Guy Gonzalez's Reviews > The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories

The Art of Immersion by Frank Rose
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Feb 11, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: research
Read from February 11 to 25, 2011 — I own a copy

"People have always wanted to in some way inhabit the stories that move them. The only real variable is whether technology gives them that opportunity." --Frank Rose

The Art of Immersion is a much-needed bridge to/from Henry Jenkins' seminal Convergence Culture, as Frank Rose crafts an engaging, insightful overview of how storytelling has evolved in the digital age that's accessible to all, whether enthusiast or skeptic. Focusing primarily on the intersection of film, TV and gaming, there are plenty of takeaways and insights of interest to writers and publishers, too.

Unlike most transmedia advocates, myself included, Rose focuses on immersion and depth of story, rather than just the primacy of STORY itself, offering a variety of compelling examples. Among them, his contrast between Star Wars and Avatar is on point, and I enjoyed his emphasis on marketing and engagement vs. interruption advertising; it's a key aspect that gets overlooked in most discussions about transmedia.

The final three chapters delve into the science of immersion, with some really interesting info, though Rose's take on Twitter is surprisingly simplistic and disconnected from earlier references in the book. Particularly interesting is the Lanier-ish (You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto) cautionary tone he ends the book on, somewhat surprising coming from one of the Wired crew.

All in all, a great read, and highly recommended.

NOTE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, W.W. Norton. My disclosures are here.
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Reading Progress

02/20/2011 page 38
15.0% "Finally started it, and Rose does a great job of establishing his premise and immediately reeling you in. #like"
02/20/2011 page 82
32.0% "I'm liking Rose's emphasis on immersion and depth of story, rather than just story itself. The contrast between Star Wars and Avatar is perfect."
02/21/2011 page 88
34.0% ""People have always wanted to in some way inhabit the stories that move them. The only real variable is whether technology gives them that opportunity.""
02/23/2011 page 242
95.0% "Enjoying the emphasis on marketing and engagement vs. interruption; it's a key aspect that gets overlooked in most discussions about Transmedia."
02/24/2011 page 289
82.0% "Chapters 11-12 get into the science of immersion, with some really interesting info. Only sour note is Rose's take on Twitter, surprisingly simplistic and disconnected from earlier references."

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