"A broad and deep look at how electronic media are changing storytelling…Completely fascinating." —Booklist, starred review
Not long ago we were spectators, passive consumers of mass media. Now, on YouTube and blogs and Facebook and Twitter, we are media. No longer content in our traditional role as couch potatoes, we approach television shows, movies, even advertising as invitations to participate—as experiences to immerse ourselves in at will. Frank Rose introduces us to the people who are reshaping media for a two-way world, changing how we play, how we communicate, and how we think.
The world's a stage and an ad according to this breathless dispatch from the new media marketing frontier. Wired contributing editor Rose (West of Eden) hails an infoscape teeming with alternate realities that are "non-linear," "participatory," and "immersive." Traditional entertainments like movies, TV shows, and music are getting higher-tech production values and are increasingly cross-linked to Web sites, video games, and YouTube. One result, he contends, is more engrossing narratives, exemplified by video games whose characters display emotional complexity while slaughtering zombies, and online communities obsessed with the tangled plot of Lost. The more tangible payoff is a raft of avant-garde marketing ploys, like a publicity campaign for a Batman movie featuring mysterious e-mails that sent recipients scurrying on a real-world scavenger hunt. But even as the ad agencies, production companies, and media consultancies the author profiles gush about these storytelling and revenue-generating innovations, Rose's language is repetitive and bland ("Interactive advertising efforts have meant getting people involved with a brand and its stories") and might leave readers wishing he'd taken more care with how to convey his own message.
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The Art of Immersion
Modern, interesting, and insightful.