Article: Sean Stewart – The Evolution of Storytelling

Sean Stewart is an award-winning science fiction novelist, a groundbreaking figure in transmedia storytelling, and the most experienced and influential writer of Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) in the world.


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ABOUT Sean Stewart

“Sean has founded four genre defining companies including 42 Entertainment and Fourth Wall Studios, behind ARG campaigns including The Beast, I Love Bees, Year Zero, and Vanishing Point (Microsoft). In publishing, he has continued to push the envelope of the traditional novel with the transmedia ‘Cathys Book’, a New York Times and international bestseller currently published in twenty countries and a dozen languages around the world.

He says, “An alternate reality game is a cross media game that deliberately blurs the line between the in-game and out-of-game experiences, often being used as a marketing tool for a product or service. While games may primarily be centred around online resources, often events that happen inside the game reality will ‘reach out’ into the players’ lives in order to bring them together.

Elements of the plotline may be provided to the players in almost any form including emails, phone calls, chat sessions, snail mail, and live events. I think that every means of communication carries within itself the potential for a form of art. What people do on the web is they look for things and they gossip. We found a way of storytelling that has a lot to do with looking for things and gossiping about them.

Twenty years from now, someone will be using the web for a storytelling platform. One of the things that we do that I think will continue at some level is platform independent stories. They might be in print, they might be in film, they might be on the web, they might be a cellphone message. The story doesn’t care. And it will be pointless to say, “I only do the kind of storytelling that happens between a printed page.”



1. Website 2. Fourth Wall Studios 3. Wikipedia