Young people increasingly develop their views and opinions about social norms and behaviours based on information they acquire online in informal learning contexts; through use of social media such as Facebook, interaction with peers via messaging, online gaming and the ever-increasing multimedia content available through YouTube, Instagram and Vimeo.
YourCall.rocks uses high quality film production and cutting edge internet interactivity to create harm prevention videos for youth audiences, utilising the well-known choose your own ending storybook concept to create an immersive experience. Through the use of video annotations technology, each production allows the viewer to directly interact with and change the outcomes in the story, exploring in-depth the negative consequences of issues such as alcohol abuse, violence and car theft.
This approach has proven to be extraordinarily effective. In a recent overseas campaign the London Metropolitan Police made "Don't Take the Knife", an interactive internet short film about the consequences of street violence. London teenagers were carrying knives in the mistaken belief that they offered protection and Police wanted to communicate that the reverse was true. An alternate-ending film was created for YouTube using video annotation technology, enabling viewers to choose what happened next. Carry a knife, go to a party, stab an opponent, or walk away? After experiencing the consequences of their choices, viewers were invited to Choose a Different Ending - for the film and for their life. The response was a massive 78% awareness amongst the youth target audience - the highest ever for a London Metropolitan Police education campaign. The interactive film has since attracted many millions of viewers. At the peak of promotion, online peer-to-peer debate about the video and knife crime swelled, when more than 80 comments a day were being posted with a total of over 3,000 posts during the active campaign period. So successful was this initiative, the Metropolitan Police followed it up with 'Who Killed Deon?, an interactive Facebook movie educating teenagers on the law related to being an accessory to murder. (For more information see the UK Police website http://www.droptheweapons.org).
The YourCall.rocks project seeks to replicate the very successful UK experience to deliver online harm prevention education for young Western Australians. Filmed in and around the suburbs of Perth, the film portrays realistic crime scenarios acted by young professional actors and captured on broadcast, cinema-quality film. The goal is to provide the community - police, teachers, parents, councils, community groups, and especially youth peer and social media networks - with freely-available online video materials that can be viewed, forwarded and discussed on an ongoing basis to engage and inform through the use of exciting interactive technology, realistic scenarios and local settings.
An initiative of TRG Theatrical Response Group, YourCall.rocks will host an ongoing series of interactive online content, with future projects focusing on new youth issues and taking full advantage of continuing developments in web interactivity.