Sherwood Rise – an Augmented Reality transmedia graphic novel by Dave Miller and Dave Moorhead

Please begin the story here:

Sherwood Rise is an Augmented Reality (AR) transmedia book/ game/ experience, told through a range of media and formats – printed newspapers, AR on smartphones, emails, hacker websites, blogs, sound, music, graphic novels and illustrations.

This is a durational fiction, told over 4 days.

Inspired by the current financial crisis, and the Occupy movement, the story is based on the traditional Robin Hood tale. The traditional tale of peasant revolt and dissent is brought up to date, and adapted for AR and transmedia. In our adaptation, austerity is imposed on the poor by a privileged elite, resisted by a gang of hacker outlaw terrorists called the ‘Merry Men’.

The project explores the future of the book and transmedia storytelling:
* A story told in a range of media on multiple platforms
* It expands a traditional printed story, adds additional layers of story through AR
* It adds augmented digital artefacts onto a printed story.

The objectives of the project are:
* To add virtual elements to the real world page by combining mobile device/ new media technology and the book
* To use mobile device based AR and transmedia, in novel and innovative ways to expand a narrative
* In creative and artistic ways to raise awareness and stimulate thought about financial fraud, corruption, austerity, politics
* To adapt a story that works across many cultures, particularly UK, India, China (the Robin Hood tale is common to many cultures)
* To produce a book which is part static and part dynamic, and altered by the reader’s behaviour.
* To challenge power relations of news using AR

My research interests for this project include:
* AR activism, challenging authority, privilege and power
* The politics of AR and storytelling/ news, contested content, critiquing how news is reported
* Aesthetic, artistic, cultural and sociopolitical uses of AR and transmedia stories
* Revealing hidden stories within a fiction
* Many voices in a story – simultaneous multiple viewpoints
* The process and experience of designing, adapting and building a transmedia story from the ground up
* The reader experience – reading and navigating an AR transmedia book, moving from paper to screen, the disjointed reading experience
* Exploring aesthetic possibilities of AR, graphic novels and illustrations on mobile devices

This is the first version of the project, and very much a work in progress, designed to stimulate interest and future research. I would love to hear what readers think, and all feedback is very gratefully received.

This is a research collaboration between Dave Miller and Dave Moorhead, under the leadership of Professor Alexis Weedon, University of Bedfordshire, UK. The project is part of the UNESCO ‘Crossing Media Boundaries: Adaptations and New Media Forms of the Book’, which networks 6 University institutions internationally.

For further information, please visit the project blog: