It will be interesting to see what other publisher can successfully go the Marvel route; with a $2B+ worldwide box office already in for the Avengers’ on-screen storyworld (one that still bizarrely lives in total isolation from the comics), I’m guessing several will make the attempt within the next 2-3 years. Two gaming franchises I think have some serious transmedia potential are Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls and Activision’s Skylanders, though you might be surprised by which one I think has the most potential.
Book publishers, on the other hand, have traditionally either focused on “digital” as a secondary medium, or worse, not even as a distinct medium at all, simply a fascimile or marketing channel for their print products. In doing so, they’ve effectively positioned themselves for easier disintermediation, being seen as container manufacturers instead of content curators and community organizers.
Stories just as powerful and compelling as those Waiting for Superman put in the spotlight are confined to the printed page instead of being unleashed across multiple platforms for people to connect with, share with others, and inspire action.
“Just do it!” was definitely an underlying theme of the day as the deceptively sexy notion of the “democratization” of content creation and distribution was frequently noted, but I realized towards the end of the day, what was missing was any reference to the issue of access, and the ever-widening digital divide.
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.