The New Media landscape: Play and Engagement from the page to the web

I developed this 2×2 to make a point about new and old media for a presentation at Futuresonic08 about the future of media engagement. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

old and new properties and engagemtnt

The top right cluster is a relative positioning of the major players in the virtual community landscape. You can exchange the word ‘participation’ for ‘engagement’, and then it becomes a more powerful piece.

The bottom left demonstrates a point – traditional media is static and observational. Yet The Lost Experience is in the top right, riffing off Lost in the bottom left. There are ways of bringing static media into the new media spectrum.

To wit, last night at his book reading during the Brighton Festival, I asked Hanif Kureshi whether he’d thought about engaging with non-linear storytelling using new media. His response was that he’d only be interested in engaging with interactive forms of storytelling if the people who were contributing back were ‘good’. I was disappointed. This is from a man who’s written for the page and both the small and big screens, yet interactive and non-linear storytelling wasn’t on his radar at all. And his response misses the point completely.

In contrast, Jemima asked Steven Spielberg about his intentions for the small screen, and his response was much more in line with the future:

Please do contribute your thoughts to the 2×2 above. It would be great to flesh it out.


~ by aleks on May 21, 2008.

4 Responses to “The New Media landscape: Play and Engagement from the page to the web”

  1. Hi Aleks,

    The 2×2 is an interesting and, to me, very accurate representation of the state of old and new media.

    I did have one thought, though. It may be straying off the point a little, but where do you think YouTube would sit? Personally, I’ve only ever used it in a ‘bottom left’ sort of way – i.e. watching random clips that I find interesting. However, I’m guessing that people who post their own content would say there’s a strong participation/engagement component too. But is it playful, ludic engagement or still pretty static? (I’m thinking the latter.)

  2. Hey Bobert – great point. I suppose what I’m trying to represent here is the *potential* of each media – the idealised practice. And so YouTube would live in this static representation in the upper right corner, but perhaps not as far over on the ‘participation’ scale as Second Life or Warcraft, which require the user/Resident/player to be active in order to engage with the property.


  3. Hi Aleks,

    Yes, it makes sense to focus on a site/service’s potential for encouraging engagement instead of trying to define all of the different ways in which a user might use that site/service. (Otherwise the 2×2 would lose its pleasing simplicity and become kinda messy.)

    Fantastic site, by the way. I’m a virtual worlds newbie and am finding your articles and presentations on SL really interesting.



  4. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Galway.

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