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Viral Flash Activism Gets A Fresh Infusion

Free Range Studios has released another of its animations addressing social issues. Store Wars is a bit less punchy than its older brethren, notably The Meatrix, but it is extremely well made and fun to watch. Free Range Studios is…

Free Range Studios has released another of its animations addressing social issues. Store Wars is a bit less punchy than its older brethren, notably The Meatrix, but it is extremely well made and fun to watch. Free Range Studios is a print and Web design firm that works primarily with socially conscious clients, many of them non-profits.

These animations caught my attention a couple of years ago for their clever use of new media to communicate messages we often associate with old media. The animations have high-quality production values – and, sometimes, familiar story lines – that we expect from commercial media. They are posted online, and they are unleashed via email, where they ride the waves of people who love forwarding “fun” stuff.

The Free Range folks call this “viral Flash activism.” Judging from the number of people worldwide who sent me “The Meatrix” when it first came out in November 2003, they might be onto something. Let’s see how far Store Wars goes.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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