Though Will Wright is most famous for creating the games SimCity, The Sims, and Spore, he has long had an interest in television. As far back as 2003, he had signed a deal to make a television show for Fox that never materialized. Last year, he quit his Maxis studio to found Stupid Fun Club, a think tank dedicated to projects in various forms of entertainment. As of October 2009, the startup had three "play industry" projects in development.
Today, the first of those projects was unveiled. It is a new television series called Bar Karma, which is in the works at Current TV, the youth-oriented news channel founded by former vice president Al Gore. As befits Wright's game roots, the show will be interactive, encouraging viewers to help guide both its storyline and production. The latter will be controlled by viewer input, via a virtual studio that will allow viewers direct communication with the show's producers.
Bar Karma's production process will work like this: First, viewers will sign up on the show's official Web site at www.current.com/barkarma. Then, viewers will submit story ideas, which will be selected by the producers, who will post the finalists. Then, viewers will be able to submit storyboards for the shows, the finalists of which will be selected and posted for the Bar Karma community to vote on. Finally, the digital entertainment studio Worldwide Biggies will adapt, shoot, and produce the winning storyboards into actual 30-minute episodes.
"Bar Karma is a culmination of over a year's work and I am very excited to see the results as we join together not only gamers and television viewers, but actually create a community that will be empowered with a professional production team," said Wright in a statement.
Little about the show's potential plot is known, though the Web site bears the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-worthy tagline "A mystical watering hole at the end of the universe."