10 Massive Reality TV Shows for the Near-Future

June 10 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Social Media   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

Alvis Brigis is a former reality television producer and story editor whose credits include Motormouth (VH1), The Simple Life 2 (FOX), Making the Band 3 (MTV), and House of Boateng (Sundance). This is Part 2 of a series envisioning the future of the genre.

As I discussed in my last post on future tv programming that incorporates virtual worlds, reality TV is one of the many art forms due to experience incredible change as we enter the acceleration era. The genre is particularly well-suited to respond to new technology because it that was recently enabled by dropping technology costs and responds quickly to market forces.

That being the case, I’d like to explore just how BIG reality programming can get considering the proliferation of high-quality digital recording devices like the iPhone (the new better 3G version will start at just $199), the rise of social media media structures (YouTube, Digg, MemeBox), the advent of online participatory editing, the near-term potential of 3G and WiMax communication webs, new camera POV possibilities such as aerial micro-drones, and the steady progress we are making in digital storage and battery life/weight.

Ultimately, these are the same technologies that will enable widespread life-logging, surveillance and an emerging participatory panopticon. But along the way they will make for some kick-ass, ground-breaking reality television.

Here’s my Top 10 list of future MASSIVE reality TV shows that I’d love to kill some precious time watching:

1. THE PROTEST: The world’s largest and most dramatic political protests are examined inside-out as real-time footage captured on handhelds and by aerial drones is crowd-sourced and quickly edited online. As viewers watch the most popular cuts they can click on a frame to directly access the live feeds of their favorite broadcasters.

2. MANHUNT: 10 professional soldiers, law enforcement agents, and reformed criminals stage a fictional prison break then attempt to elude a public manhunt on 10,000 acres in rural Montana. Watch from afar or come test your tracking skills for a shot at $1,000,000.

3. THE REAL WAR: A reality show that actually makes a difference in the lives of the persecuted masses, The Real War brings transprency and accountability conflict situations in unstable regions. Sponsored by the UN and private donors, the program is edited by a panel of international observers. (cont.)

4. CROSS-COUNTRY: 1,000 long-distance runners chooses their own routes as they follow in Forest Gump’s fotsteps and race from the Brooklyn Bridge to Santa Monica Pier. Who has the mental and physical temerity to achieve victory?

5. CIVILIZATION: 100 uniquely skilled individuals brave the wild to recreate civilization from scratch. Look on as they pool their creativity to get back to where they all started. Embedded and drone cams make sure that no important moment is missed.

6. EVERQUEST: 1,000,000 MMORPGers role play their favorite fantasy characters and battle evil week in and week out. We combine in-game machinima, live web cam and interview footage to track the most heroic and villainous storylines.

7. ROADIES: Mixing in footage of the band interacting with fans on and off the stage, Roadies follows the best self-shot story lines of fans that follow their favorite bands on tour.

8. BOOT CAMP: Hundreds of ordinary citizens participate in a 2 week boot camp to see who’s got the right stuff. Members of the winning squad each receive a hybrid camouflage Hummer.

9. HACK ATTACK: Hackers all over the globe are invited to break into and take down a formidable system setup by security experts. To participate, they must submit an hourly weblog through which they explain their strategy, update their progress and trash talk. The winners earn not only prizes, but social prestige and job offers.

10. FOLLOW THE MEME: A unique piece of information is followed around the world as it spreads from brain to brain in this crowd-sourced thought experiment. Users submit their reactions to new information and vote on the best meme-flow “strings”.

What similar or dissimilar massive reality shows would you like to see developed over the next decade?

Which massive reality show idea most appeals to you?

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