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Brief Published: 28 Aug 2015

Adult Swim’s Instagram Game Universe

To promote the second series of its animated sci-fi series Rick and Morty, US broadcaster Adult Swim has brought the show's unpredictable worlds to life in an Instagram-native game.

The 'Rickstaverse' was conceived by Vice-owned US digital service agency Carrot. Carrot created 1,200 images depicting locations from the show, which chronicles the adventures of an unhinged scientist and his gormless grandson across many universes. These images are interconnected using Instagram's tagging system and spread out across 80 individual accounts to create a Russian doll-like structure for the experience.

In addition to worlds placed within worlds across 25 levels, the game creators have also hidden Easter eggs in individual images. Fans who uncover these hidden items are rewarded with show-related comics, exclusive previews, interactive video-clip sequences, and simple game-in-game interfaces. As the second series goes on, additional levels will be unlocked for exploration.

The game makes a strong case for the degree of immersion that can be achieved even within the confines of a basic social network when those parameters are fully exploited.

South by Southwest 2015: Social Media Strategies rounds up social media insights from the annual conference. For more on conversion in social media, check out The Social Media Sell, 2015.