Digi-Novel Book-Movie-Website

The Digi-novel attempts to combine three media - the book, the movie and the Internet website. CSI creator Anthony Zuiker has come up with Level 26, a crime novel that apparently tries to get readers to interact with movies on a website.


(Level 26 hardback cover)

""Just doing one thing great is not going to sustain business," he said. "The future of business in terms of entertainment will have to be the convergence of different mediums. So we did that -- publishing, movies and a website," says Zuiker.

"Every TV show in the next five, 10 years will have a comprehensive microsite or website that continue the experience beyond the one-hour television to keep engaging viewers 24/7," he said. "Just watching television for one specific hour a week ... that's not going to be a sustainable model going forward."

"I wanted to bring all the best in publishing, in a motion picture, in a website and converge all three into one experience," he said.

I hate to be a wet blanket, but I really wonder if you can get people to put down their book, fire up their computer, navigate to a website and then watch a short video every 20 pages.

As far as I can tell, this novel is available in a Kindle edition, but I don't think that the Kindle will allow you to go to a website and watch video. I really think that this "book" would do better as an iPhone app or in some similar integrated platform.

I suppose the next step would be to put in some way to interact with the novel, perhaps even playing a character in the novel. But then you'd probably call it a "video game."

It's hard to retain that paper format; I guess you could try doing it on a book reader that had multiple pages.

Science fiction and fantasy writers have been thinking about this idea for a while, and I think they have some suggestions. I recall an episode of The Charmed Ones in which an unfinished magical novel was able to capture Paige and her love interest and actually put them into the written text of the novel. Viewers also saw the action in the novel in short vignettes, interspersed with reading. Not to spoil the episode for you, but the remaining sisters were able to help Paige escape by adding to the text of the novel.


(Unfortunate gnome reads Charmed Noir novel)

In ST:TNG, holonovels (or holographic novels) are the ultimate expression of participative multimedia. Multiple players can become characters in the story, with props added holographically. Holonovels were also created as training simulations.


(Captain Picard in a holonovel)

Whether the technique used in Level 26 catches on or not, we're certainly going to see more combinations of media in the future.

Via Reuters; thanks to Moira for contributing the tip.

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