The Art of Immersion

September 4, 2013

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The Art of Immersion – a highly praised book – author Frank Rose explains his understanding of storytelling, and what it means for us all:

Some quotes from the webpage:

 What 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 IMMERSIONWired correspondent Frank Rose describes why this is happening to us.

“Highly readable, deeply engaging . . . accessible and urgent.”

—Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture

The Art of Immersion is a must read for all filmmakers.”

—Ted Hope, producer of 21 Grams and The Laramie Project

 

More reviews:


“The Web lets us dive deeper than ever before, though into what is up to us. A new avant-garde is taking the plunge – not underground, but online. For those of us lagging behind, wading rather than diving into art’s new cyber-sphere, Frank Rose makes an excellent guide.” The Atlantic

 

★ “Like Marshall McLuhan’s groundbreaking 1964 book, Understanding Media, this engrossing study of how new media is reshaping the entertainment, advertising, and communication industries is an essential read.” —Library Journal

 

“Fascinating . . . [Frank Rose] talks about how the Internet is changing the way we create and consume narrative. He notes that media innovations, such as radio or television, take a few decades before we learn how to best utilize them. TV started out as live broadcasts and ended up creating a new form of narrative. The Internet started out as a digital repository for print journalism, but is now creating a new form of engagement. ‘We are ceasing to be consumers of mass media,’ says Rose, ‘we are becoming participants in social media—a far more fluid environment in which we simultaneously act as producers, consumers, curators, and commentators, sharing our thoughts and perceptions with people we know and people we don’t.'”
—Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post

 

“The worldwide web has already begun to have an influence on imaginative ex­pres­sion. The Internet, as Frank Rose writes in The Art of Immersion, ‘is the first me­dium that can act like all media. It can be text, or audio, or video, or all of the above. . . .’ According to Rose, ‘a new type of narrative is emerging – one that’s told through many media at once in a way that’s nonlinear, that’s participatory and often game-like, and that’s designed above all to be immersive. This is deep media.'”
Robert McCrum, The Observer

 

“Compelling . . . The era of the couch potato, argues Rose, is at an end. . . . From Star Wars to Lost (‘television for the hive mind’), it is the immersive, ‘fractal-like com­plexity’ of storytelling that turns on digital audiences and sends them online to extend the fantasy via wikis, Twitter and blogs.” —P.D. Smith, The Guardian

 

“It’s a grand trip, taking in everything from Charles Dickens to Super Mario and Avatar. The book is meticulously researched, persuasively constructed and benefits from an impressive level of access.” New Scientist

 

 

“Tremendously lively and clever . . . An intelligent guide to how technologies have created new opportunities for narrative.” —Scotland on Sunday

 

“Clear, concise and scrupulously fact-checked . . . For anyone even remotely in­terested in a how-we-got-here-and-where-we’re-going guide to interactive, socially-networked entertainment, it’s an essential read.” —David Hughes, Empire

 

“As the American Frank Rose argues in his book The Art of Immersion, TV pro­grammes such as the internationally successful drama Lost have spread out from their original shape, partly . . . because scriptwriters have become influenced by games culture.” —BBC World Service

 

“An exciting book which shows how the Internet is changing the world of entertainment. . . . Frank Rose describes an ongoing artistic revolution that breaks with traditional, linear narrative and gives us a new understanding of reality.”
TF1 News

 

“An inquiry into the heart of the culture industry. . . . [The Art of Immersion] reflects on the unstable borders of fiction—before and after the digital revolution—and even on the definition of a work of art.” —Les Inrockuptibles

 


“With this book, Rose seeks to convey the message that we are only at the beginning of a radical anthropological shift. The revolution brought about by the Internet is altering reality, and this transformed world is inventing its own language and its own codes to portray itself.” —Libération

 

“A new media bible.” la Repubblica

 

“Television has not disappeared, nor will it. But content production is changing pro­foundly. The networked computer has facilitated the rise of deep media, that is, me­dia which take into account the exhaustion of the unidirectional broadcast model of television, pointing directly to the involvement of the audience as generators of con­tent. It is to these deep media that the book is dedicated.”
Benedetto Vecchi, il Manifesto

 

“A comprehensive overview of the evolution of the way we create culture and enter­tainment.” —la Stampa

 

“Captivating . . . We’re in the midst of a fascinating – and delirious, often over­whelming – cultural moment, one that Rose, with his important new book, astutely helps us to understand.” —Holly Willis, KCET-TV Los Angeles

 

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“An essential overview . . . Applications in the academic world are clear (it is already on the syllabi for classes at USC and Columbia), but it also constitutes a prerequisite for those wishing to enter Hollywood, and marketers or PR professionals wishing to engage an increasingly fragmented audience.”
International Journal of Advertising

 

“In his terrific new book, The Art of Immersion, [Frank Rose] captures the need for new thinking. . . . We need tools to tell new stories for new times, and our stories right now reflect our culture: they’re fragmented, dispersed, remixed and remade. They’re networked and participatory and nonlinear.” —Filmmaker

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