Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Conversation with Steven Johnson, Part 3

Steven Johnson interview (author of Everything Bad is Good For you and Thge Ghost Map)...

"In the conclusion of Jesse James Garrett’s conversation with author Steven Johnson, they discuss his writing career, his recent bestseller Everything Bad Is Good For You, and his upcoming book The Ghost Map. Steven Johnson’s keynote kicks off Day 1 of User Experience Week 2006, August 14-17 in Washington, D.C.

Jesse James Garrett: One major part of the mass culture that is omitted from Everything Bad is music. Do you think music is immune to the drive toward complexity you see happening in other media? If not, how is that complexity manifesting?

Steven Johnson: I didn’t include music because enjoying or understanding music isn’t quite the same sort of problem-solving experience that you find in decoding a narrative or making sense of a video game. The question of why music is so powerful to the human brain is one of the great, enduring mysteries, but clearly it’s much more intimately connected to the brain’s emotional centers than the kind of abstract reasoning skills I was writing about in Everything Bad. So I decided to carve it out.

JJG: You probably could have devoted an entire chapter of Everything Bad solely to the television show “Lost,” which embodies many of the narrative principles you describe with its multi-layered storytelling that rewards ever-deeper scrutiny. The show’s producers have also been pushing boundaries by extending the show’s narrative into other media, with various fictional Web sites, a novel, and now an entire alternate-reality game, “The Lost Experience.” Is “Lost” establishing a new model for cross-media entertainment that is likely to persist, or is it an oddity that we shouldn’t expect to see replicated?"   (Continued via Adaptive Path)               [Usability Resources]


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