My note: 10 10 10
Fuck that, I don’t like rating but I love writing so: “Amazingly fun, immediatly aplicable, imposible to improve. A must read for everybody who wants to live in this new world that is metamorphosing into an impossible mixture of real and virtual world.” This book is a present from an editor of Wired that share with all of us his experience and knowledge of years writing on this magazine. I will tell you my trip through this book.
One day I entered Amazon and after surfing for a while I saw the cover of this book, like if I where hipnotized I could do nothing but buy the book. When I receive it, after seeing again the cover, I took two steps back and jumped into the book. Once I was in the first thing I saw was this wonderful and hipnotical phrase:
Anthropologists tell us that storytelling is central to human existence. That it’s common to every known culture. That it involves a symbiotic exchange between teller and listener “
And the first aha moment of the book happened:
Aha! it’s just about it. You can call it whatever you want, you can complicate it as much as you can but it’s just about storytelling.
I could do anything but continuining the trip where I found The Dyslexic Storyteller, he was playing role games at University and some steps later he was launching a Batman campaign, I loved that guy. It was a pleasure for me to meet him. Some steps later I met a friend of him, the Fear of Fiction guy. He told me that when he was a child he entered a bookstore where his father bought one of the first editions of Robinson Crusoe, and in the prologue Daniel Dafoe wrote that the story was real, fuck, I’ve always thought it was fiction, but later he told me that it was fiction. A confusing guy, before leaving he told be to be aware because “it’s not a game” he said.
I was immersed in the universe of the book and I couldn’t do anything but go Deeper, then Luke Skywalker appear, and I saw a guy called James Cameron flying with the na’vis fighting in Avatar, and I received a Don Draper tweet. A few days later a guy blocked his account because he said he wasn’t Don Draper and this guy wanted to Control how people enter the stories, FUCK YOU GUY, who the hell are you And another hipnotical phrase appear:
In a command-and-control world, we know who’s telling the story; it’s the author. But digital media have created an authorship crisis. Once the audience is free to step out into the fiction and start directing events, the entire edifice of twentieth-century mass media begins to crumble”
And suddenly I was in the garden of the Forking Paths, and I started to wonder if I should go to the Open Worlds where Will Wright and his Sims were and where “The theory of the human motivation” was or to The Hive Mind and The Mystery Box. I went there and I found the JJ Abrams’ mystery box, I could read in the cover Television: The Game, and I opened it. So I called JJ to tell which was in but he didn’t want to know, sent me to the midle of nowhere and hung up the phone.
And in the middle of nowhere there was Twitter and Nothingness so I met Evan a guy from Clarks Nebraska, a very nice guy who told me that he was at the beginning of times building websites and nowadays making systems for encourage typing and thinking. And he show me how to connect there to the web and we saw Nick Haley’s video on YouTube and another aha moment happened: Fuck, this is the crumbling of twentieth century Rose was speaking about and Nick, This is Your Brand in YouTube.
At that moment I had a crisis and I went to hospital, and the most exciting and amazing story appeared through The One Armed Bandit and The Emotion Engine. Suddenly the hospital became a jail hospital and a guy called Wolfram Schultz asked me to participate in a brain experiment playing videogames and of course I agreed. I was days and days playing and at the end I could see how Frank Rose, Kent Berridge and Andrew Lawrence were speaking on the main implications of the experiment:
-Dopamine has less to do with pleasure ifself than with the drive to seek pleasure.-Rose said.
-At the same time, the experiment also connected gaming to another behaviour (…) , learning. Lawrence one of the researchers in the experiment said.
Learning! I love learning, is one of the principles of my life.
-Learning and addiction are very tighly bound together-said Kent- So tighly that they sort of merge.
Adiction and learning! Crazy, but real. And my addiction to the universe of the book continued as I continued learning. Ways of acquiring learning, what motivate us, Mr Uncertain, randomness, forage, emotional connection, Peter Molyneux and the dog that grabbed its legs, videogames, AI, Mick Hassabis playing with videogames and neuroscience. The best trip ever.
And finally as Frank’s got it, give us a lesson on How to Build a Universe that Doesn’t Fall Appart.
One book in thirteen chapters as one season TV serie, where you can fly from one universe to another, from one guy to another, and incredible trip that I cannot take out of my mind still today, 6 months after finishing reading this book.
Because while reading this book I realized that everything is much easier than it seems, and that transmedia is just about four things: empathy, forking paths, the mystery box and layers. The Art of Immersion is an addictive and completely useful reading. Don’t misss it.
Amazon Resume: “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.
Said on this book: “A highly readable, deeply engaging account of shifts in the entertainment industry that have paved the way for more expansive, immersive, interactive forms of fun.” (Henry Jenkins)
“An intriguing snapshot of where media will continue to move in the near future—great for rabbit–hole spelunkers.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Like Marchall McLuhan’s groundbreaking 1964 book, Understanding Media, this engrossing study . . . . is an essential read.” (Library Journal)
Author: Frank Rose
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (March 5, 2012)