Friday, February 18, 2011

IMG and 505 Games Connect YOU to the Fashion World

Standing with Tim Woodley
From the second that lederhosen-wearing, blonde bombshell Heidi Klum appeared on television, I was addicted to every dramatic second of that visually stunning show, Project Runway. I instantly knew that I needed to drop whatever provincial career aspirations I had so I could follow my calling to become a fashion designer.  About a week later, I dropped those aspirations off at the end of my driveway in a clear plastic bag that also held a very ugly and very broken beginner's sewing machine that was too pink for words.

This week, in an interview at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Head of Global Brand at 505 Games, Tim Woodley explains how a new, interactive game is due to not only captivate players, but also quite possibly reignite the dreams of fashion obsessed people all over the world like me.

As Woodley explains it, the one down-side to consuming fashion is that its a very passive experience. Mostly hours spent thumbing through glossy magazines and absorbing images. Apart from styling themselves and shopping, there's not really much they can do creatively. says Woodley as he leans forward so I could hear him above the hundreds of conversations spilling through the humungous room. “So what we're creating is the forum in which to do that.”

Brought to you by IMG, 505 Games, Funcom, and creative director, Pat McGrath, Fashion World Live is an interactive application where users will have the chance to engage the fashion industry as they create, collaborate and communicate with their media friends and the wider social network, using the brands they know and love from the authentic realm of fashion. “There are similar types of games out there,” Woodley admits, “But none are as involved.”

Users can choose a career, such as designer, photographer, or stylist, then put together a viable fashion line. But nothing goes unrewarded! As users pull favors, and accomplish small tasks, they earn points, allowing them to take on more workers, and make build connections with people even higher up in the game.

Here at fashion week, people have been getting a first look at FWL and so far, they love it! The blogs have been buzzing and at the end of the week, a compilation of comments and ideas from Fashion Week attendants will be used to improve the game. “This is going to be a living, breathing thing.” says Woodley. And once the game goes live in September, game techs will be evolving the game on a real time basis, giving people more of what they want and less of what they don't.

Immediately I'm reminded of the last time I was addicted to a game on the internet. “Farmville.” I admitted to Woodley. I put so many hours into that cocaine-like game; sacrificing school, sleep, and even my social life, that eventually, I wore down my immune system and ended up with a nice case of Swine Flu! “So can I look forward to a good time like that, again?” I ask, secretly proud. Woodley laughs while shrugging his shoulders; the usual response.

Sitting and managing those farms is addicting, but take that concept and wrap it around something you’re passionate about? Then-- uh, oh!” --agreed.

Fashion World Live is the perfect creative outlet for those who are devoted to fashion, but find their lives consumed by another career.

I think there will be a lot Ah-ha moments,” I begin, “where people realize, Hey. I'm good at this!”

Exactly.” he says, with a smile, “My personal ideal for this is that you actually start being that talent shining through. That you do establish some level of pace making within the virtual community. Someone might aspire to be a a designer. It could be anybody.”

Fashion Week Live Website:

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