“Future-spotting doesn't get much better than this.”
––Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants
"The definitive guide to the complex, exciting, and sometimes scary future of storytelling."
—Steven Levy, author of Hackers and In the Plex
NOT LONG AGO WE WERE SPECTATORS, passive consumers of mass media. Now, on YouTube and blogs and Facebook and Twitter, we are media. And we approach television shows, movies, even advertising as invitations to participate—as experiences to immerse ourselves in at will.
"Like Marshall McLuhan's groundbreaking 1964 book, Understanding Media, this . . . is an essential read."
—Library JournalWhat we're witnessing is the emergence of a new form of narrative that’s native to the Internet. Told through many media at once in a nonlinear fashion, these new narratives encourage us not merely to watch but to participate, often engaging us in the same way that games do. This is "deep media": stories that are not just entertaining but immersive, that take you deeper than an hour-long TV drama or a two-hour movie or a 30-second spot will permit.
From this point forward, storytellers of every persuasion will need to function in a world in which distinctions that were clear throughout the industrial age are becoming increasingly blurred:
- The blurring of author and audience: Whose story is it?
- The blurring of story and game: How do you engage with it?
- The blurring of entertainment and marketing: What function does it serve?
- The blurring of fiction and reality: Where does one end and the other begin?
In THE ART OF IMMERSION, longtime Wired contributing editor Frank Rose explains why this is happening, and what it means for us all.