Frank Rose, contributing editor to Wired magazine, does exactly what Wired magazine (and other media like IHE should be doing) - creating Wired in the "long form". I love Wired magazine. (Don't you?) The sensibility, the subject matter, the people, the unapologetic techno-utopianism…etc. etc. Therefore, I love a book length version of the a Wired magazine type article even more. The Art of Immersion is just that type of book.
Rose's basic argument is familiar to you. Media are now participatory. Good narrative is the essential tool in a world drowning in data points and content. Media creators exist in a conversational space, one that they cannot control. Successful media properties must engage across different media, as well as platforms. Films jump to comic books, comic books to film, film to fiction, fiction to fan fiction, and fan fiction to the Web. These ideas may not be new, but Rose puts them in both an historical and pop-culture context. His writing is smart, energetic, and engaging - moving his own narrative about the new narrative along briskly and thoughtfully.
Some complaints. Some of the examples to illustrate how media are moving from the superficial to the immersive have been overdone. I don't need to hear more about Avatar, I'm not a gamer, and I have never watched Lost. And naturally I think that Rose misses a big part of the story by not looking at immersive educational platforms like simulations.
But these complaints are small compared to the pleasure that this Wired reader got in reading a great book length version of a Wired story.
Now how am I going to get IHE to start putting out books?
What are you reading?