternate Reality Theater. This is an improvisational theater located in downtown YORB City where two callers can interact with each other in various staged scenarios.

The first scenario we created was about alien abduction as Angie, a reporter, interviews Jonothan, a man claiming to have been abducted by aliens. Callers can view Jonothan's alien home video and his collection of photographic evidence about his experiences.

The second scenario is a blind date in which two callers are randomly assigned assigned on-screen avatars and go out on a blind date with each other. They can change the location of their date (the background image).

blind daters blind daters

In each scenario, the third and fourth callers to the program act as audience members in the theater and can use buttons on their phone to applaud.

YORB has been recognized by the New York Times, WIRED magazine, Morph's Outpost and other publications that have their finger on the pulse of interactive innovation. YORB was also featured at SIGGRAPH 95's Interactive Entertainment venue.