Last February, Franco-German public television channel Arte hired journalist David Dufresne to work on an unprecedented format, a mixture of web-documentary and video game. Dufresne, a web-documentary specialist, paired up with gamification expert Olivier Mauco.
“Fort McMoney” belongs to a new kind of multimedia tools which turn passive viewers into active players (Le Monde). Viewers/players are made to operate a fictitious Canadian oil sand extraction site (named after Fort McMurray, Alberta). Over a period of four weeks, starting on 25 November 2013, users made decisions affecting the future of FortMcMoney after surveying its inhabitants. Every week, choices were made based on a referendum and polls.
“FortMcMoney” was shown as a preview in Paris, Toronto and at the Montreal International Documentary Festival. It proved to be a great success, with hundreds of thousands of people playing the new online game (available in English, French and German).