QR Codes Tell The Story

QR Codes Tell The StoryImagine strolling around a new city with a map (printed or available as a PDF) that allowed you to access stories related to the area you are exploring?

But not just a story. Each QR code will take you to a webpage where you can read the story and choose your own way to continue the story out of a few different options.

This is the idea behind a new Pozible campaign called Choose Your Adventure and one I think would be interesting to tourism boards as an intriguing way for visitors to discover new and ‘locals-only’ areas.

If you’re wondering what IS a QR code, then let me explain. The main image for the story demonstrates scanning a QR code with a smart phone. QR stands for Quick Response. Wikipedia can explain it further, but in relation to this project it requires a user to download a QR code scanner application. The QR code can “direct users to text, web content or other online information” as the Choose Your Adventure project by Em Craven describes. You can choose your adventure and move through the story via the QR codes – in the actual location.

But this isn’t the first project of this kind that Em Craven has done. Emily is an author and speaker and works as Digital Producer for if: Book Australia (the Institute for the Future of the Book). She also blogs about ebook and digital strategies so is well versed on experimentation and execution. Em has previously successfully crowdfunded – a wonderful photography gallery/charity trip project for Cambodian Children’s Trust.

Adelaide- ChooseYourOwnAdventure

Adelaide: Choose Your Adventure

In 2012, Em Craven organised a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ around Adelaide. Part of the Adelaide Festival, it was run during Writers’ Week and the QR codes were printed on posters around town. Naturally enough though, the vandals couldn’t leave them up there – spoilsports! Each adventure started from a central point and then the reader has the choice about what options to explore.

This was, Em Craven has said, the world’s first choose your own adventure event! You can read more about that project here.


Brisbane: Street Reads – An Interactive Walking and Reading Experience

Today 4 September 2013 is the first day of the Brisbane Writers’ Festival. It is also the start of Street Reads – a choose your own adventure with QR codes around Brisbane and South Bank. Hosted by Brisbane City Council, I really like the way that prizes and discounts from local retailers are built into finishing certain branches of the story. With the additional layers of art and music to add to the experience, some great writers and prominent positioning this is one to watch.

All of these different experiences have led Em Craven to take on her latest ambitious project with Pozible. The stories will allow you to find the “hidden nooks and secret features” of a number of cities . The cities that have potential to be included are: In Australia: Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Byron Bay. Other countries: Prague, Czech Republic; Paris, France; Washington, DC, New York, Boston, USA; Toronto, Canada.

It’s a great line up of established and emerging writers involved with the project including :

Sean Williams: A New York Times Bestelling author of eighty short stories and forty award winning novels in speculative fiction.

Isobelle Carmody: Award winning author of Speculative and YA fiction, best known for her Obernewtyn Chronicles.

Sophie Masson: Award winning author of over fifty novels of fantasy, romance, thriller and mystery fiction.She is also on the board for the Australian Society of Authors.

Robert Shearman: A speculative fiction short story author, playwright and writer for Doctor Who (re-introducing the Dalek back into the series). Winner of several awards including a British Fantasy Award.

Tansy Rayer Roberts: Writing as Livia Day: Award winning author of fantasy (and crime under the name Livia Day) she is also one of the three voices of the Hugo-nominated Galactic Suburbia podcast.

Michael Pryor: Speculative Fiction author of over 20 novels and 50 short stories. I’m a big fan of his Laws of Magic!

Mark Leslie: I have dealt with Mark in his role of working for Kobo, but need to read some of his work.  Author of ‘Twilight Zone’ horror, he has penned over a dozen short stories, two novels and edited several anthologies.

Angela Slatter: is an award-winning writer primarily working in the field of speculative fiction, she has focused on short stories since deciding to pursue writing in 2005.

There are more amazing established writers and some fantastic emerging authors. Check out the project page for more details.

Here is the map from Street Reads to give you a taster of what may be involved with the new project. Right now I’m wishing I was in Brisbane and able to enjoy this! Oh well, perhaps when Choose Your Adventure comes to Sydney! Click on the image to enlarge in a new window.


Watch Em Craven’s Pozible project video embedded below.

I make no secret of the fact that writing projects + crowdfunding are my passions, but those with an inquisitive mind and courage to try something new also inspire me. Pledge to support the project to get behind established and emerging writers. If the project doesn’t meet funding then no money changes hands. If it DOES, then you are part of an experimental digital storytelling experience!

Follow Em Craven on her E-book Revolution Facebook page here, Twitter here, or check out her website with it’s HUGE depth of knowledge and content.

You may also like to read

  • This post by Jason Fischer, one of the authors wrote about the project
  • This write up about Street Reads in Brisbane!

 Anna Maguire, September 2013




2 thoughts on “QR Codes Tell The Story

  1. Pingback: QR Codes Tell The Story | Tim Boileau, Ph.D.

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